keskiviikko 22. elokuuta 2012

Do want

I took a test drive with Pori Energia's Citroen Z-Cero (same as Peugeot iOn or Mitsubishi i-MiEV) electric car. So it's small, only for four persons, is kind of cheap looking, both inside an outside, and costs over 30.000€, but it's really fun to ride! The continuous, silent torque of the electric motor is just so much fun. We started with 111 km left on the range indicator and the estimate started dropping quite quickly once I hit the highway nearby. When we got off it the meter actually started going upwards as the electricity consumption was re-estimated. In total we drove around for about 50 km and there was over half of the pack capacity left. To be honest I didn't even register what the reading was when were done so there definitely was no range anxiety there.

Obvious reaction is that I'd really like to have one. Problem is it's quite expensive for a small car that could otherwise be had for closer to 10.000 € (Citroen C1 or a Peugeot 107). On the other had if you compare it to a Toyota Yaris, which would be my number one choice for a small car, you'd only end up paying something like 10.000 € more. With electric driving costing about 2 cents on a km and gasoline up to 10 cents per km, you'd only have to drive about 125.000 km to break even. Now that's not too hard to imagine at all. With zero emissions no less! And I have to say the C-Zero felt as nice to drive as a Yaris. Even better actually, because of no shifting and dead silent acceleration. Wind noise was quite loud above 100 km/h, but so it would be in a Yaris as well.

Immediately after that I started thinking about making one myself. You could probably get a running VW Beetle for a couple of thousand euros and a similar electric drivetrain including batteries would be about 15 to 16 thousand. Almost half the price of a C-Zero or an iOn. Of course it wouldn't be a new car, but at least you'd now exactly how it works and how to fix it since you built it yourself. The same couldn't be said of these new electric vehicles. You'd still need to take them to the local dealer for maintenance - no matter how scared the dealers are of electrons destroying that lucrative business.

All in all the car exceeded my expectations in every respect. The Nissan Leaf is usually considered to be a much better car so I wonder how good can it be if the cheap-ish C-Zero was this nice.

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