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Brit tuners transform Citroen’s C1 into an EV

Transformer: Electric Car Corporation is switching Citroen's C1 to electric propulsion in the UK.

Electric Car Corp launches UK’s first four-seat all-electric production car

Citroen logo4 May 2009

By TERRY MARTIN

BRITAIN’S Electric Car Corporation (ECC) last week launched a full-electric version of the Citroen C1, which is priced from £16,850 ($A34,270) and stands as the UK’s first four-seater all-electric production car.

Dubbed the C1 ev’ie, the electric vehicle (EV) is a standard C1 that has had its 50kW 1.0-litre internal combustion engine replaced with a 30kW electric motor, which combines with a bank of lithium-ion batteries and associated control electronics.

Battery cells are positioned in place of the fuel tank and alongside the motor and gearbox. The latter is a modified version of the C1’s five-speed manual, which in this application offers a single forward gear (third) and reverse. There is no clutch.

The cabin and luggage compartment are standard, as are most of the instruments and controls – although air-conditioning is unavailable and the fuel gauge is used to show the state of battery charge.

33 center imageTipping the scales at around 900kg, about 100kg heavier than the donor car, the C1 ev’ie is claimed to offer a range of up to 70 miles (113km) when fully charged and a top speed of around 60mph (97km/h). Full recharging can be achieved in six to seven hours from a domestic 240-volt power socket.

The C1 ev’ie is assembled at ECC’s Bedfordshire-based production plant and, according to the company, more than 50 per cent of the value of the car originates from UK assembly. ECC expects to build around 500 units over the next 12 months, rising to between 2000 and 4000 units in 2010, subject to demand and government support.

The latter will be crucial, and ECC is clearly banking on the UK government’s intention to become a “world leader” in electric vehicles.

“We believe this is the first serious alternative to a petrol or diesel car,” said ECC chief executive David Martell. “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. ECC has developed an advanced and sophisticated system, which when coupled with regenerative breaking, can provide the driver with much greater range and better performance.” Citroen UK managing director Xavier Duchemin said: “We are committed to providing greener alternatives for motorists and are delighted to be supplying ECC with C1s for this exciting project.” As previously reported, the British government last month announced a £250 million ($A508.4 million) program to encourage the sale of EVs. From 2011, motorists will save up to £5000 ($A10,170) when they buy an EV as a result of the initiative.

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British EV initiative


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