G-Wiz gets lithium-ion batteries - for a price

24 March 2009

G-WizLong promised and finally here, the lithium-ion powered G-Wiz electric city car went on sale today.

The new batteries are more energy dense and a lot lighter – reducing the overall weight of the G-Wiz from 665kg to around 565kg. This means better acceleration and handling, plus longer range. The top speed is no higher at 51mph, though, as it’s been electronically capped. Anyone who has attempted a max speed run in the G-Wiz, as we have, will readily confirm that 50ish feels plenty fast enough. Better to expend the extra stored energy on extending the range to from 40ish to 70ish miles.

The new batteries are sealed and maintenance free too.

There is a gargantuan catch, however. The list price for the G-Wiz L-ion starts at £15,795, compared with £7,995 for the otherwise very similar lead-acid powered G-Wiz i. The £7,800 gap underscores exactly how pricey lithium-ion batteries remain.

The considerable extra outlay does buy a better warranty – covering the car for two years and the battery for three. A full charge from a domestic supply is also quicker at six hours versus eight for the lead-powered alternative, while different charging curves mean that an 80 percent splash and dash, if you can call it that, actually takes longer at three and a quarter hours for the L-ion versus two and half hours for the “i”. According to G-Wiz importer GoinGreen, the more efficient charging profile means the newer car uses 20 per cent less energy to reach full charge.

If you do decide that the G-Wiz L-ion is the car for you – and you’ll need to be unhinged or wealthy or possibly both to stomach the price, because we can’t help noticing that it costs more than the Honda Insight we drove around at the weekend – you can order one today and it’ll be with you in 14 weeks.

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