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New UK EV Vendor Launches; Stevens Vehicles Ze Line

Zecar
The Zecar.

Stevens Vehicles Ltd., a new UK manufacturer of electric city vehicles, has announced its two current products: the Zecar and the Zevan. Both are equipped with two brushless AC motors delivering 190 Nm (140 lb-ft) of torque, powered by a sealed lead-acid gel battery pack.

Top speed for the Ze vehicles is 56 mph (90 kph), with a range of 56 miles (90 km). Acceleration from 0-40 mph takes 15 seconds. For drivers requiring greater range, Stevens offers a larger battery pack with 50% more range.

Zevan
The Zevan.

The Zecar is short (3m) and tall (1.8m), making it easy to park as well as easy to see, according to the company. The vehicle is built with a steel chassis and safety cage. Stevens says that it has commissioned the government’s Transport Research Laboratory to undertake research to prove that it will keep occupants safe in the toughest crash tests.

The company plans additional variants of the Ze line, including a long wheelbase van, a pickup and a taxi (Zecab). A “stylish leisure car” is also under consideration, a contemporary version of the Cipher concept car, first shown in 1980.

Stevens says that it is exploring the future incorporation of different battery technologies such a s lithium-ion to extend range, as well as options such as a range-extender architecture.

Base price for the Zecar is £15,000 (US$29,800), including VAT.

(A hat-tip to John!)

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Comments

Neil

Good that they're looking into other batteries ... lead-acid just doesn't cut it.

Lad

I would surely like to know what's holding back the Firefly batteries. They could be swamping the market with just this kind of car in mind for their products. Why are they with-holding their products?

Stan Peterson

@Lad,

Could it possibly be that the press releases on which you base your engineering, are simply Firefly Vaporware?

Since you won't entertain such a thought, then it must be a c-o-n-s-p-i-r-a-c-y, of B-i-g O-i-l.

Stan Wellaway

The firm does offer a different battery pack (lithium-ion I think) to those prepared too pay the huge extra cost. But my guess is that that many more people will buy these vehicles with modest lead-acid packs, and the company knows that. They describe themselves as being "at the leading edge, not the bleeding edge".

The proposed business model is interesting. Instead of ramping up production they will offer a franchise-like deal, to those interested in setting up their own duplicate manufacturing/servicing facility in numerous localities. Anyone keen to do that can but a trailerful of everything need to produce and market the vehicles.

Lucas

It's about $25,000 overpriced.

mahonj

It is a shame, but they look awful and as people have pointed out, just don't cut it.

I think that is because motor manufacturing is not something you can do without a lot of money, especially if you start with electric drive which compromises performance hugely.

The best you could hope for would be to develop some useful IP and get bought out by one of the big boys.

Or someone like Ford should make a Ka chassis available to electric car manufacturers as a standard to work with. At least then, people would accept the looks.

A problem with this idea is that a Ka is still quite heavy, which would be a problem for an E-Car.

andrew rose

looks a little like postman pat´s van !

JRod

GM killed the electric car!!!

You bastards!

JRod.

mahonj

Lack of batteries and $10 oil killed the electric car.

Sorry.

Laurent GUERBY

I wonder why they don't fit those vehicle with an onboard electrical generator (diesel or NG/propane) + tank. This would enable the rare long trip or emergency fast refueling to be done with the very same EV for a reasonable additional cost and weight as opposed to vastly more expensive batteries.

Might not be super efficient (but may be not that inefficient against ICE tank to wheel) but it would remove one difference between EV and classical car: range.

Any idea?

Cervus

I'd like to see EVs that don't look like "punishment cars". Tesla has the right approach with the Roadster and the upcoming White Star. Even Mitsubishi's iMiEV is a sharp-looking vehicle. This? No thanks.

"Or someone like Ford should make a Ka chassis available to electric car manufacturers as a standard to work with. At least then, people would accept the looks."

Ford might be liable if something went wrong with the delivered product. Even if Stevens caused the 99.99% of the problem.

Too complex for real discussion. But you can bet Ford lawyers that sort of deal over.

MarkMC

yes Stan, that's it

Yosef

The article doesn't say when they intend to begin production and how much per year. They say a 25% deposit is required on order, so it's not immediate, I guess.

