What I have attempted to do below is to answer the questions we are most frequently asked. I have answered these based on our experience with our car which may change as time goes by, that's why I have put a date by the answers.
- How far can the car go on a single charge?
Our batteries were replaced only two weeks ago, so you would not expect the car to achieve its full range yet. However, having said that we are getting 29 miles out of the GREEN zone, which equates to 48 miles total. (Our drive is very steep, uphill. This means that we cannot go too far into the YELLOW zone otherwise the car [Wizzy] will not allow us to use boost, which we need to get up the drive.)
We have done 4,000 miles in the last 4 months and have completed over 90 cycles. The range does not appear to have changed. We still get about 29 miles in the green zone but we are using boost quite often. What I have noticed is that if the temperature is low you really must avoid using the boost otherwise the range seriously drops. Boost also seriously reduces the range if used for long periods.
- How fast can it go?
In normal drive mode, i.e. not in Boost, it will do 45 mph on the flat. However, even a slight hill will reduce this. If we go from Kingswear to Paignton, if you know that hill coming out of Kingswear, which is 2 miles long incidentally and about a 10% incline, it will do about 15-20 mph depending on the incline as it varies quite a bit. Note that this is without Boost as until the batteries have completed 40 cycles we cannot use the boost much.
We achieved 52 mph using Boost. Up the hills with boost on we get about an extra 20% speed (e.g. if you get 20 mph in normal drive mode, boost gets you 24 mph.)
- How much does it cost to run?
We are with British Gas and for us it works out at just under 1.5p per mile. Our Fiesta works out at just under 15p per mile, so its approximately 10 times cheaper than a typical car. It works out at about £120 for 8,000 miles. We expect to do about 7,000 miles in a year.
With the price of electricity going up and diesel going down, things don't look so good now. Wizzy works out at about 2.3p per mile while the Fiesta is now just under 11p per mile. So Wizzy is now only about 5 times cheaper than the Fiesta. This is bad news.
- How do you charge it?
Just plug it into a 13A socket.
- Where do you get it serviced? How often does it need servicing?
So far we have been getting it serviced at the main dealer "GoinGreen" in London. This costs about £200 every 6 months or £400 a year depending on whether you service it 6 monthly or anually. I do find this very expensive, especially as there is the cost of getting the car there and back, about another £100 on top of the service cost.
PS. We have just completed 7,000 miles in 9 months.
- How long do the batteries last?
To be honest we still don't really know. We were informed it is 2 to 3 years and we have only had the car about 18 months. So far so good, the batteries are doing fine. The car has now completed about 11,000.
OK, the car has done 12,600 miles and the batteries are dead, they went quite quickly at the end. Range is down to about 4 miles (if its not too hilly.)
The G-Wiz now has 12,699 miles on the odometer and we have had to change the batteries. This was hard work, it took my son and me 7 hours to change them. The watering system was a nuisance, but became mucher easier once we got the hair drier onto it. The work was worth it as it saved us about £1,500 compared to the cost of the main dealer. Now we have to run the batteries in again.
The G-Wiz has completed 6,000 miles on its new batteries and is still going well. The very cold weather we have had is concerning me as it can damage lead-acid batteries. We will see how it goes.
This will unfortunately be the last entry. The G-Wiz reached 29,500 miles on these batteries. The batteries were going to need to be replaced in two or three months time. Unfortunately the car met with a mishap on the 23-Dec-2011. My son went out with his work colleagues on the 23-Dec and as he had had a couple of drinks so I went and picked him up. He sat in the back seat, as he always does. However, the road we drove down was very bumpy, and you can guess what happened.
Well the car immediately went into limp mode, the charge gauge went ballistic and all sorts of strange things started to occur. We limped the 5 miles home. Next day the car was very dead (and smelly). So we removed the back seat only to discover that there is no cover under the seat, so the fluid components of his accident ran straight into the EMS and the DC-DC/DC-AC converter and charger. This killed both. The cost of replacing these would be £2,000 for the parts alone and I needed to replace the batteries anyway, another £1,280 (they have gone up in price.) The car was not worth spending a minimum of £3,280 on so we had to scrap it. This was a sad day. We considered putting a BMW R100 motorcycle engine in it, but the engine was too expensive. So on the 23-Jan-2012, 5 years after it first went on the road, we had to scrap the car.
If we had known there was no cover under the back seat, we could have fitted one ourselves. Clearly no DFEAM (Design Failure Mode and Effect Analysis) was ever carried out.
- Failure was assured.
Wizzy will be missed. He's been replcaed with a 1.9TD 20 year old car - this may not be great for the environment, but its cheap!