January 2, 2008 UK electric vehicle retailer GoinGreen has announced the release of the latest incarnation of its G-Wiz range. Known as G-Wiz i, the emission free electric vehicle (EV) that has a certified top speed of 50mph, a range of up to 48 miles per charge and improved acceleration to 30mph. Extra torque enables the G-Wiz i to easily keep up with city traffic and to cope with hills, but the most attractive feature is sure to be running costs with the fuel bill for a year’s electricity costing less than the price of a tank of petrol.
The G-Wiz i is the successor to the G-Wiz dc drive released in May 2004 and the G-Wiz ac drive introduced in June 2006 and it introduces a range of improvements based on customer feedback to GoinGreen and Reva Electric Car Company (RECC), the manufacturer of the vehicle. Working with Lotus Engineering, RECC has introduced a new safety package to the G-Wiz i, which includes front and side impact protection, a strengthened space frame, a collapsible steering column, a hill rolling restraint feature and new front disc brakes that deliver a 30% improvement in braking performance.
The G-Wiz batteries are a "wet" lead acid type with an expected average lifetime of two to three years. A replacement pack of 8 batteries costs £1,595 and the G-Wiz i is also upgradeable to high-performance lithium-ion batteries, which are designed to increase range significantly. Fully charging the G-Wiz batteries from mains power takes 8 hours, uses 9.6kWh of electricity and costs about 50p (approx US$1), while 80% charging capacity is reached within 2.5 hours.
The G-Wiz is billed as the greenest commercially available vehicle in Britain, both in terms of climate gas emissions and local air pollution. GoinGreen claims the G-Wiz i has zero emissions if charged with electricity from a 100% renewable supplier and CO2 emissions of 64g CO2/km if charged with electricity from a supplier representing the average mix of electricity production in the UK. This is two-thirds less than the UK car average of 176 CO2/km and around 40g CO2/km less than the Toyota Prius.
The G-Wiz i’s fully recyclable body is color-impregnated with standard colors including marine blue, lightning silver or deep black. A range of extras is available including a DAB radio/CD with MP3 player input and climate control seats. It comes with a two-year warranty, one-year roadside recovery and is exempt from the London congestion charge. And did we mention that the fuel bill for a year’s worth of electricity for the G-Wiz i will cost less than the price of a tank of petrol - around £40-50!
GoinGreen says that before they entered the market an electric vehicle typically cost twice as much as one with an internal combustion engine. The company has now reduced the purchase price of EV’s by nearly 50% by eliminating many of the traditional industry costs through selling directly to customers with no dealers, no showrooms, no advertising, no brochures and no car salesmen. Instead GoinGreen sells online and utilizes owner demonstrators - G-Wiz owners who take potential customers out in their G-Wiz for test drives with the incentive of a reduction of servicing costs of up to 50% for G-Wiz owners who introduce new customers.
The G-Wiz i starts at £8,895 including VAT (approx. USD$18,200 at the time of publication) and GoinGreen is taking orders now for February 2008 delivery. GoinGreen do not sell G-Wiz outside the UK, but interested readers from outside the UK can visit the Indian based manufacturer RECC for more information. RECC markets the vehicles in Italy, Malta, Sri Lanka, Cyprus & Greece (with test marketing now happening in USA, Norway, Spain and other European countries) and is also developing a “next generation Electric Vehicle” called the REVA-NXG - a two-seater roadster that promises a range of 200 kilometers and a top speed of 120 kmh.