So as mentioned before we have just had the chance to test Mitsubishi's all new iMiev. An interesting car to say the least and one that really demonstrated to us how feasible electric motoring really is. It is unsurprising really how impressed we were, given that the Prius was such a refreshing approach to motoring and had us besotted with hybrids.
2011 sees us taking electric motoring to the next level, Tesla have a high powered Lotus look-a-like and Nissan put the Leaf on the roads. But the real story to follow is Renault and the Z.E range they unveiled at Paris last year. Utilising the success of the Fluence in Europe, Renault are able to appeal to both an existing customer base and a new market with the electric version of the small saloon. Alongside the Kangoo Z.E van and the little Twizzy micro city car, the range looks promising and may well take the lead in eco-motoring.
That's if you can understand how to buy one. Instead of buying the car outright or offering a lease contract like Mitsubishi and Peugeot respectively, Renault have decided that you buy the car and simply lease the battery over a 3 year period. This means you own the car, yet Renault are effectively responsible for the battery, or at least maintaining and replacing any parts. For a mere cost of £75 a month I think this is a steal comparing it to the likes of a 4 year/£400 a month contract with Peugeot or nearly £30k on a Mitsubishi which only gets you 70 miles (but does include sat-nav so you don't get lost within that 70 mile radius)
So in all Renault seem to be winning with their offering. Stylish cars at more realistic prices (after a £5k grant from 10 downing street) and better milage figures so far.
Mitsubishi can't be too far behind though I'm sure, sharing the production car with their French allies isn't a bad move, it seemed to work with the Outlander after all, but when it comes down to it, the initial cost they are charging is a lot for what seems not much car.
I can't wait to see the Z.E range and recommend you too wait a little longer until joining the eco race. Hopefully we will be seeing Renault's new range from spring/summer next year.