The Buzz Box (aka the electric car we are trialling) is travelling well. As a result of lots of comments and emails about the car we are trialling, I thought I would give you an update. First of all, I should say that I am not being paid to do this trial or for my comments. The car is loaned to us for 3 months and we provide feedback to the State government, to give them information in order to decide if electric cars and their infrastructure should/could be rolled out in Victoria.
So, we've had the buzz box for a couple of weeks now. Mr 4 and I drive around in it most days. We tend to just travel locally as the range of the car still worries me. It seems to do about 80km on one charge. We've been recharging it every 3-4 days depending on how much we've been out and about (I don't like driving it with less than a quarter of a "tank"). We did the longest drive we've done today - about a 45km round trip. It still had about half a "tank" left, but I didn't use the air conditioner at all to conserve energy. My biggest concern is the situation where you have enough charge to get to and from where you're going, but none for a contingency like a long detour or traffic jam. The grand plan for electric cars is to have public charging stations all over the city, but for now, the only place I can charge it is at home, so we don't stray too far. I think for these cars to be viable, the range has to at least double, and be accompanied by a vast network of charging stations.
Stuff I love about the car - it's pretty zippy and keeps up with traffic no problem. It is an absolute breeze to park because it is so small, and because the wheels are located on each corner of the car (the turning circle is amazing!). I love the high seating position, and it's super easy if you have to lift kids into car seats. The boot is small, but has enough room for the groceries. Extra items fit pretty well in the back seat. The footwells are deep too which is handy.
Stuff I don't love about the car - no curtain airbags. The Victorian Government (through the TAC) is doing a big advertising campaign about curtain airbags, so it surprises me that they didn't demand them to be fitted to these vehicles. Lack of interior lighting at night. The cabin is in total darkness, so you have no idea if you are in park or drive without putting the overhead light on - very irritating.
All in all, I'm still enjoying driving it. Mr 4 thinks it's "the coolest" and is happy to drive around in a special car. He makes me laugh when we get in to go somewhere by asking if we have "enough power to make it"? Let me know if you have any questions or things you want to know. I'll do another update in a month or so. Thanks again for your interest.
Back to crafty posts tomorrow!
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