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back to article Start-up Bee pledges 'affordable' British e-car

Reg Hardware can bring you exclusive details and images of what could become the UK's most affordable e-car. Bee Bee.One Bee's Bee.One: four-seater EV for seven grand, anyone? The four-seat, five-door Bee.One from British e-car start up Bee is scheduled to go into production in 2011 with a target price of £12,000 ($17,700/€13 …

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Happy

Sweet

However, as I can't wait that long, I will have to purchase my Masarati now.

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Hmmm

Well I'd hate to piss on anyone's parade, but when was the last time this country produced any piece of high tech that could compete with the Japanese, Americans and Germans?

I'd love to think Britain was going to be a leader in this trade, but I still remember how breathless journos told us that we were going to lead the world in aviation, rail, pharmaceuticals, GM, computers, space... but somehow we ended up selling cheap Korean phones and insurance to one another to make things meet.

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But...

How the hell are we supposed to charge it. None of these manufacturers seem to want to answer this. We don't all live in houses with driveways or garages. Anyone who has to rely on on street parking is totally fucked by all the electric car manufacturers.

Or are we going to have "Electricity" floats which deliver a freshly charged battery or two to our door step every morning.

And unless the electricity comes from a wind turbine or other such source its not pollution free at all.

Why doesn't someone ever take these two important points up with the car manufacturers instead of just swallowing their marketing guff and hype totally?

Oh and its pig ugly as well

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Too Ugly

Plus, buying a second car, purely for local use, will have an overall impact far higher than simply using my existing car.

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Great idea

Excellent to see this kind of creativity.

I hope they get this running and it's a complete success.

About time we started making things again in this country.

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Nice but...

It's nice to see some UK initiative in this area and good luck to 'em. Living and driving in London, though, I would rather the it reflected the design principles of the fairground dodgem. Whoever thought of painted plastic bumpers really needs to be sent to the back of the class. As for the companies that will only sell you a complete wing mirror assembly when only your glass is cracked...

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Alert

Fucking Brilliant..

I can have a £40,000+ electric car or a frigging £7000 souped up invalid mobile..

When will we get a mainstream product?!?! you know something that fits the average car criteria?! normal comfort normal accessories and a normal price?

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12,000 cars a year - hardly conservative

Compared with other niche vehicles, 12,000 cars a year is a lot of cars and would require a huge investment in production facilities. Add in crash testing, meeting regulations and other development work, and the price looks optimistic at best. Unless they are partnering with an existing manufacturer, this sounds a little like a theoretical exercise rather than a commitment to build.

It seems that with motors and batteries becoming off the shelf items, many back shed operations are assuming that the bits that go in between can be developed at minimal costs to production standards. That's not to denigrate this company, but with so few concrete details in the article it's difficult to assume otherwise.

Good luck to them though.

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Happy

... and pedestrian awareness system?

I do hope that Bee sounds are provided by Lotus!

BUZZ BUZZ bhuzzzzzz!

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Put me right off

"In the interests of weight and cost, the One will forsake a conventional in-car entertainment system in favour of an iPod dock which Bee sees as being more than adequate for most drivers ICE and navigation needs."

Because we all have an iPod. No-one could possibly own anything else. iAudio, Creative, Microsoft, River - none of these companies apparently exist. And God forbid we want to play a CD.

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Anonymous Coward

Startup Bee

Has lovely* Sarah branched out?

*that should get it through moderation

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Gates Horns

Insurance? ?

Just imagine how much fun it's going to be trying to get insurance for one of these e-cars.

Wonder what the OS will be...

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Why can't they make them look normal!?

Is there actually a reason why most leccy cars look so peculiar?

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HiPa drive???

"The BRM Bee Four ERV will use four in-wheel electric motors developed at Oxford University to generate 520kW (700bhp) and will have a top speed of 250mph."

Almost undoubtedly the HiPa drive system from PML/Electric Motor Works...

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Nice

I'll take one.

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Promising startup claims to have mastered Lightwave

A promising startup, yesterday unveiled their latest designs for yet another e-car, which, they claim, reflects the ground-breaking research they have been carrying out into Lightwave's 'extrude-rectangles', and 'add-bevels' features. The firm claims that the new design is revolutionary, in having several door units whose rotation planes are actually centred on their 'hinge' extrusions, rather than having to be extacted, rotated manually, and then bodged back into position.

The company aims to follow this early success, with a logo, sometime in the summer, once they have worked out the final nuances of solid metalic reflections and specular lighting.

More ambitiously, the startup also aims to produce a dangerous and uncomfortable roadster - which, they claim, will offer an unparalleled level of performance, coupled with handling, so vague and impreceise that it will, in the words of their marketing director "Revolutionise people's perceptions of electric performance vehicles, in the same way that 1970s tripple cylinder Kawasakis changed people's notions about the life-expectancy of motorcylists". They hope to achieve this by making virtually the entire mass of the vehicle unsprung, and simply sticking a large settee, in the middle, slung between two big rubber bands. An artist's impression of the ambitious performance car would be available to the press once some final teething problems involving an inverted reflection plane and some pesky internal widdow-vertices, that kept crashing the renderer, had been resolved.

