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EV galore in Frankfurt

French car manufacturer Peugeot revealed its entry into the great race to offer the hottest electric city car

French car manufacturer Peugeot revealed its entry into the great race to offer the hottest electric city car, when it showed the Peugeot iOn at the annual Frankfurt motor show, which began yesterday with press showings.

The iOn, which has a range of 128 km, a top speed of 128 km/h and takes six hours to charge, will go on sale a the end of 2010 — with an estimated 25,000 cars being sold each year.

The Peugeot is based on my favourite city EV, the fantastic four-door Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which confounds all golf-cart EV clichés, as it looks very cool, offers plenty of room, and has the safety standards and drives like a regular car.

The MiEV went on sale in Japan this year and is set to roll out across Europe this year. The iMiev is currently being tested in the U.S. for a North American launch. Mitsubishi has really caught the EV bug — it plans to launch no less than five by 2013.

Meanwhile other carmakers are testing or leasing out their own electric cars, including the Nissan LEAF, Smart EV and the MINI EV. The latter two are already on the road after they proved even more popular than expected, with drivers queuing up to lease them even at great expense.

There are more electric “reveals” at the show, particularly from Renault, which will be showing four new EV concepts. REVA, maker of the popular G-Wiz city car — there are more than 3,000 of them on the road already. There’s the REVA four-seat NXR hatchback family car that will be sold start of next year, as well as a sporty two-seater due for sale in 2011.

Both models will feature “REVive,” a technology that serves as a sort of emergency reserve fuel tank, allowing the car to be remotely recharged (www.revaglobal.com).

Meanwhile, Indian carmaker Tata has announced plans to build electric cars as soon as possible, with a facility to be built in Europe.

 
 
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