More Electric VehiclesThursday, 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.
Now 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.
I’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.