What is it?
Much more than it first appears. This is the Citroen C1 Evie, a pure electric car that has been produced by the British-based Electric Car Corporation. It runs on a 30kw electric engine powered by lithium-ion batteries that are placed where the conventional fuel tank is, and also under the bonnet along with the electric motor. This leaves the interior of the C1 Evie unchanged from a standard Citroen C1, making it the first pure-electric four-seater on sale in the UK.
Energy produced from friction under braking is also stored and used to aid the 60-mile range.
What’s it like?
Simple and effective. The Citroen C1 Evie is almost totally ordinary to drive and better for it. The only disconcerting aspect comes from the automatic braking - the C1 Evie is set up to apply light braking as soon as you take your foot off the accelerator in order to generate the most electricity possible from the regenerative energy system. The sudden loss of speed you get when the car isn’t under load takes some getting used to, but it’s not difficult to incorporate it into normal driving and is said to improve range by up to 15 per cent.
The rest of the driving experience is more familiar. Power is sent through a standard Citroen C1 five-speed manual ’box, which is modified to remain in third gear. But the large amounts of torque available from the electric motor mean that there is no problem with only having one gear ratio – in practice it’s no different to driving a standard automatic.