• Alan Rosenmeyer is one of the first to drive Eleksa's new CityBug.
• The electric car has a driving range of 100km; upgradable to 200km.
• The CityBug is expected to retail for R200 000.
• For more motoring stories, go to Wheels24
Electric cars in South Africa have been limited by two significant factors: price and range on a charge.
Well, Eleksa has undoubtedly solved the pricing issue with their little City Car, which is about to be unleashed on our market at a selling price of R200 000. The car is small, with two doors, two front seats and a tiny rear seat that I think would be best utilised when folded forward and allowing a good amount of luggage space instead.
Given the opportunity to take a short drive, the acceleration on pull-off is typical of electric vehicles and extremely quick. The steering is light and easy, although the short wheelbase does not help when encountering bumps. The batteries are placed above the front axle, affecting the ride quality over bumps. Ancillaries for wipers, air-con and such are placed under the front "hood" above the batteries.
The car comfortably attained a speed of around 60km/hour (the test car was reading MPH) and felt that it could easily maintain this speed.
To watch Alan's video review of the Eleksa CityBug, click here.
100km range, but more is possible
Eleksa claims a battery charge range of 100km as standard, with a larger battery capable of 200km available at an extra cost. Exact figures are still to be determined, but it's estimated that a full charge will cost around R15. Equate that to petrol, and the cost would be equivalent to using 1.0-litre/100km. The car is very well equipped with a large tablet infotainment screen that includes Apple Carplay and Android Auto functionality and all the necessary information relating to charge and range. Air-conditioning and electric windows are standard too.
Although the Eleksa is classed as a car, it may work better if seen as an alternative to a golf cart for use on estates but can still be driven on urban roads and to shops. It could even be very useful as a small delivery vehicle for short-range deliveries. The maximum speed of 60km/hour is more than adequate for urban use.
Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to test for a longer period and experience charging times and convenience. Watch this space.