It would seem that almost every day; a new high-performance EV, with an uber-long driving range, and ultra-fast charging time hits the market but what about short range simple city EV's?
Arguably, whilst cars from Tesla, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche are all the rage – and rightfully so because they’re spearheading the entire industry – there’s much less emphasis on simple EVs that can solve the everyday mobility challenges of millions of people all over the world.
Not everyone is looking for a million-dollar Taycan that can blow the doors of most internal combustion engine vehicles, but maybe instead a car that is cheap, friendly, and reliable enough to cover the basic necessities of going to work and back, and perhaps to the shops for groceries. The greatest cars ever built have arguably been mass-produced cars that did just this – think Ford Model T, Volkswagen Beetle, Fiat 500 and let’s throw in the Perodua Kancil as well.
Moreover, you’d be happy to know that there are quite a few simple EVs that do just that, and the world needs way more of them if the industry and governments actually want to accelerate EV adoption across the world. Though primarily in Europe and China (two markets that are taking EVs very seriously) for now, here’s to hoping they make it here as well.
Measuring just 2.42 metres in length, the Citroen AMI is a tiny full-electric BEV that is powered by a small 5.5 kWh battery, which is claimed to give it a range of just under 70km. The AMI can easily be charged via the onboard electric cable located in the passenger-side doorway and requires just 3 hours for a full charge on a conventional 220 V socket. The Citroen AMI is powered by a tiny 8hp electric motor that gives it a top speed of 45km/h, plenty for most short city commutes, and weighs in at just 485 kg, batteries included. The AMI can be leased in Europe for just EUR19 (RM93) a month.
In just months after its introduction, the MINI EV has become the bestselling EV in China – proving that cars like these are what most urbanites want. It is offered with either a 9.3kWh or a 13.9kWh battery that returns a range of 120km or 170km respectively. It requires about 9 hours to fully recharge when using a home socket. Powered by a 17PS (85Nm) electric motor driving the rear wheels, the MINI EV is capable of a top speed of 105km/h, plenty of pace for driving around in congested urban cities.
The Microlino 2.0 is part bike, part car and a whole lot of cute. In many ways, it's like the BMW Isetta bubble cars from the 1950s, a front opening door allowing entrance for two passengers and some luggage and can be driven between 125km (8 kWh) and 200km (14.4 kWh) depending on the battery capacity. The Microlino 2.0 is powered by a 15hp, 100Nm motor that enables a top speed of 90km/h – what more could you need for an A to B journey.
The MyKar EV is the closest thing to what could be a Malaysian-made zero-emissions city runabout. Its makers, EV Innovations firmly believe that the solution to EV car ownership lies in offering users a mobility solution that is cost-effective, reliable and simple to maintain to appeal to the Malaysian masses.
The MyKar prototype is actually based on the shell of a Honda Jazz modified to house an EV drivetrain that offers a modest 32hp (or 24kW, 12kW motor on each rear wheel hub) juiced by a 10kWh lithium-ion battery. EV Innovations claims a typical range of 150km on a full charge, though a 16kWh battery would likely bump that up to 200km. EV Innovations have no plans to bring the MyKar to market for now but are more interested in the feasibility and limitations of the technology in real-world applications.
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