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Would you consider driving an Electric Car?

(30 Posts)
Wolfgirl Tue 22-Jul-08 09:11:09

I found this article.... What do you guys think? I would personally, for running around the city/town.

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LONDON SHOW PREVIEW: Tax-exempt EVs set to star

21 July 2008 | Source: just-auto.com editorial team
Think claims its latest EV is the world’s only crash-tested and highway-certified model

Think claims its latest EV is the world’s only crash-tested and highway-certified model

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Several new electric cars will be under spotlights at the British motor show in London this week.

The cars are particularly attractive to London drivers as they are exempt from both UK annual road tax and the business-week central city congestion charge (GBP8 a day). The city's local councils are also beginning to install kerbside recharge points.

Think said it would reveal the world's only crash-tested and highway-certified electric car at the show.

The City model has a top speed of 65mph (about 105km/h) and an in-town range of 126 miles (about 200km) on a full charge. It is said to cost £GBP100 (about US$200) in electricity to cover 10,000 miles and is 95% recyclable.

"The Think City is a true, modern urban car, not a quadricycle," the automaker said, in a thinly-veiled dig at some rivals already on UK roads.

But the City won't be available here until next summer.

To charge the batteries from 20% capacity to 80 percent takes just four hours.

According to Think, the car was designed to meet the strict safety requirements of both Europe and the USA, "as a genuinely-safe road car".

"It is the world's only crash-tested and highway-certified EV. The car is equipped with ABS brakes, airbags and three-point safety belts with pretensioners and it surpasses all European and US requirements.

"Unlike the lower-range, electric quadricycles that have had limited success in the UK, the City is a real car which provides a realistic option for those motorists who want to drive a true zero emissions car," said UK managing director Richard Blundell.

"This is a proposition that we believe will interest many drivers who are re-thinking their approach to motoring," he added.

The car's body is made of recyclable ABS plastic, designed specifically for city driving. Designed to avoid visible scratches and dents, the unpainted, self-coloured plastic bodywork also reduces both energy consumption and toxins, while making the panels easier to recycle. The battery is returned to the supplier at the end of its useable life.

The auto insurance industry has consequently reduced rates by as much as 30-50%, the importer said.

Standard equipment includes power steering, central locking, 4kW electric heater plus electric windows and mirrors. Options include air conditioning, pre-heat timer, electrically heated windscreen, full length sunroof, radio CD with MP3, USB, Bluetooth, a navigation & multimedia system, alloy wheels, roof rack and 2 + 2 child seats including three-point seat belts.

Production started this year in Norway, and the first batch of right-hand drive cars will be delivered in the UK in mid-2009.

Think, for a time owned by Ford, has about 17 years experience in developing and producing electric vehicles and there are about 1,200 of its cars on Norwegian roads, many with over 100,000 miles on the clock.

The latest City is the sixth generation. Currently, they are being produced at a rate of three to five a day, rising to 20 a day in the next six months.

The capacity of Think's first assembly plant in Aurskog, outside Oslo, is presently being increased to 10,000 cars per year. Think plans to increase its production capacity with new assembly plants in the USA, Continental Europe and Asia in the next two years.

In April this year, Think established a North American unit in partnership with RockPort Capital Partners and Kleiner Perkins, Caufield and Byers. Sales for other than initial trial and demonst

Wolfgirl Tue 22-Jul-08 10:15:54

..what! no-one??

Wolfgirl Tue 22-Jul-08 14:22:55

what again!!!!!! no-one at all? at all?

DaDaDa Tue 22-Jul-08 14:30:57

I'd love one, mainly to avoid the C charge and get cheap parking (i'm not particularly ethical grin), but can't justify the initial cost. I cycle to work instead.

The next generation of batteries are supposedly going to give much longer ranges; if there weren't such vested interests in keeping us all dependent on oil I'm sure electric cars would be well established by now. G Wiz's are ten-a-penny in the area we live, so I'm sure there is demand.

Yes I would. I was looking at gwizz cars on the internet last night but they only have something like a 48 mile range.

Now I don't live in a city. I live in the country - its 35miles to work for me so obviously a gwizz wouldn't work. Byt this car has a better range so thats good. Plus this looks like it has better safety features whereas the Gwzz website say they don't recommend driving on motorways.

But I think there need to be more "juice" points outside of London. What happens if you haven't got enough electricity to get back home.....the gov could encourage people more by providing points at service stations, etc.

FioFio Tue 22-Jul-08 14:32:50

Message withdrawn

Mmmmmm £140 a month "mobility pack" charge to cover the battery is expensive. I don't pay that in petrol a month.

Wolfgirl Tue 22-Jul-08 14:57:00

whooHooo, some replies grin

yes, there is a lot to consider i.e max mileage on one bat.pack; cost of battery, cost of car, standard features...

and oh purleaazzeee.... lets not forget colour!

What I'd like to know, is that the ones advertised in the article above, come in self-coloured plastic - would it fade in the sun?

Other than the odd question here an there... I think it looks fab. Initial cost could prove a prob, so would have to sell myself to get the dosh wink

Wolfgirl Tue 22-Jul-08 15:03:20

Picture here...

AuntieBranflake Wed 23-Jul-08 12:45:46

I'd consider a hybrid - just so you've got the petrol backup/oomph when you need it.

My dad has just bought a hybrid, it doesn't have a battery, it charges itself under braking. He says it's great - only 1p per mile in fuel!!

Sadly I can't afford the high initial cost sad, otherwise i'd get one.

Fennel Wed 23-Jul-08 12:50:27

I would like one but I can't see it would work for us, we don't drive in a city much, or commute. Much of our driving is for things like windsurfing or sailing trips, or camping. Or long trips across the UK to relatives who don't live near train stations. I don't think electric cars work for these sorts of things.

our car does run on 100% chip fat though so at least is not fossil fuelled.

