Small, flexible, light and, to a greater or lesser extent, affordable new zero-emission or reduced-emission electric vehicles will soon be seen in the urban centers.
Two figures are making this year’s difference in the green car market. The first is about the number of vehicles that will immediately test their luck on European roads and the second that most of them are designed for use in the city. Small, flexible, light and, to a greater or lesser extent, accessible are ready to claim their place in urban centers. You see, the daily journeys of an average driver in the city seldom exceed 60 km, so in the case of an electric vehicle, reduced autonomy is no longer a disadvantage, while the advantage of the lowest cost of moving takes another dimension, with the price of gasoline being They are soaring.
Renault does not play …
A typical example of the new “crop” is the Renault Twizy, a small, two-seater, full-equipment (from a navigation system to a parking radar), a 5-horsepower electric motor and will be sold at the end of 2011, compared to € 6,990. The price does not include batteries for which the owner will pay a monthly rent of 45 euros if he does not travel more than 7,500 km per year. This is the scenario we saw in the larger sizes of Fluence ZE and Kangoo ZE, except that rent exceeded 70 euros.
From a technical point of view, lithium batteries offer an autonomy of at least 115 km, and at worst 50, while full charge requires only 31/2 hours of connection to the home network. Its limited dimensions (30 cm more narrow than a city car) ensure a particularly small turning circle (3.4 m) and promise a 25% reduction in city traffic time. The above figures allow the French automaker to declare that it offers a vehicle at the price of a conventional three-wheeled scooter, but with a 15% lower cost of ownership.
The fact that such a vehicle is being promoted by a large manufacturer is a point to be made, as we have seen similar proposals to date from small manufacturers, of course not being able to offer attractive prices and large quantities. However, something seems to be changing in the field of smaller manufacturers …
Four “urban” wheels
Four-wheel smartphone features Modulgo the Induct manufacturer, from France, as environmental friendliness is combined with sophisticated telematics and robotics, while the role of instrument panel and switch plays a mobile phone. It is a three-seater electric vehicle with a length of less than 2.5 m, which is parked not only easily, but also automatically, in specially designed spaces. The driver will leave the vehicle at the entrance to the parking lot and this will be directed to the most appropriate free space: it is estimated that 100 Modulgo will park in the same area where 30 conventional cars were parked. Its weight reaches 520 kilos, its ultimate speed is 110 km / h, while its minimum range is 90 km and maximum 150 km. Also interesting is the fact that Modulgo will feature new technology lithium batteries, initially Lithium-phosphate (LiFePO4) and then the most economical lithium-sulfur, resulting in the unexpected low price of the vehicle, which will be available in the market at the end of 2011, compared to 10,000-12,000 euros.
The French-based Moovile is also characterized by its prime business destination. It is a platform with 5 to 7 kW electric motors, integrated on the wheels, suitable for urban distribution. It offers a payload of 1.8 cubic centimeters, and it combines with other similar platforms, creating small trains. It accepts various types of superstructures (such as the passenger compartment), while the fact that all the wheels turn it gives it flexibility. Sales will begin in 2012, while prices will range from 20,000 to 30,000 euros.
Meanwhile, another French company, specialized in power storage, Bolloré, receives pre-orders for the design by the famous Italian designer Pininfarina, Bluecar. The four-seater car has a length of 3.65 meters, a weight of 1.120 kg, a luggage compartment of 350 liters and lithium-polymer batteries (30 kWh), which provides 150 km of autonomy. The electric motor has a maximum output of 50 kW (68 hp) Speed is limited to 130 km / h. The Bluecar will be built in Turin, while its release is expected in 2011.
The list of city electric vehicles does not stop here. The mia electric, which will be offered not only as a passenger car, but also as a light professional / truck, is expected in September, while Think is available immediately which may not be entirely new, but is re-emerging and testing its fate on the Swiss market. The end-of-the-turn performance of the popular iQ, Toyota EV, shows that the Japanese may have first put their weight on hybrid cars, but do not intend to stay out of the electricity market for a long time.
The child of the city is also the Tilter, which has a passenger compartment and wheels spinning in turns as well as two electric motors (on the rear wheels), which allow it to develop a speed of 110 km / h. The Lithium-Phosphate battery can be easily removed to replace a charged one when it empties, offering up to 120 km of autonomy. A product of French-Turkish cooperation will begin production in Turkey’s Bursa in 2012 to produce 30,000 vehicles. Its price in Europe will be under 12,000 euros, and it can be sold under 10,000 euros and renting the battery to 100 € / month. In the first phase it will be sold in Turkey, France and Germany, while in our country it is expected in 2014.
The current of two-wheelers
The emergence of the Swiss m-way electrification center is also an important news, as we are dealing here, among other things, with a platform for the sale of electric vehicles manufactured by companies that are not yet “networked” in the local market. The zero-pollution vehicles offered by m-way are not just cars but motorcycles and bicycles.
Designed and built in California Zero S, the world’s fastest and lighter electric motorcycle (just 122.5kg) will be sold in Switzerland for 13,000 euros. The Zero S develops a maximum speed of 105 km / h thanks to the 23.5 kW (30 hp) electric motor, while the 4 kWh lithium-ion batteries need less than 4 hours for a full charge and allow it to travel for 60-80 km.
At the other end of the m-way bikes pricelist, we meet the Taiwanese PGO eWave scooter, which costs 3,800 euros and works either with a lead or lithium-ion battery, which allows a maximum range of 40 km. Its weight reaches 115 kilograms, While the wheel-mounted electric motors allow a speed of 45 km / h, which is considered satisfactory for city traffic. There are also several electric bikes available, such as the Dutch Thomus Stromer, which features an 11 Ah lithium-ion battery and a rear-wheel engine. Available in three versions that allow speeds up to 24, 33 and 48 km / h. Prices vary depending on the version and start at 3,100 euros. Note that among the companies that will represent the m-way are the French Bolloré and the Norwegian Think.