Engineer-Poet
Could it possibly be that the press releases on which you base your engineering, are simply Firefly Vaporware?
Of course, Firefly has already made sales to Husqvarna and is moving into the heavy-truck battery market... but that doesn't count with mindless nay-sayers like Stan.
Stan Wellaway

Oi EP, take care to identify which Stan you mean! ain't no nay-sayer.

The future is electric and it's very nearly here. Whatever excuses are thrown up, it's gonna happen. In the field of commercial delivery fleets it already has - SmithElectricVehicles.com shipped 250 of their all-electric trucks in the latter half of 2007 (mainly 7.5 ton trucks, mainly to the likes of parcel companies including TNT, DHL and Royal Mail) with three times that number already sold this year, and already ramping up production towards 10,000 a year by 2010 to meet demand. Another UK EV maker http://www.modec.co.uk also has about a hundred delivery vehicles out there in use on UK roads. Smith EV have this month started production of their US-specific 12 tonner at Fresno, California.

Several of the world's bigname carmakers (Nissan, Renault, Volkswagen, Fiat, Mitsubishi) will have all-electric cars (all-electric, not hybrids) in the showrooms for 2009-2011. Tom Lane of Nissan expects them to be commonplace within 7 years.

Stevens Vehicles is a mere tiddler. Their cars will definitely sell in London, UK (Londoners already drive a thousand of those grossly uncool G-Wiz electric cars) in sufficient numbers to keep the company busy.

They do produce something a bit prettier than the Zecar and Zevan. Check out the Cipher on their website http://www.stevensvehicles.com

The internal combustion engine isn't going to become redundant overnight - it has served us well for a hundred years and will take another 15 or more years to disappear from vehicle use - but EVs are now chipping away at parts of the market and will dominate it eventually. Trials of all those alternative combustion fuels are as pointless as rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

Stan Wellaway

By the way -- as someone who follows the progress of electric vehicle development worldwide, I can't help noticing that more than 95% of those who scoff at EVs are in the USA.

Many of the current generation of electric cars do look like they wouldn't survive outside of Toytown. USA legislators have succeeded in reinforcing this image by establishing the concept of the Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, thereby ensuring that US EV producers design cute little cars for this market, not serious EVs for highway use.

But America is in for a shock. The US was stunned when Russia put Sputnik 1 into orbit. And stunned when the attack on Pearl Harbor alerted them to WW2 being a rather more serious affair than they thought. When shiploads of highway-capable 4-door 5-seat all-electric sedans from China and India start arriving at US ports, tens of thousands of US carworkers are going to find themselves out of work - because they have been mis-led into not taking EVs seriously.

Alex

Stan: "Several of the world's bigname carmakers (Nissan, Renault, Volkswagen, Fiat, Mitsubishi) will have all-electric cars (all-electric, not hybrids) in the showrooms for 2009-2011."

Do you have any references or links for these?

Hi Alex.

"..Carlos Ghosn, Renault and Nissan’s chief executive, is championing pure electric vehicles and has expressed scepticism about the hybrid petrol-electric cars promoted by rival carmakers such as Toyota, which he sees as an interim technology..." (FT, 20/01/2008) and "We think we are near a solution which is going to allow a mass marketing of the [electric] car." (WSJ 28 Jan 2008)

"..Renault and Nissan are poised to bypass rivals fixated on hybrids. The partners have a new plan that moves them straight into pure electric vehicles by 2011.." (automotivenews.com 4 Feb 2008)

"Our current thinking is that some countries will adopt a zero-CO2 limit for city centres. So we plan to introduce an all-electric car by 2009/10. I predict that they will become commonplace by 2015 thanks to new battery technology" (Tom Lane (head of Product Planning at Nissan. Nov 2007)

Feb 19 2008 -- "The early phase will begin in 2010 as many companies intend to introduce electric vehicles," said Minoru Shinohara, senior vice president of the technology division at Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. "It's the starting point, and there will be very tough competition."

31 Jan 2008 -- Jochen Schmalholz, head of BMW's clean-energy technology, told Drive that BMW is considering electric vehicles to fill the 15 to 20 year void before hydrogen vehicles will actually be practical. BMW has even predicted that hydrogen cars could still be 30 years out...