RubberDuck Wed 23-Jul-08 12:55:19

Yes, we've researched exhaustively to try and find an EV that we could use. Unfortunately, dh's workplace is a 35mile journey each way, so really we need a 100mile range on a single charge (to allow for battery range to drop off as it gets older).

Also there are a fair amount of hidden charges for servicing/replacing battery (a huge part of the initial cost) etc which isn't usually taken into account for the pence per mile costings that you see in the headlines.

All that said, the second and affordable 100mile range 70mph EV came out we'd be buying it asap.

On the flippant side of things, personally, I want a Tesla grin

RubberDuck Wed 23-Jul-08 12:56:11

Wouldn't want a hybrid - in practise they're the worst of all worlds.

cazzybabs Wed 23-Jul-08 12:56:50

I wouuld love a hybid thaat is a 7 seater.

RubberDuck Wed 23-Jul-08 13:04:03

The other thing to bear in mind is that many of the EVs are not actually legally counted as cars, but are quadricycles (as mentioned in that article). Think City may appear a bit sneering by saying that, but it's actually a major issue - quadricycles are not subject to the same safety standards cars are and you may not fare well in a crash.

Wolfgirl Wed 23-Jul-08 15:09:33

rubberduck - did you take a look a the THINK range of electric cars. They are launching a new product with a max of 126 miles in one battery charge.

I guess like anything, it is the initial layout.... and of course where do you re-charge- at home? garage forecourts? most batteries take min. 4 hours to recharge. So unless you carry a spare it could prove a prob.

For us as a family, it is something we are very much considering. Not for a few years as we have to let our current car run itself into the ground first sad. But it is petrol and very old, and eats petrol big time. It costs a fortune to run, so maybe we would have to find a low cost loan or 0% finance in the hope that it would pay for itself in the long run.

Yes, I like the idea of EV's, I do hope they take off. Maybe the government should inject a bit of cash our way - encourage us to buy them, like a grant or something. Ooooh I feel another debate/discussion coming on! LOL

Wolfgirl Wed 23-Jul-08 15:13:17

Also my personal opionion, is that ordinary households / families will not pioneer these vehicles, becasue of some of the issues we have already discussed. But also becasue Price will be a big factor. We know from experience that any knew gadget/toy released en masse is always always very expensive. Only years down the line once the patent outlay has been covered, will the price be lowered, ergo only the rich will buy them. Folk like me, will have to wait.

Unless like I say, the government coughs up. And Im happy to see GB pushing the cause forward at a recent convention.

wilbur Wed 23-Jul-08 15:24:42

I would love a gwhizz - it would suit us well given what we mostly use a car for and we live in London so rarely drive that far or that fast. We even test drove one and it was a real laugh. Am saving up...

Wolfgirl Wed 23-Jul-08 16:04:02

wilbur what kinda bucks we looking at?

Wolfgirl Wed 23-Jul-08 16:06:21

just found site

Mmmmm.... they are very small, no good for a mummy and her cubs!

amicissima Wed 23-Jul-08 16:12:32

The trouble with electric cars from the 'green' POV is that the electricity has to be produced somehow. It's very inefficient to transport electricity - a lot is lost between the power station and your electric socket, so travelling x miles in an electric vehicle uses a lot more power than it appears. A small, economical petrol vehicle could well use less fuel per mile. (The calories in petrol will be the same in your car as when it left the refinery, and provided you don't keep the tank too full, the cost of driving the petrol in your car is fairly small.)

Another thing about electricity is that it doesn't really store well, so if you don't use the car for a few days it will gradually lose some of the charge, whereas the petrol will sit in a closed tank maintaining its power until you need it. To be really economical you would have to charge the car for as close to the exact mileage as possible just before you want to use it.

moosemama Wed 23-Jul-08 16:14:22

Just a thought.

There was a programme on about these cars last week (afraid preggy brain won't let me remember what it was called).

They tested several and found the downsides to be, restricted range, lack of space and they are not a safe structurally as a 'normal' car. Apparently they are not classed in the same way and so can circumvent some of the safety regulations.

Maybe worth checking out the safety thing if you are considering using the car to carry LO's.

RubberDuck Wed 23-Jul-08 16:34:21

Am certainly keeping an eye on the THINK city - the fact it is small isn't really an issue for us (we'd use it purely for dh - our mileage with kids is usually for rare local journeys and for towing which an EV wouldn't be appropriate for anyway). I'd want to know the servicing small print though (one we looked at had horrendous yearly costs due to battery servicing - can't remember which it was now).

Another option we're looking at is a scooter/low powered motorbike which give around 100mpg, but still twitchy about the safety side of things, especially for a long daily journey.

Our electric is through a green provider which guarantee that they'll generate the equivalent amount you use via renewable sources, so I think that side of things is fairly reasonable. The specialist batteries need to be more mainstream in manufacture though as currently there is a huge footprint created in that process and transport.

RubberDuck Wed 23-Jul-08 16:40:04

See again, their website is talking about a 200 EURO a month service package to include battery service, and car insurance - that doesn't strike me as particularly cheap, but may be optional. What worries me though is how often batteries will need to be serviced/replaced and how much the range will reduce as the batteries get older.

It does look the EV with the most potential though and most likely to meet our needs - will have to see if it's remotely feasible to buy the car in London - get it to West Midlands (in two stages?!) and then take it to London for regular servicing. If they open it up to more cities in the UK then it might be more realistic.

Ambi Wed 23-Jul-08 16:45:59

i love this car If we had monney...

I would if (Mummy POV) it had enough room for a family, ie. focus sized, and did at least 70mph for motorway driving.

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