The G-Wiz is to get lithium-ion batteries, giving London’s most popular electric runabout a range of 75 miles and a maximum speed of 50mph. A fast charge station will also be introduced, capable of charging the car to 90% in one hour.
For existing G-Wiz owners with an ac motor and lead acid powertrain, an upgrade kit will enable them to upgrade to lithium-ion later in 2009.
This means that the G-Wiz will be available with an increased range, faster acceleration, shorter charging time, less energy consumption, improved cold weather performance, maintenance-free battery operation and a longer operating life.
A three-year battery warranty will also be provided, thanks to the development of a new battery management system that tracks the performance of each cell for uninterrupted performance.
The new off-board fast charge station, which gives a 90% charge in one hour, uses three-phase power. It is primarily aimed at organisations that require constant vehicle availability during the day and will be offered to purchase or lease. The G-Wiz L-ion’s normal full charging time is six hours using ordinary mains electricity, with an 80% charge taking 3.5 hours.
It’s hoped that the G-Wiz, with its new battery, can be used for trips into the city from the suburbs, and that local authorities and businesses will adopt more of the cars.
The G-Wiz L-ion and fast charge stations will be available to pre-order from February 2009, with the first test drive vehicles and customer deliveries commencing May 2009. Customers will have the option of outright purchase or battery leasing, with prices to be announced by the end of January.
The current G-Wiz i is zero emissions if charged using energy from a renewable source and produces 63g/km CO2 if recharged using electricity from a conventional source.
Research conducted by Professor Julia King for 2008’s King Review of low carbon cars concludes that 93% of car journeys are less than 40 kms (25 miles) and 97% are less than 80 kms (50 miles).