The company is now seeking venture capital funding, in order to buy a second Dell Inspiron, which will, they hope, reduce rendering times to under ten hours.

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Hurrah!

A sensible price!

A good punt at rage and performance!

A half-decent stab at styling (if a bit too Ford Fusion)!

Swappable power packs!

Has this bloke been reading my posts droning on about all the above for the last twelve months or something?

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Carbon cost?

What is the carbon cost of the vehicle? The metal for the batteries is probably mined in South America where they had to deforest to set up the open cast mining operation. The ore is then shipped half way round the world to china for processing into batteries before being shipped the other half way round the world to the UK where they are charged on electricity from a coal power station and then only last for 3 years before having to be replaced!

Current generation electric cars suck. They are in no-way environmentally friendly.

Try to take public transport for one journey a week. Try to walk or use a bike for short journeys you might otherwise use your car. Service your car regularly. Check the tire pressures every time you fill up with fuel. Shop for groceries on line once a month. MUCH better for the environment ideas than getting an electric car.

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Go

sweet

If they can bring it in at the proposed price point, I can see them shifting a fair amount. Some very good ideas in there too. Especially the battery changing one.

Don't like ipods though, so hopefully they'll have a universal connector or something.

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M7S
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If it does what it says on the tin

I'll buy one at that price. I might even look at PV panels on the garage roof to make it more eco-friendly

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Tom
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wahey

so with the 5k grant for an electric car and the 2k trade in on my 1992 rocket I can get an electric car for nowt!!

Oh hang on I'm 6'5" so I guess I could carry it in my pocket.....

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Interesting.

Id say thats an interesting concept, but add 20% to the cost of that, just because manufacturers are always over optimistic.

But with these electric cars coming to market soon, all they need to do is get someone to invent a way for people who don't have driveways to charge their car on the street, without the owner being sued for creating a trip hazard.

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Linux

Oooh will it be powered by fairy dust?

and run on pure moonshine too?

Call me when it actually exists. I'll be waiting for my Hover car to take me to Boris Island Airport where I'll be getting the 10:03 HOTOL plane to Australia for Lunch. Can't miss me I'll be wearing a Bacofoil suit.

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See also: Bee Four

As reported in the Torygraph in January, in an article which also briefly mentions the Bee.One.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/environment/4308084/Electric-car-to-compete-in-British-Hillclimb-Championship.html

Not sure how unique the "motor per driven wheel" concept is; anyone who'd read (or maybe written) El Reg's EV coverage would know it's been done before.

Is Lord "Two Resignations" Mandelscum going to be as helpful to this outfit as he has(n't) been with LDV's electric vans?

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WTF is that thing?

Fugly little spud ain't it?

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100 miles at 80MPH?

Add in some battery replacing stations, and (depending on swap costs, needs to beat petrol on price!) you might have yourself a decent runner there....

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viable concept?

Two of the reasons I'd not consider an electric car yet are range and charge-time.

With removeable battery backs like this, it could pretty much address those issues. Granted, you're still looking at 1/2 the range of an ICE powered car, but being able to carry a spare, charged cell and swap it quickly, as well as being able to swap out cells at "petrol stations" would pretty much cure these shortcomings.

It does bring another issue to the fore, however. Should all electric car manufactures settle on a standardised form-factor for power cells, such that they are common to all makes? And how does Bee and the like plan on encouraging fuelling stations to start accepting stocks of cells, when it's taking money away from their main business of selling fossil fuels?

it'll be interesting to see how this develops.

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Getting better

100 miles @ 80mph, swappable batteries and seperate motors.

Now we need a small diesel motor to replace one of the batteries (if/when needed) for longer trips or too long in the traffic queues.

Regenerative braking,

Also induction charging would be good (at home and at traffic lights) and motors in each wheel, for those slippery situations.

Now - does it have aircon?

ttfn

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Go

I was a bit caustic ...

... about the product line (typical UK lack of ambition, why aim for the skies when .... sort of stuff) but 250 mph in less than 5 seconds? Sounds like another win for the UK.

Good on yer folks!

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very green

Lovely, now where exactly is the electricity to power all these electric cars coming from again? I was under the impression we faced a power generation shortfall as it is. I'm also unimpressed by the green credentials of this; maybe not having a second car as a local runabout at all might be a tad more environmentally friendly?

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Paris Hilton

How much weight will that save?

'In the interests of weight and cost, the One will forsake a conventional in-car entertainment system in favour of an iPod dock which Bee sees as being more than adequate for most drivers ICE and navigation needs'

You'll still need amp and speakers. Or do we share a set of headphones? Then we'll get fined by the new roadside cameras designed to catch us out/keep us safe.

Plus I wouldn't want to rely on my iPhone as a sat nav. It's not accurate or fast enough.

