Expected to cost from around £14,000, the e.Go Life can drive for 80 miles on a single charge and a battery upgrade can extend that to 105 miles
4 July 2017

A new German-built affordable electric city car, the e.Go Life, will be launched in the UK in 2018.

Expected to cost from around £14,000, the Life is powered by a new 48v powertrain developed by Bosch. 

The Life is initially destined for car-sharing schemes, but it will go on general sale at a later date. The standard model can drive for 80 miles on a single charge and a battery upgrade can extend that to 105 miles.

The project started life as a two-plus-two but evolved into a four-seater car with room in the rear seats for two adults. The powertrain is scaleable and can be used to power two-wheeled scooters as well as three and four-wheeled vehicles. The motors and batteries are exactly the same in each case, but whereas a scooter would use one motor and one battery pack, the standard Life uses two motors and six battery packs. 

Judging from a brief ride in the passenger seat of a prototype, the Life feels lively enough for urban, as intended, but not ideal for longer journeys. There’s adequate room in the rear seats for two adults. The motors are quite noisy but engineers say production versions will be much quieter.

Cost is reduced by using simple, compact drive components, some of which are designed for use in other vehicles. Each 10.5kW motor is taken from a 48-volt mild hybrid system giving a total power output of 21kW. The six lithium ion batteries weigh 90kg in total and have a storage capacity of 14.4kWh. Like the motors, each battery contains a built-in electronic control system that reduces the amount of cabling and weight. When completely flat, the batteries can be fully charged by two onboard chargers in around five and a half hours.

The Life can accelerate from 0-31mph in 5.7sec.

Drivers can customise settings and check things such as battery status and predicted range using e.Go's uDrive smartphone app. They can also choose between four different driving modes: Go, Cruise, Boost and Crawl. Go is the basic driving mode, Cruise allows a burst of acceleration then limits performance to steady cruising, Boost gives the highest performance at the expense of range and Crawl limits speed to 2mph for parking manoeuvres.

Bosch board member Markus Heyn believes 48v electric drivetrains are ideal for smaller electric vehicles. “Low voltage 48v systems are safe and easy to recharge but there’s a limit to the size of car they can be used for. A car weighing around 600kg is fine, but 1,000kg would be too much,” he said.

Honda and Hitachi invest £34 million into new electric car company

Our Verdict

Renault Zoe

Bespoke battery-powered supermini aims to advance the EV’s case

Join the debate

Comments
8

4 July 2017
I can't see this being any more successful than the Mahindra E20 and we all know what happened to that

4 July 2017
i think 48v are pointless as too much lost as the current will be high.

The Smart Ev will rip off that things

4 July 2017
I'd rather walk.

4 July 2017
Why do urban city cars look like a cartoon on wheels?
People won't take these cars seriously looking the way they do.

4 July 2017
Why do urban city cars look like a cartoon on wheels?
People won't take these cars seriously looking the way they do.

4 July 2017
Why do urban city cars look like a cartoon on wheels?
People won't take these cars seriously looking the way they do.

5 July 2017
What will get people buying EVs is not just if it's "affordable". It needs to be a viable mainstream alternative to their current crossover/hatchback/whatever. Some sort of tiny, cramped compromise is not the answer, and who would like to be inside one of these with three others if it was involved in a collision with a bus, or a Range Rover? To be fair, this is better looking than many of it's failed forebears, but it's going nowhere.

bol

5 July 2017
Car share meets a specific set of urban needs. This vehicle will meet a lot of those very cheaply and with low local environmental impact. It will bomb as a retail proposition though, just like the Mahindra. Who would buy one over a used Leaf or Zoe?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK