London-based EV start-up Siticars has unveiled a two-seater microcar aimed at drivers living in the new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London.
The Me, available in pick up, box van and passenger car forms, boasts a top speed of 48.5mph / 79.5kph and claimed range of 93 miles / 152 kilometres from its 10bhp 72V electric motor.
It is not dissimilar to the Reva G-Wiz, an electric vehicle on sale during the noughties, which was widely criticised for poor safety. This is, in part, to the fact that quadricycles -- of which both the G-Wiz and Me are defined -- are not liable to the same stringent EuroNCAP tests as heavier, more powerful cars.
Siticars says that, although the Me is “fully approved for use on UK roads by DVLA and has full EU certificates of compliance”, it is ineligible to be driven on motorways due to its top speed.
While the G-Wiz was on sale during the early days of electric vehicles, there are now a plethora of zero-emission cars on sale, all of which are exempt from new charges favouring low-emission vehicles, such as London’s Congestion Charge and the recently introduced Ultra Low Emissions Zone.
Siticars said the benefit of the 518kg Me over such cars includes its ability to park “in less than half of the space required for traditional cars”. A company spokesperson said that parking 90 degrees to the kerb would allow up to three to park in one space.
The similarly sized Renault Twizy is cheaper, starting at £6,690, but features a tandem-style two-seat layout, as opposed to the Me’s side-by-side format, and does not include batteries, which have to be leased from the company. The Me can be ordered online from May for between £7,999 and £12,000 (Rs 787,000 to Rs 11.81 lakh) according to specified battery choice and bodystyle.
The Me, measuring just 2245mm x 1290mmm, can be equipped with 10kWh lithium batteries that can be charged from a domestic 13amp 3-pin wall socket in 4-6 hours.
A less expensive lead acid battery option yields a charging time of between 6-8 hours. An optional portable charger is available with the Me, enabling overnight charging for users with no off-street parking.
The company says it is currently shipping 50 units per month, but is capable of producing 20 times that number.
The Me is available only in the UK, with air-conditioning, LED running lights, a rear parking camera, electrically assisted rear door, Bluetooth and panoramic roof fitted as standard.