Electric Citroën C1 ev'ie arrivesElectric Citroën is on sale now from £16,850
01 May 2009
Citroën has announced an all-electric Citroën C1, developed and built by the UK-based Electric Car Corporation.
It's called the Citroën C1 ev'ie. By replacing the usual petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor and a battery pack, the Electric Car Corporation (ECC) has created a four-seat low-emissions vehicle with a range of 60-70 miles and a top speed of 60mph.
Low running costs
It takes just six to seven hours to recharge the C1 ev'ie from a standard 13-amp domestic plug socket, at a cost of around 90p.
Clearly it won't be much use for longer journeys, but it may offer a compelling, cheap-to-run alternative to a regular city car.
But low running costs are one thing – you still need to be able to afford the asking price. And at £16,850 it is up to £9,055 more expensive than the ordinary Citroën C1. This starts at £7,795 for the entry-level 1.0-litre petrol – a car that already officially returns 62.8mpg and emits just 106g/km of CO2.
However, as far as relatively affordable electric vehicles go, the C1 ev'ie is the most mainstream development to go on sale here yet – not least because it offers all the crash protection of the regular C1. A far cry from the limited protection afforded by 'quadracycles' such as the G-Wiz.
The C1 ev'ie is also a working example of technological leadership in the electric car industry, which the UK government is currently keen to promote. Over 50% of the vehicle's value comes from the UK assembly. ECC plans to sell 500 over the next 12 months, with production rising to as many as 4,000 cars in 2010.
'First serious alternative'
Chief Executive of ECC, David Martell: 'We believe this is the first serious alternative to a petrol or diesel car. It drives just like a petrol car and has excellent capacity for use in any town or city in the UK.
'The key to building a successful electric car is an efficient battery management system (BMS). ECC has developed an advanced and sophisticated system, which when coupled with regenerative braking, can provide the driver with much greater range and better performance.'
Xavier Duchemin, managing director of Citroën UK, has lent his seal of approval: 'We are committed to providing greener alternatives for motorists and are delighted to be supplying ECC with C1s for this exciting project.'
With plans for up to 25,000 new charging stations – 'juice points' – in London, and the government's recent commitment to increasing electric car use throughout the country, the Citroën C1 ev'ie may have arrived at just the right time.
Not to mention the fact buyers may be eligible for a £5,000 grant towards to the cost of an electric car.
Which? Car email
To be kept in the loop on all the manufacturer offers and great car deals we spot each week, sign up for our Which? Car email - delivered to your inbox every Friday, and including all our latest news and first drive reviews, too.