21 Feb 2008, Tokyo -- Simon Sproule, corporate vice president of global communications at Nissan. "Creating long-term sustainable mobility will be a major technological challenge, but it is one that Nissan is committed to addressing through the development of advanced programs such as electric vehicles."


Those are just a few snippets from the header of a particular discussion thread hosted by M.T.Glass. Lengthier detailed quotes are viewable within the content of that thread, including the ones regarding Fiat, Volkswagen, and Mitsubishi.

This link might take you directly to that thread http://www.advfn.com/cmn/fbb/thread.php3?id=13589354
but if that doesn't work, go to the financial website advfn.com and select Free BB, enter EV in the empty searchbox alongside 'EPIC' and then click that word EPIC.

That particular resource is only one of dozens that I employ in tracking EV progress. This GCC one is obviously near the top of the list.

In most cases the vehicles are expected to appear on European roads before they reach the USA.

Stan Wellaway

Hi Alex.

"..Carlos Ghosn, Renault and Nissan’s chief executive, is championing pure electric vehicles and has expressed scepticism about the hybrid petrol-electric cars promoted by rival carmakers such as Toyota, which he sees as an interim technology..." (FT, 20/01/2008) and "We think we are near a solution which is going to allow a mass marketing of the [electric] car." (WSJ 28 Jan 2008)

"..Renault and Nissan are poised to bypass rivals fixated on hybrids. The partners have a new plan that moves them straight into pure electric vehicles by 2011.." (automotivenews.com 4 Feb 2008)

"Our current thinking is that some countries will adopt a zero-CO2 limit for city centres. So we plan to introduce an all-electric car by 2009/10. I predict that they will become commonplace by 2015 thanks to new battery technology" (Tom Lane (head of Product Planning at Nissan. Nov 2007)

Feb 19 2008 -- "The early phase will begin in 2010 as many companies intend to introduce electric vehicles," said Minoru Shinohara, senior vice president of the technology division at Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. "It's the starting point, and there will be very tough competition."

31 Jan 2008 -- Jochen Schmalholz, head of BMW's clean-energy technology, told Drive that BMW is considering electric vehicles to fill the 15 to 20 year void before hydrogen vehicles will actually be practical. BMW has even predicted that hydrogen cars could still be 30 years out...

21 Feb 2008, Tokyo -- Simon Sproule, corporate vice president of global communications at Nissan. "Creating long-term sustainable mobility will be a major technological challenge, but it is one that Nissan is committed to addressing through the development of advanced programs such as electric vehicles."


Those are just a few snippets from the header of a particular discussion thread hosted by M.T.Glass. Lengthier detailed quotes are viewable within the content of that thread, including the ones regarding Fiat, Volkswagen, and Mitsubishi.

This link might take you directly to that thread http://www.advfn.com/cmn/fbb/thread.php3?id=13589354
but if that doesn't work, go to the financial website advfn.com and select Free BB, enter EV in the empty searchbox alongside 'EPIC' and then click that word EPIC.

That particular resource is only one of dozens that I employ in tracking EV progress. This GCC one is obviously near the top of the list.

In most cases the vehicles are expected to appear on European roads before they reach the USA.

Stan Wellaway

Apologies for the duplication. There appears to be no delete facility. I sent it once, just now, so I've no idea why two clock times show!

Harvey D

StanW & Alex:

You may both be right.

There is a definate requirement for PHEVs in USA and Canada + where people have to travel longer distances or as such times as batteries are improved and much cheaper.

BEVs are (presently) OK for much smaller countries and city folks or as a second car.

Whenever the EEStor ESSU (or similar high energy density quick multiple charge units) come out, BEV may be the vehicle to have.

congrats to steven vehicle limited,i think they did a great work. if really the efficiency of these{zecar,zevan} car is good , then why these car are always behind in compairing with fuel car.i think more reaserch is necessory.

vin

congrats to steven vehicle limited,i think they did a great work. if really the efficiency of these{zecar,zevan} car is good , then why these car are always behind in compairing with fuel car.i think more reaserch is necessory.

Donal

Stan Wellaway - I don't see the FreeBB on advfn.com

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