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MEGA CITY EV Debuts in London

21 July 2006

Megacity
The MEGA CITY

MEGA, part of the AIXAM-MEGA Group, has launched its new electric city car—the MEGA CITY—in collaboration with the NICE (no internal combustion engine) Car Company, at the British International Motor Show. (Earlier post.)

Powered by a 4 kW motor and an 8.2 kWh AGM lead-acid battery pack, the two-seat MEGA CITY has a top speed of more than 40 mph and has a range of up to 50 miles on flat roads at a constant speed, or 38 miles on mixed roads. Recharge time is 8 hours.

The average automobile journey in London is just 4.3 miles in length with typical average speeds of 12 mph, according to NICE. For the occasional longer trip, the NICE Car Company has joined up with Streetcar, the UK’s largest car club, to give NICE Car owners special concessions on pay-as-you-go access to a new Volkswagen Golf at one of over 90 locations in London.

The MEGA CITY is built with an aluminium chassis and occupant safety cell, and is clad in impact-resistant polycarbonate panels. Starting price is £9,995 (US$18,600), including a two-year warranty.

Aixam-Mega produces a lone of MEGA electric utility vehicles, and has production volumes in excess of 12,000 cars per year.

July 21, 2006 in City car, Electric (Battery), Europe | Permalink | Comments (25) | TrackBack (1)

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Comments

Wonderful, a proper EV for sub 20K price tag. Its better than the GM EV1 at 32K.

I guess it should be possible to mount a generator to charge it, so that on a 50 mile recreation trip, after reaching the place, we can start the generator to charge for the return trip.

Hopefully they do a parallel march along with HEV & PHEV.

It's fast enough for the city. I goes far enough for the city. The price is affordable. In a few years you can replace the batteries with hopefully-by-then affordable Li-Poly batteries that would have more range and faster recharge. Now I just need to sell off my kids so our whole family can fit into it.

This would do for me to get back and forth to work, but the maximum speed is a limitation -- I would have to stay off the highway. I would probably not want to dive it 50 miles at these speeds even if a generator were available. Still, it is a good city option.

The sad thing is that generators are really dirty, they are lawn mower engines. Carbureted with no after treatement, many of them still have "L" heads (valves in the block)

So you take your electric car on a trip and use a generator to recharge it.

It takes 8 hrs to recharge, and it is a 8.2 Kwh pack so you need at 8 hrs * ~1.2Kw (need extra to cover losses) running a generator that uses 1 L/hr = 8 liters to go 50 mi on the return trip.

16L/100 Km ~ 18 mpg

Ok so your "green" electric car used in such a manner produces more emissions and uses more gasoline than a true gasoline car, the electric car is smaller and has a lower top speed than a conventional vehicle.

Just because you have a solution that works for one problem does not mean that it works for other problems or is a "good" solution of any of them.

Notice how they give you pay as you go access to a VW Golf ... that solution would be better for long trips, 1 less fuel used, fewer emissions produced, more interior room, quieter (no generator running for 8 hr at 97 dB)
need I go on.

My last vacation included 4000+ mi (6437 KM) of driving
at 65-80 mph, 24+ hrs at a time only stopping for gasoline and food. I averaged over 20 mpg peaking at 23 while hauling several hindered lbs of cargo.

The point is you have to use the correct tool for the task at hand, EV's are not the correct tool for long trips.

A GIANT LEAP - backwards...

One consolation - We'll never see it here in the USA.

Not so far backward. I am sure there is a market in London with the financial incentives for EV's. That is a start, and with the VW Golf option begins to open alternative transport options.

We will never see THIS car in the US, but as this serves as a test-bed, we may see its successor. More options will also force the big automakers to move faster. Even a few lost sales can get their attention. I am pleased to see some legitimate, if not great, EV's being introduced to the market.

There are 3 problems associated with EV.

1. Cost
2. Range
3. Charging

Now the Problem #1 is resolved when it comes below 20 K.
Problem #2 - Range,
A trailer with battery should be available on hire for long range driving (to be fitted into EV).

Problem #3 - Charging.

Only solution is fast charging setup all over the country. If we can set up every 50 miles, then
60 stations (3000 miles from east-west / 50)
*
40 stations (2000 miles from north-south / 50)

2400 stations will be required to begin with.

Both Problems #2 & #3 are difficult. But a smaller country like Britain is ideal to address these issues.

Lucas wrote "A giant leap backwards".

Do you know that SUV sales are going downwards and pretty soon that term will stand for Small Utility Vehicle.

HEV, PHEV & BEV will soon complement each other.

The real solution to long distance driving is the one so openly stressed in the text of the article: Drive a real car, in the event you really need one. If Streetcar club program operates at all like Zipcar, then the reservation and pickup system cuts out all the wasted time of a traditional car-rental outfit. You make a reservation on their automated website or using an automated touch-tone menu system for hour-long blocks of time (takes less than five minutes), the cars are parked in convenient locations throughout the city (you reserve by specific location), and you check them out by tapping an electronic card to the top left corner of the windshield (a computerized gizmo recognizes your ID, realizes you have a reservation, and pops the locks for you by itself). The hourly rates add up, though, so for multiday trips, give up and visit a traditional rental counter. It's not a bad system.

rj- I agree that carrying a generator doesn't seem like a solution for long distance travel and would be an odd thing to do with an electric vehicle but your numbers are off:

You can get a 2.0kW diesel gen-set that consumes about 0.86L/hr and runs at around 80dB. Also why would you need 16L to travel 62.5miles (in your example) if 8L (8hours) gets you 50 miles?

