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Here Comes the Electric Car

The Electric Car

In our last few articles we discussed the launch of the electric car in the U.K. Nissan can be proud to take a “leaf out of their book” as it looks like they will be the first on the market with the all electric “Leaf” motor car. In fact the Leaf motor car has been named the world car of the year for 2011, edging out other players like BMW with their 5 series and Audi with their A8 for top spot.

Leaf will be the first affordable mass market all electric vehicle for the global market and was also named European car of the year.

This vehicle is a 5 seater, 5 door hatchback and has a range of over 160 kms on a full charge. Chargers normally take approximately 8 hours. However it was interesting to read how a DJ in London is charging his Leaf car from 12 solar panels installed on his roof at home. These panels create enough energy to give him a full charge every day enabling him to drive his car for free by the use of solar energy.

The good news is that these cars are very quiet and feel just like a normal car. The Leaf car is now available in Japan, United States and the European market and will be released for the global market in 2012. This vehicle is currently being built at the Nissan Oppama plant in Japan and will be built in the United States at the end of 2012 and at the Sutherland plant in the UK by early 2013.

There is a hint that the new electric Leaf motor car will be on display at this year’s international motor show in South Africa.

Renault’s “Twizy” electric car goes on sale in Europe from March 2012. This vehicle is different to the Leaf as it is narrower and smaller and looks like a mixture of a car and a four wheeler motor bike. Further Renault electric vehicles will be launched soon. The “Twizy” however, is designed for quick local journeys and you will soon see them sneaking in and out of city traffic. It has four wheels and two seats. Being so compact with a tiny turning circle, the “Twizy” will be very handy in tight spots. Obviously, being an all electric car, no emission will be released and it will be extremely cheap to run.

The price being around R50 000-00, one will also need to pay round about R350-00 on a monthly contract basis for a battery. Power stations will be set up in various locations and the rate of R350-00 will allow drivers to exchange batteries when necessary. The exchange of a battery will take about 5 minutues. One will be able to plug it in at home at night to charge and the charging will take three and a half hours and the car will run up to 115 kms with a top speed of 75 kms per hour. Renault regard this as a Super Mini and it should be fun to drive. Turn the key to on, press a button, foot flat down and off you go! Being a little larger than a motorbike with side panels, “Twizy” will be nipping in and out of lanes of traffic creating lots of attention in the foreseeable future.

By the time electric cars hit the South African roads, Klingshield will be alongside them, with it’s new transition safety film available for the windows of these new electric cars. This film, once applied to the windows, will change from clear to non reflective to reflective, depending on the intensity of the sunlight. Klingshield’s other range of products will also be available for electric cars, offering paint protection, smash & grab window film, self-cleaning window treatments, new Nano Ceramic front windscreen technology, as well as fabric protection.

For more information on new technology and products of the future, please view our articles page on our website.