Eleksa CityBug: Everything else you need to know about SA's cheapest electric vehicle

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2021 Eleksa CityBug
2021 Eleksa CityBug
Eleksa Media

• The Eleksa CityBug will go on sale in South Africa come September 2021.

• The little electric car has a driving range of 100km.

• Recharging the car will cost around R15.

For more motoring stories, go to Wheels24

Eleksa, the company bringing a R200 000 electric car to South Africa, has been around for about six years and specialises in all kinds of electric transport solutions - from bikes and trikes to scooters and ATVs with names such as Impi and E-nova - and now the CityBug EV.

The company is actively recruiting investors and retailers and is open to partnering with companies and firms considering EVs in their business fleet or as their core business, or alternative energy concerns looking to include EVs in their product range, says owner Phillip Geyser. He emphasises the four-seater CityBug is a fully certified electric city car already on sale internationally in countries such as the UK, Spain, Germany, Latvia, Bulgaria, Uruguay, and Venezuela. It has also passed L7e-CP certification in Europe.

Geyser says: "The CityBug is an ideal city or town runabout. It also is a practical delivery vehicle for short-range deliveries due to its extremely low running costs."

READ | Is South Africa's R200 000 electric car a good deal?

The first four units arrived in South Africa earlier this month and can be viewed at the Eleksa showroom in Montana Park, Pretoria. According to Geyser, the roadworthy certification process is finalised, and the cars will go on sale in September 2021 at a recommended retail price of R200 000.

Eleksa CityBug
2021 Eleksa CityBug

A 100km range

The small two-door car is manufactured in the Shandong province in China as the G-EEC EV and imported from the Shandong Gaia New Energy Company situated in the city of Dezhou. It measures 3 000mm long, 1 500mm wide and 1 550mm high, has a wheelbase of 1 950mm and has a kerb weight of 480kg - making it slightly larger than the Indian built, petrol-driven Bajaj Qute quadricycle. Power is stored in six 12V batteries with a rated capacity of 100Ah, delivering a nominal quantity of 7.2kWH to an AC electric motor delivering 4kW and driving the rear wheels.

According to Gaia New Energy Company, the vehicle's power consumption is 6kWh/100km - giving it a range of about 100km on a full charge (depending on the cargo load and average speed).

The CityBug rides on an independent MacPherson strut suspension up front and a trailing arm axle suspension at the rear, front disc brakes and drums at the rear, and 13-inch alloy wheels with 155/65 rubber. According to Geyser, this power delivery gives the CityBug a rated top speed of 60 km/h, and with claimed charging costs of about 15 cents per kilometre, the CityBug is perfect for use in the city for short town trips.

Charging the battery takes from 10 to 12 hours, and a full charge will cost around R15.

"This also makes it ideal for people living in housing estates or retirement villages," he says.

The compact cabin is also well-appointed, with a large LCD screen for the Android compatible infotainment and integrated navigation system taking centre stage. Other standard equipment includes electric windows, digital instrumentation, an air-con system, multi-stage windscreen wipers, an FM radio and USB/SD ports.

According to Geyser, the company plans to add more types of electric vehicles to its inventory, including a small pickup (see images), a delivery van and a small family SUV that has more than a passing resemblance to a mini-G Class.

Eleksa CityBug
2021 Eleksa CityBug
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