Realistically we are looking at (using your assumed 83.3% efficiency): Just under 5liters to charge the battery pack (5 hours of charge time) for a 50mile range or roughly 38mpg. Still very poor and hardly worthwhile but not at all the picture you attempted to paint.

A genset trailer made with a proper motor and generator would do quite well. Not a lawnmower engine but something more like a 1.3 litre from an otherwised damaged hybrid Civic. Set to the optimum rpm its gonna be quite efficient. That item could even be rented out instead of a whole gas powered car.

too bad this car is in now way set up to haul trailers of any sort.
regardless, the lead-acid batteries are a complete letdown, both in terms of range, charging, and environmental impact.

Firefly's graphite foam batteries would be a nice solution with 1/3 the weight saving close to 400lbs versus the average 8.2kwhr lead acid battery pack.

Lunatic fringe idea: Design electric vehicles with quick swap battery packs. A swap station company would own the batteries and you would pay for the kwh used plus depreciation and profit margin. The stations could be modeled after quick oil change stations except battery swaps could be accomplished in under 1 minute.
The vehicles, battery packs, and swap stations as a system could be more cost effective than the reductionistic approach of trying to perfect each part at high cost.

Patrick;

Is the graphite foam Firefly battery currently available at a competitive price ($$ per Kwh) to standard lead acid?

If Firefly batteries are realy three times lighter and speed could be increased to 90-100 Kmh, this could become a practical commuting car for 'off super highway suburbans' or a second round-about car to take the children to school and Mrs shopping etc.

Definately a step in the right direction.

lensovet understood my comment. This vehicle does not take us forward.

If you want to see something that does, take a look at loremo.com.

So how about turning the lightweight loremo into an EV?

Are you serious.. lead-acid?? I'd pay more for lithium polymers! or at least N-MH. I didn't even know car companies still worked with lead-acid when making EVs.

Harvey- Firefly is still working with a few select companies to get production settled (BAE and another major company which escapes me at this moment). In mass-produced quantities the cost is projected to be close to lead acid. If you look at the "advanced" lead acid batteries required for EV use (standard lead acid cannot provide the necessary current and would die quite quickly in EV use) then the firefly is a bargain (cost per kwh and kwh/kg combined).

Almost there... A top speed of 64 km/h is not enough. I need 90 km/h at least because 30% of my trip to work is spend on the motorway. The range of 80 km is fine.

I am still puzzled that everyone is trying to stuff more power into batteries while little effort seems to go into finding ways to reduce the amount of energy required to move a 70 kg chunk of meat around the place.

http://www.gizmag.com.au/go/5905/ shows that it takes 100 watt of power to drive a vehicle at a speed of 40 km/h. I know that the specially designed bike is no practical solution but this MEGA City EV uses 40 times more energy to do the same job.

Halve the power needs and you double the range or increase the speed (Considering increased wind resistance).

Maybe future EV's should not look like classic cars. After all what is the point of hauling 1000 kg of stuff around just to carry your 70kg worth of payload.

This is a nice car.

Two limitations.

1. Charging. The new generation of batteries can re-charge in about 5 minutes.
2. Price. At 20K it is not cheap when you consider what type of other cars you can buy inclusive of the 200,000 miles fuel.

I would wait to resolve the charging issue as well as the price issue.

Unless price goes to $5k they will never go mainstream.

this car at this price is a disappointment, there were already similar (lead-acid) electric cars around 20 years ago for less money.

At 5-6000 pounds max. it would make sense but at 10k I expect better performance and range than this (therefore more efficient battery technology).

Too slow. I have an 8 mile commute (each way) so I don't need much range. I can take surface streets instead of the interstate too, so I don't need it to go 75mph. But even on the surface streets around here you'd get flattened doing 40. A lot of them have a 45mph limit with traffic flowing between 50 and 60. And given how limited it is compared to a gas car, I can't begin to see paying $18,000+. I have a hard time imagining myself paying even half that price.

From;[email protected]

Oct.31st, 2007

gentlemen

---These web pages below relate to new global concepts and many other ideas also in other web pages where all countries could participate in these Global Systems.
If possible could you forward this to all the Departments of Transportation and Energy.

For more details --- See the following

First
---All the D.O.T.s of all countries must meet at the U.N. Energy Department in New York City and agree on one size and voltage battery and tell all auto makers to conform their vehicles to adapt to them at any battery swap station. Which once the standard is agreed on I could design those stations. See my back ground and work experience in item below.---


---http://globalsys.topcities.com/electriCar.html---
Electric autos with "Quick-Change" battery stations.

---http://globalsys.topcities.com/dualmodemaglev.html---
Global network for very high speed travel in your own vehicle

---http://globalsys.topcities.com/00glblslrnrgsys.html---A Global Solar Energy System Corp. owned by all Countries

---http://globalsys.topcities.com/00index1a.html---
My past experience in design, development, etc. for various corporations

--- http://globalsys.topcities.com/ ---
Jack Marchand's web Page (index)

I hope this can help bring prosperity to all countries.
A New World is coming for all of us to enjoy if we work and share together.It is important for people
of all countries to participate in these new ventures.
Hopefully they can do these things while keeping the "money lenders" out and instead use their own labor, resources, money, and their government support.

Sincerely, Jack Marchand

When analysing pro's and con's on alternative car technologies please ALSO consider the geo-political factor using oil based cars... For example, What is the Irak war about? Why Venezuelan goverment do what they want? OIL my developed countries buddies, OIL.

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