Ian

Paris - because she knows all about being caught on camera

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april fools...late?

surely?

if not, can someone please inform us how much these things cost to charge up every other night? how much is a service, how much is tax? how much is insurance? do i have to have a wire from my house to the car running across my drive for the local chav to pull out?

they all sound great in the sales blurb, but we need hard running costs please...

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Assumptions ..

Assuming that they start cranking these out by 2011 and that the price holds true and that the government subsidy actually arrives (and without onerous T&Cs) ... then I would be in the market for one to replace a (by then) 15 year old ford fiesta as my 4-person carrying "occasional" second car.

Its good to hear they are thinking about the whole lifecycle of the car and could get good revenue from getting involved in the charging and maintence bits .. maybe also bringing down the upfront cost !

Being an English pessimist though I think these are widely big assumptions and that I will have to end up with a second-hand petrol/diesel tank with 4 wheels instead 8-(

Now if Smart had a commerical leccy car (at a reasonable price) and an option to have room for 3 people then I'd upgrade my fortwo instead 8-)

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Happy

Batteries? Just gimme hydrogen fuel cell

Car will still run on electricity but have much better range.

All refilling stations will need is a power supply and some water (in theory). Apparently working fine in Florida according to Top Gear.

What's all this blx about batteries?

It's so ... 1950's...

Actually didn't U-Boats use them?

1940's...

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Coat

Congratulations

Congratulations Sarah, got fed up of the mods job I see

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Any chance of marketing this in the U.S.?

It looks lovable. For cities (at least NYC), it would need an extra set of battery packs for charging, as one does not park near one's house, generally.

It would be very popular with teachers, who travel to odd places where their schools are located, rather than to downtowns. Likewise, nurses.

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Anonymous Coward

erm...

Why does it need to look like Kryton's face?? Does that just satisfy the marketing department's 'futuristic' criterion, or is it something more deeply ingrained in the psyche of the designer.

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Green Solution

That would be all well and good if electric cars had any proven environmental benefit. A recent study (published in the Torygraph) showed that electric cars are in fact considerably less efficient than diesels: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenertransport/5176216/Environmental-benefits-of-electric-cars-dismissed-as-fiction.html

Switching to electric cars doesn't help unless the electricity also comes from environmentally friendlier sources.

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uh-oh

"3G cellular network that will allow updates to the car's management system software to be downloaded"

Will the AA cover me for a bad update causing a blue screen crash on the A1?

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E-car subsidy??

Surely the proposed £5000 subsidy is for scrapping your old, old, car and replacing it with with an 'eco-friendly' leccy one.

How does that accord with the statement in the article "Designed primarily as a second car, the One will be pitched at buyers who want a 'leccy vehicle for local use rather than as a replacement for the family motor."

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great , just what is required.

Very nice indeed . What power system will the vehicle need to be connected to if we were to do a home charge - I presume that will be possible . I am trying to understand what running costs are involved . I'd also get the Top Gear guys to give it a go as an 80 MPH car isn't bad at all. I wonder if buying a small wind turbine for the house would then solve any charging issues .

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Anonymous Coward

Electric Car

Anybody spot the irony of an electric car without a stereo?

Finally, a car for the hard working families of the USSR - sorry, I mean Britain...

Built in masses by the people for the people. I guess we need something to keep the enconomy going round.

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More Like It

This is more like it. A 'leccy car that's (1) not a stupid price, and (2) looks reasonably normal.

I'm just worried about exactly how much information will be 'sent back' through the 3G link. All that's required is distance and time for the black 'copters to send out speeding tickets left, right and centre for those occasions when you have to overtake an artic in a 40 limit.

Other than that, I like it.

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Sign me up!

80 mph, 200 miles of electric goodness?

If the full charge takes less than 8 hours, and for 7 grand, just tell me where I sign up to get one! :)

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iPod dock.

So, unless I buy an iPod, I won't be able to listen to the Archers?

Or is this another definition of iPod dock I don't know about?

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vaporware?

I'd be impressed if they get that range, that speed, that pricepoint and that look all sorted. If they do then I would definitely be wanting one for my commute. It's 8 miles of motorway and this little beaut could do more or less a week on a charge. Me and the bird only need one sensible car between us.

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@ Gerard Kupra

That Torygraph article is based on "data" from Transport Watch which is nothing more than the rantings of one Paul F Withrington who thinks the country's transport problems can be solved by tarmacing over its rail lines and using them for trucks and buses. Why the Telegraph ran a major article based solely on that loon's ramblings is beyond me - he is one step up from standing outside a tube station with a sandwich board proclaiming "Trains Are Evil!"

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@ Mike Wharton

Mike, the in-wheel motors used in the BRM racing car are not supplied by PML Flighlink. And Bee are not claiming that they are unique - its the twin motor set up in the Bee.One they say is unique.

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swapable battry

looks a good idar you can have 2 and charge them in home and if you leave you car on the street and take the battry out no bugger can nick it it is the idal security system

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Heart

Hello

I designed it in my lunch break in Google 3D Sketchup.

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