The Right Tool for the Job
Urban commuting should mostly be done using public transportation, bikes, and feet, but as long as there are cars in urban cores, they should probably look something like the 'City Car' (what an original name!) by Lotus. This concept, which was just unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, is kind of like a better-looking and more advanced Toyota iQ. Of course, the looks are subjective, but the drivetrain isn't.
The drivetrain provides the vehicle with an EV range of 60 km [37.28 miles] to cover the majority of daily journeys operating as a plug-in EV, with the Range Extender engine enabling longer trips and alleviating "range anxiety". Using Range Extender technology allows the vehicle to be specified with a smaller, lighter and less expensive battery pack than a regular EV.
The 500 km [310 miles] full range and quick refuelling capability of the range extended Lotus City Car concept highlight the flexibility of this technology for use beyond the city environment.
This is perfect since most urban commuters don't drive very far on most days, and the electric mode is perfect for sitting in traffic (well, it still sucks, but at least you are not burning fuel and polluting the air).
Tech Specs of the Lotus City Car Concept
The City Car does 0 - 30 mph in only 4.5 seconds and 0 - 60 mph in 9 seconds (very linear acceleration thanks to the electric motor), when operating as an EV under battery power. The top speed of the Lotus City Car concept is 170 km/h, with a charge sustaining top speed of 120 km/h and all this performance is achieved by "a drivetrain that returns CO2 emissions of 60 g/km on the ECE-R101 test schedule."
The 'range extender' gas engine is a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder specifically designed for hybrid vehicle applications and it generates 54 kW (with 162 kW peaks). The transmission is a single speed, like in many electric cars.
No word yet on when production would begin (if it ever does), or on price and regional availability.
Via Lotus, ABG
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