Autocar looks at today's line-up of electric cars
9 October 2009

Autocar recently gathered four key electric vehicles at the Longcross test track to assess where we are and where we are going with zero-emissions vehicles, and here is the hi-res gallery.

World-class engineer Richard Parry-Jones, who was until recently Ford’s global product development boss, was on hand to provide some intellectual rigour.

Read our electric car group test here

See the hi-res electric car comparison picture gallery

The Reva G-Wiz was the smallest vehicle, with a quoted range of 48 miles and a top speed of just over 50mph. The Smart ForTwo ED has a 41bhp motor and lithium-ion battery give it a top speed of 62mph and a range of 70 miles.

The Citroen C1 Ev’ie was launched a couple of months ago. It has a 40bhp motor, a 60mph top speed and a range of 60 miles. The biggest car in the pack is the Mitsubishi iMiEV, with a 63bhp motor that will take to a top speed of 80mph.

The test found that all cars were very different, with vastly contrasting approaches to electric vehicles.

Parry-Jones explained what the future holds for electric cars: “Some manufacturers will have an electric option on each model in their range by 2015 and all of them will do by 2020. But it won’t be until 2025 that electric cars will be mainstream.”

However the biggest obstacle will be price. “Unless there’s a huge technical breakthrough - and many bright people are working on it - even in 2020 the battery packs will be £5000 each.”

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Comments
7

9 October 2009

It would be better if this piece ended with the words: "This article will be published in the next issue of Autocar". What we see here has so little substance to it that it doesn't stand up in its own right.

9 October 2009

Parry-Jones speaks sense. Compare his speaking plain truths to the Everl battery man's fairy tales, promoted by Chas Hallet last week.

Fully electric cars are still essentially jumped-up milk floats - exorbitantly expensive ones, with their pc laptop batteries. Unless there is a step-change in energy density and reduction in price this motive force ain't going nowhere. Battery breakthroughs have been promised for over 30 years, from the days of Lucas' bedford van electric vehicle(Choride's battery), promoted by the Duke of Edinburgh. They are a complete non-starter with cash-strapped punters, wanting £10-£15k transport at most, not £25k and upwards. Governments no longer have the money to subsidise millions of purchases at £5k a pop and the whole CO2 induced man-made global warming mullarkey is unravelling faster than than the global temp is plummeting. Well done Mr Parry-Jones, a proper engineer, not a snakeoil salesman.

412

9 October 2009

Why do you always trumpet one about how good electric and hybrid vehicles are? When they are infaact a poor compromise - as demonstrated in the article above

Do you all know how much processing is needed to mine, refine, produce and process the battery materials? And then to re-process once the battery has been depleted. Creation of the 'power network' will also be costly. the Carbon overhead will be moved from vehicle to power station and we all know the government have been slow to organise replacement power station so we will/might suffer extra blackouts with the extra load of charging 500,000 battery cars.

With Hydrogen power, car manufacturers will not need to come up with expensive new designs for engines, cars won't weigh the same as a small lorry with the internal space of a thimble, families will be able to go on holiday in the car with luggage and travel more than 100 miles between charges.

To me, it's a no brainer.

9 October 2009

Autocar always quotes the "range" of these cars - to my mind there is a difference between range and distance travelled. Assuming you want to get home, a car that can travel 60 miles on a charge has a range of 30 miles.

And as for the recent magazine (16Sep09) quote that the Audi e-tron "...claims an impressive range of 154 miles" - are you sure that's not 153.78?

9 October 2009

But by then I guess most diesels will do about 100 mpg anyway - possibly even petrol cars - we are after all talking about 20 years in the future!

Wouldn't want to be behind an electric car when it runs out of juice!

9 October 2009

EV's = FAIL. Hydrogen, e85, e100 Bio-Diesel and even e95 (ethanol with a 5% diesel blend). Why pay $5000 for a battery with a half-life of 12months. Don't tell me that newer batteries are so much more efficient.

9 October 2009

Can someone explain to me how you defrost the windscreens and keep warm on your wintery 10 mile commute to work?

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