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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Last Day in London - I Drove This G-Wiz Electric Car

This G-Wiz took me to the train station.

Will was prepping this car for delivery. He offered me the ride to the station.

One of the best things I like about London is the incentives to get people to drive electric cars. Today I drove the most popular production electric car - the G-Wiz by the India Company Reva. In London - the exclusive dealer is in Southall - about 15 miles west of London.

I hopped a train and was there in minutes. I walked the last half mile to their offices and shops. They have sold just over 1000 G-Wiz's in the last 10 years.

The G-Wiz costs 9995 pounds. It goes about 50 miles per hour and has a range of about 40 miles under ideal conditions. In colder weather - the range is cut down a bit. This basic model comes with 8 - 6 volt Trojan batteries. For an extra charge - you can have lithium-ion batteries that cut the weight about 300 pounds and increase the range to 70 miles.

Believe it or not - the car can handle 4 small people. It also has a front trunk for a some luggage and storage. The entire car is warrantied for 2 years - including the batteries.

In order to qualify for the USA NEV (Neighborhood Electric Vehicle) Act - the engine must be governed to only go 25 miles per hour. That is both easy to do and undo :-)

I personally drove the car - and got a longer extended ride back to the train station. Of course it is very quiet - but also very responsive. The fit and finish are not as nice as my Prius - but way nicer than the old Citicar electric from the 1970s.

It has a full set of 4 seats belts (they are not kidding about riding in the back). It has all the lights - turn signals - wipers - horn - mirrors - to get it past the safety laws. Since it is a quadricycle by definition - it does not have to have air bags or crash proof bumpers.

An average amount of miles for a year is about 4000 miles. That would be about 10 miles every day. The thing is just over 8 feet long and just over 4 feet wide. You can easily put two - end to end - in one meter space. A 12 foot long Mini Cooper looks like a giant compared to it.

It has 4 wheel drum brakes - on the newer models - they are offering disk brakes.

According to Philip Maria (0208 574-3232 / - the manager - none have been imported into the USA.

They had a few used cars there selling for around 3000 pounds. I was thinking maybe I could get a deal on a used one with bad batteries - then import it to the USA and buy my own batteries. Battery sets weigh about 500 pounds. The same batteries in the USA power our golf carts and run appliances in motor homes. The cars weigh 1100 pounds so almost have the weight is lead.

It is our last night in London. This little G-Wiz was a great way to end it. We are happy to be going home - but sad to be leaving here.

Hatch back up and seat folded forward.

Wide doors for easy entry and exit.

A guy with this kind of masculinity problem should never be driving a G-Wiz. Do you remember the old ad about being conceived in a Volkswagen?

All the cars were plugged into a 220 volt outlet. It takes a little over 2 hours for an 80% charge. That would get you about 40 miles. There are no quick charge systems for this car. It has rear wheels drive.

In London - the government offers a ton of incentives to drive an electric car. They advertise one penny a mile. Also there are some free charging stations in London.

They made have had 40 cars on the lot. Mostly it was just different colors and graphics.

This is the repair and prep shop.

This is a full set of Trojan batteries 8 x 6 volts = 48 volts.

Can adults fit in the back seat - yes - if you push the front seats forward - you can even put your feet on the floor.

In the front trunk there is room for luggage. Quesiton is - where would you take a suitcase 30 miles?

This one was in downtown London enjoying free parking that is usually very expensive. I talked to a "meter man" as he was giving out tickets. He will only give a G-Wiz a ticket if it is illegally parked - like in a no parking fire zone. He enjoys zapping them then.

Check out the G-Wiz website.

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