More Electric Vehicles

Thursday, 24 April 2014

My interest in electric vehicles continues. I’ve recently tried the Tesla Model S in London and back in 2011 I spent a couple of days charging around the Swiss Alps (well discharging actually) in a Tesla Roadster. I’ve also owned a Prius (it’s electric for short spells at least) for nearly six years and had a couple of days in a Vauxhall Ampera (aka Holden Volt, Chevrolet Volt, etc). That can be purely electric for a bit longer spells than a Prius.

IMG_0491 - BMW i3 271Now I’ve tried the BMW i3, just a lap of Hyde Park in London, but it’s another interesting factor in the equation and it may be the next car I buy. I just wish the range was a bit longer and the reason it isn’t is plain to see. Here’s the battery size of assorted electric cars in descending order: Tesla Model S 60-85kWh, Tesla Roadster 56kWh, Nissan Leaf 24kWh, BMW i3 18kWh, GM Volt/Ampera 16kWh, Toyota Prius 4.4kWh (earlier ones 1.4kWh?). So it’s really a pretty dinky small battery, the reason it goes as far as it does must be down to how hard BMW have worked to keep the car weight down.

IMG_0477 - Elf bike 542I’m interested in other electric vehicles too. On my last visit to China I commented on the proliferation of electric scooters and pondered why they weren’t being exported all over the world. Then in Durham, North Carolina a couple of weeks ago (I was there for the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival) I spotted ELF electric bicycles. They’re made in Durham and you can ride away (pedalling or propelled by the 600 watt electric motor) for US$5495. I even managed to speak to a happy owner. It does occupy rather a lot of ground space for a bicycle.