Nice thinks big, and Chinese

15 July 2008

Nice Ze-OThe Nice Car Company yesterday announced a new electric car, set to be exhibited at next week’s London Motor Show. Called the Ze-O, the Nice company describe it as “styled in Europe and manufactured by Nice’s partners in China”. We thought it looked familiar – the picture issued by Nice is actually of the Changhe Ideal 2, a facelifted version of a 2003 car originally designed by Italian style house Bertone.

Changhe sells the Ideal 2 in various parts of the world with petrol engines, but for the Ze-O Nice has obviously deleted the oily bits and replaced them with batteries and a motor. Nice quotes “a range of up to 65 miles in city driving and top speed of 55 mph”. Power evidently comes via the miracle of lead and sulphuric acid, given that Nice says the option of a lithium-ion pack will be on the cards “soon”.

Nice describes its new baby as an MPV, but at only 3.6m in length the Ze-O is actually shorter than a Ford Fiesta.

The Ze-O will set you back £14,000 and the first cars will trundle out onto cratered UK roads in the autumn.

Dodge ZeoIt might not be called Ze-O by then – we expect the lawyers at Chrysler will be limbering up to deliver a nastygram, given that its Dodge arm may rightly argue that it got there first. It called its recent electric muscle-car show pony “Zeo”. These car companies like to hang onto their names, and we doubt the lawyers will be put off by a little bit of fancy punctuation.

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