Electra Glide in Green or rocking the electric car

Sunday, November 05, 2006 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

We needed to pick up some household stuff - so on Saturday rather than use public transport I decided to hire one of the electric cars our block rents out. This is done as part of an effort to keep London clean & green.

The G-Wiz from Reva is a tiny electricity powered vehicle. Think
of a silver wind up kids toy. It performed quite well given the fact that I had no experience of electric cars and had decided to completely ignore the instructions till we returned. OK as you probably guessed I didn't see them in the door compartment until the
car was parked again.

The G is small, slow and also not damaging the world health. The controls seem to be very similar to regular car. Brake, accelerate and
clutch. However there are some differences :
- the rather go cart'ish hand brake
- the gears are shifted by the turning of a dial similar to the dial
on a washing machine or oven. Yes I have on occasion used both these
pieces of equipment.

The gear settings are R,N,E and F. With a little fiddling we cracked the code:
R = Reverse
N = Neutral (you're getting the hang of it, now)
E = seemed to be go forward, we assumed Economy or Ejector seat. This
was later validated to be economy.
F = we were undecided on this - Full, Full lights, Faster, Forward,
Fun (if it was fun it was a temporary setting), Fly (no, no wings transformed out the side). It was in fact F for faster.

When this was discovered I began to suspect that the G was either made in a North Korean
sweatshop or the kinder chocolate factory.

Low point - discovering that the power doesn't really last for 8 hours.

Lower point - discovering this less than half way to our intended
destination. At this point we worked out that we had about 60% power
(including reserve power) and had 70% of our outward journey to
complete (not including detours and the inevitable getting lost
because of poor road signage*). And yes we still had the return leg of the journey to complete. . Naturally we decided to put our feet down and go for it relying on St. Michael Knight (patron saint of driving) to sort it out. An added concern was that we had tickets to see the Shaolin monks finale performance of the wheel of life and any delay would mean disappointment. Did I mention we were expecting Guy Fawkes Bonfire night traffic too?

High point - The incredible spectacle of plugging & unplugging the car into a wall socket to power up. For real you can plug the car into a regular power point to charge like a mobile or camera. Incredible!!

*On a related topic I have been told that the Uk road signage is crap because: during the WWII all road signs were either removed or hidden. So that any invading Germans could not find there way around. Ok the wars over. Let it go. It's just annoying. Put them back please .