I might see if anything more impressive beats it to market.
CES 2012 Week The Model S – Tesla's new electric five-door family hatch – will arrive in the UK with the steering wheel in the correct place early in 2013. Tesla Model S family e-car Deliveries to US customers will begin in April 2012, but the first 12 months' production run of 5000 cars is already sold out, Tesla said. …
Looks kind of like a cross between a modern Jag and Mondeo, with a Maserati-style front grille. Quite pretty, and seems like they're improving the range. Although with price translation what it is, I reckon you won't get much change out of £40k if you want an increased range when it arrives here, even with the government discount (if they haven't cut it by then).
Also, surely those back boot seats are a safety concern? Looking at the shape of the boot, the heads of passengers sat in there look like they'd be VERY close to the back window, facing it. I wouldn't like to be driving round with kids sat there. They'd get a great view of any car rear-ending you.
Yes, there are some things that are wrong on this - I prefer controls that I don't have to look at as I drive along, and I wouldn't want to put anyone I particularly cared about in those rear-facers (though it's hardly a new idea).
However, they've got the most important stuff right - it's practical, looks good without being self-consciously futuristic and - by far most importantly - has swappable batteries.
I don't think a £40k price tag is too much of a problem either, if the fit and finish are up to snuff. A car of this size can wear this sort of price tag much more comfortably than the likes of the Leaf (Jag don't seem to struggle shifting XFs, for example), and it shouldn't suffer the murderous depreciation of a car with a fixed limited-life battery pack.
The car I drive at the moment cost it's first owner over £65k (~$100k) when it was new, before I picked it up four years later for a third of that.
IF they can hit their target dates and IF there's a feasible battery swapping infrastructure being set up, I could seriously see myself in one of these in 3-4 years time.
Not perfect, but comfortably the best attempt I've seen at a pure EV so far.
"I don't think a £40k price tag is too much of a problem either, if the fit and finish are up to snuff"
And looking at the photos in this article, that's a fairly big if IMO. Aside from the in-yer-face visual impact of that touchscreen, the overall look of the interior doesn't sit quite right in my eyes - reminds me a bit of some other American cars that try to ape the European luxury manufacturers but despite using the same sort of materials and the same basic styling cues still end up just looking a bit cheap and a bit nasty. You mention Jaguar having no difficulty shifting XFs at that price tag, but I think if the XF cabin looked like this then things might well be different.
Oh yes, and if that bright yellow/red industrial emergency stop button between the front seats isn't just there for prototyping/debugging purposes, then say goodbye to even more looks-driven sales.
I don't disagree at all - the interior in the shots does look fairly shonky from the photos. I'm willing to believe that the show car is a pre-production prototype and this may be fixed, or that the photos are unflattering, until it's shown otherwise though.
Having said that, the Americans have pretty poor form on interiors, so this may be what they're planning on putting into production. If so, they probably need to get someone in from VAG to rework it, sharpish.
The more I think of it, the more that big screen seems daft. Surely conventional controls and gauges draw less juice?
A great idea, but it depends on how swappable they are, how expensive they are, and if they can be charged while not in the car. If the answers to these questions are "as easily as your mobile phone battery", "less than £1000" and "yes", then there would be a lot of mileage (excuse pun) in keeping a couple of spares charged at home and packing them into the car when you need to make extra-long trips.
As with cars you have the Urban cycle etc elec cars also should come with a range.
The "Real world" measurement.
At least 10% up & downhill
25% start stop
50% of jouney in rain, night and cold weather (so heaters, wipers and lights are on).
As most motorists know its winter that tends to kill batteries on normal cars, so lets see the effect on leccy cars.
That said, at least this is getting there.
So how much for the "300" mile option?
A one square metre solar panel will give you roughly 100W if you park it in the sun. So to charge your 85KWh battery would take about a solid month of sunshine - ie, a whole year if you live in the UK :-) If you're lucky a full day of sunshine might get you to the end of the street, assuming that 17" panel doesn't draw more than 100W of course.
How many times have we seen truly scary video clips of laptop batteries turning into a fireball? Scale this up to the ones in these electric cars and I'm not sure I'd want to be paying a small fortune for what could be a WMD. I have no idea what safety is in place so it's a genuine question.
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