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NICE Car Company Previews the Ze-O Electric MPV

NICE Car Company presented the first images of its Ze-O electric MPV, which will make its global debut at the British Motor Show in London next week.

Zeo
The Ze-O.

All-electric sports car prototypes are eye-catching and interesting. However, we all know customers want practical electric cars and they want them sooner rather than later. The Ze-O is a genuinely spacious and affordable car; it’s coming to the UK this Autumn and to the rest of Europe during 2009.

—Julian Wilford, co-founder NICE Car Company

Styled in Europe and manufactured by NICE’s partners in China, the entry level Ze-O will have a range of up to 65 miles (105 km) in city driving and top speed of 55 mph (89 kph). Optional, longer-range lithium-ion battery options will be available soon, according to the company.

The car will be exempt from road tax and congestion charge. Full details of the Ze-O and other models in the NICE Car Company family will be revealed at the show.

NICE Car Company was founded by Evert Geurtsen and Julian Wilford. Prior to creating NICE, Evert Geurtsen spent more than 20 years in the international automotive industry both at General Motors and as the Commercial Head of Lotus Engineering. Julian Wilford has held a number of senior commercial roles, most recently at the insurer Aviva plc, where he was Group Strategic Development Director. Julian started his career as an engineer with Rolls-Royce plc.

Comments

Herm

How much?

Steve M

This is great! Although, in the U.S. we have rolling brown-outs and blackouts because congress won't allow us to build the power plants that we need to supply our current electricity demand. To switch to electric cars without having the electricity to charge them would be silly, if not idiotic. When will this congress start allowing us to build more clean energy plants, such as nuclear power plants, to charge our electric cars? Solar and wind are still a fantasy for the future - they currently can't provide nearly what we need.

John Taylor

Evert Geurtsen has a great car. His previous company Lotus Engineering is the contract mfg for the Tesla (That is based on a Lotus Elise), and GM is the company who scrapped the EV1.

Now we see ~> 'partners in China', 'entry level', 'range 105 km', 'speed 89 kph' 'Available Autumn 2008'. The styling is normal, so it will fit right in.

This should be a well built affordable car, and soon be upgraded to highway speed with an extended range.
Ze-O should sell well in London England, and in many other cities. I hope “Project Better Place” makes charging available in Israel for this car.

John Taylor

@ Steve M ~ "Solar and wind are still a fantasy for the future"

Wind is now competitive with Coal, and Solar is not far behind. Expect production to ramp up as other fuel sources dwindle.
We could actually power the entire world on wind power now, without inventing a single bit of new technology.

Nuclear power plants are still expensive, still produce radioactive waste, and still lead to arms production such as all the DU bullets that will cause radiation in Iraq for the next 4 billion years.

GreenPlease

Why recess the fogs? Also, why does an EV need such a large radiator up front?

It appears as if they could improve aerodynamics a tad and improve their range.

HarveyD

This looks like an interesting-affordable 2008-2009 city vehicle (and highway, with future higher performance batteries).

Normal battery pack evolution will make this type of vehicle very affordable (and long range) by 2012-2013.

We should not worry too much about electricity availability for PHEVs and BEVs. Producing more electric energy does not require any new technology. Higher production will come with higher demands, not before.

Combined, wind + sun + nuclear could produce enough electrical energy for a PHEVs or a BEV or both for everybody without increasing GHG.

mdf

John Taylor: We could actually power the entire world on wind power now, without inventing a single bit of new technology.

Well, no, you need to invent and build the bits that ensure a stable and reliable supply.

Nuclear power plants are still expensive,

Every time I do the arithmetic I get answers that are comparable. And this is as it should be, given that if there was a free lunch it would have been eaten a long, long, time ago.

still produce radioactive waste, and still lead to arms production such as all the DU bullets that will cause radiation in Iraq for the next 4 billion years.

Time to buy a new calender, Mr. Taylor: this is 2008, not 1971.

In any case, in a few decades the people in Iraq will be hunting down all that DU and using it in their fast breeder reactors for power generation. And if this actually comes to pass, it would be supremely ironic, no? You may even have countries asking to he shot at with the DU ... "... and while you are at it, could you carpet bomb us with some ingots of gold, or barrels of oil?"

gr

NICE's current MegaCity Standard running on 12 lead acid batteries (4KW front wheel driven motor) sells for just under $20k US. It has a range of 40 mi, and a max speed of 40MPH. Presumably the newer version discussed here will have an additional $4-5k battery [NiMh] controller pack and added costs for new design.

The MegaCity is legally classified as a quadracycle - meaning it must weigh in under 400kg and has no safety regs. The car is built in France by Aixam-Mega and sold along with Nice's electric bikes through their UK outlet.

http://www.electricparking.com/maps.html

Mike

@Herm:

£14k

http://www.newspress.co.uk/DAILY_LINKS/arc_jul_2008/140708ncarc.htm


gr

No mention of the battery pack used - so they must be sticking with the Pb/acid to keep the cost low.

Ron Wagner

An additional argument against nuclear is that it is not distributed. Meaning that it is very subject to monopoly pricing. It has never provided low price power,and has never taken care of its own waste. It depends on future generations to take care of the waste and that is not a sure thing. They are also subject to attack. We need more numerous power sources that can compete in a free market. Not monolithic plants that we are all stuck with. We need reduntant systems or we will have more blackouts like Florida had this year. They also found guards asleep on the job.

mdf

Ron Wagner: An additional argument against nuclear is that it is not distributed. Meaning that it is very subject to monopoly pricing.

Isn't this a non sequitur? The ability to exercise 'monopoly pricing' seems to be pretty independent of power plant size.

It has never provided low price power

What is your definition of "low"? Look at this:

http://www.theimo.com/

Note the fraction generated by nuclear. Now, click on the graphic, and you get another view of the wholesale price. Are those figures "high"?

and has never taken care of its own waste. It depends on future generations to take care of the waste and that is not a sure thing.

Poor fuel cycle choices were made in the past. Do we continue to make these poor choices, or do we make better ones in the future?

What do you think, Mr. Wagner?

They are also subject to attack.

Feel free to outline the risk you have in mind. But before you do, think about this: any other source of energy can be attacked just as easily. Even "distributed" wind systems will likely suffer from choke-points that can be effectively attacked.

We need more numerous power sources that can compete in a free market.

Indeed we do. But an argument like that hardly sounds like one against nuclear power.

Not monolithic plants that we are all stuck with. We need reduntant systems or we will have more blackouts like Florida had this year.

You have blackouts because a lack of supply, not a lack of redundancy. And, frankly, this is all orthogonal to whether or not the power plants are "monolithic" or not.

They also found guards asleep on the job.

Gee, then fire them and hire new ones? Better: use people for jobs people are good at, and use robots for jobs robots are good at.

gr

Boring repetitive tasks like sorting municipal waste.

Stan Wellaway

While you guys are arguing about how to produce electricity (when electricity suppliers have already said they can more than cope), others are just getting on with making and selling the cars.

I spoke with a representative from NICE at another show in April. As well as this entry level version, and a higher performance version to follow, they appeared to be already planning a third generation following late next year, by when the Chinese maker will have geared up for serious mass production and global export.

Carry on arguing if you like..

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