Is Mia a city solution or a step backwards?

20 Фев 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Is Mia a city solution or a step backwards? отключены
MIA ELECTRIC Mia Electric Cars

Is Mia a city solution or a step

Fast, long-range electric not the answer says French

By Will Dron on October 24, 5:48 PM

French carmaker Mia has a view on the role of electric and it’s a world away the gorgeous, long-range luxury vision of the likes of Tesla Mia believes that electric are strictly urban vehicles, than inter-city cruisers, will be limited by the weight and of current battery technology.

EVs (Electric Vehicles) are city UK sales chief Richard tells us. “I’m not a missionary on but I really believe that much, much bigger packs – which of course we can – has a issue. What are you doing? batteries to drive more to drive more batteries.”

no surprise, then, that the first vehicle, the cutely Mia (it shares the name of the company), is a (relatively), low-powered, low range designed for city use only. So, its this context that the must be judged; just as you rate a Bugatti Veyron on its capability, so the Mia should not be appraised for its for motorway driving.

Let’s at the vital statistics: maximum between charges is 80 miles, should be plenty for a day’s around London; maximum is 62mph, which again is than you’re likely to within the car’s designated weight is reasonably low, at acceleration… well, it’s not to break any records, that’s for So, the car is suitable for city, but the question is it desirable?

An intriguing design

The Mia line-up

The is certainly interesting. There are versions – the standard Mia is just metres long, which is shorter than the tiny iQ, and seats three people by the driver front-and-centre with the two behind and to the sides (the with the McLaren F1 supercar end The seating arrangement is actually a clever use of space, with the two able to stretch out their

Access to the cabin is via two sliding meaning passengers can enter and easily, while the inevitable of climbing into the central seat is minimised via cutouts in the

The other two derivations are both versions. Total length is metres, and the passenger version an extra seat behind the while the one or two-seat Mia Box Van has very load space – up to 1,500 of cargo.

Interior plan (left-to-right): Mia, Mia L and Mia Box Van

All three with a 12kWh lithium phosphate battery in the UK – half the of the Nissan LEAF’s 24kWh and using a less expensive than the LEAF’s lithium ion An even smaller 8kWh is fitted as standard in Europe, less than the 80-mile we were quoted for the UK-spec. the 12kWh battery using a Charging Unit at 230 volts / takes five hours.

quality on the Mia we drove left to be desired. We were assured the (and faulty) plastic release buttons were to be with electric versions in the production vehicles, and the models on at the subsequent Frankfurt motor certainly displayed a much attention to detail – more has been spent on the seats anything else, it seems – but the feel of the dials, switches and is rather utilitarian.

On the move, the noise from the and wind highlight the car’s of sound deadening. The stereo is impractically positioned down by the knee of the driver, with the above it (mirrored on the left devoted to a flat storage designed to hold mobile tablet PCs like the iPad we weren’t shown how one would be so as not to fall out) and other The general feel is that the Mia is a to ferry cargo – be it human or – from point A to point B, than a place you would spending time, despite decent handling and ride bends and over bumps.

the Mia

Should trouble arise on the there’s comfort in the knowledge the Mia has a driver’s airbag, anti-lock and is classed as a proper car, than a ‘quadricycle’, as is the REVA Safety here is not an afterthought and the Mia has crash tested.

The general is that the Mia is a tool to ferry – be it human or otherwise – from A to point B, rather than a you would enjoy spending

And the exterior of the car, while not to everyone’s tastes is actually cute – with former VW and designers involved, so it should be. in any case, is convinced the vehicle is the of style and may even entice and diesel drivers. “I think the users of electric vehicles be those who are more environmentally than otherwise,” he explains. car is becoming a kind of design in Europe. The fact that an electric vehicle as well is a

Will it sell?

Deslandes expects the Mia to be a big hit, despite he sees as a slower take-up of vehicles than he expected in “Every EV manufacturer’s business which they made at the of this year, has been out of the water – they no longer The take-up has been much than was thought. I think down to a combination of two factors: the hasn’t been quite as as it could have been.

I think there are still issues like range which is the buzz expression and is common. And also, let’s be blunt, the entry price is high.”

He’s not wrong on the issue. The Mia will set UK customers £22,000 after the £5,000 UK car grant, so there’s not a significant on more desirable electric such as the Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Despite this, Deslandes is “I think the world is my oyster,” he us. “We’re producing a total of vehicles next year; set aside a substantial portion of for the UK and it will be available in February or We’re still the cheapest, and we stay the cheapest.” Well, at until July 2012 the £17,850 (after grant) Fluence Z.E. arrives.

Designer Murat Günak

The Mia have some heavyweights it in the form of Murat Günak, head of design at Volkswagen others). He’s also the man who in millionaire pharmaceutical tycoon, Edwin Kohl as buyer parent company Heuliez hit troubles. Heuliez has been cars in France as a sub-contractor for the of Peugeot, Citroen and Opel for a century.

MIA ELECTRIC Mia Electric Cars

The electric car division, 10 years ago, produced the Saxo electric and the Peugeot 106 and, according to Deslandes, was as “the jewel in the crown” of the by Kohl.

Mia owner Professor Kohl

He’s 92% majority with the French State, and the of the German renewable companies,” Deslandes.

“And thank God is still a socialist country, so companies like Heuliez and Mia get trouble, the State helps,” he “This town [Cerizay] in the of rural France was absolutely and dead after the administration of the company collapsed. There was like 4,000 people redundant overnight, not knowing their income was going to from. And that for a small, town was pretty shocking – like 70% of the income producers redundant at a stroke.”

So it seems Mia is of a national source of pride. the new backing, Mia will have around 3,500 vehicles by the end of all of which have been in France under the Mia name – not bad for a car just over a year Ramping up to 14,000 units in is ambitious, but not impossible.

The Mia production line at Cerizay

The company?

“The French office, which is testing at the moment cities, has the two-seat says Deslandes. “We’ve many of these vehicles to which is a pay-as-you-go car club, and got them in Nice, Nantes, Angoulem, Masse and all over the not on test but in reality. The exciting way to go is

However, there’s one major to that in the form of the Bolloré Paris’ vehicle du choix for the Deslandes’ scorn for the appointment is “A certain gentleman said, ‘I have a car by October.’ So far there no sign of any car.”

Since our with Deslandes, Bollore has an initial allocation of 66 Bluecars and has launched in Paris. So is there an elsewhere… London perhaps? right up Mayor Boris street, so to speak, having bicycle sharing to the capital a few back and in relation to Autolib, recently told, never jealous of our esteemed in other cities – we simply what they do as soon as is possible. Then make it

“With respect to Boris,” Deslandes, “I hope he doesn’t Paris, I really, really Because I think they’re giving the contract to the people have.”

Deslandes (right) with Mayor Boris Johnson at the show

The final output the Cerizay plant will be by the market’s reaction to such a though. Do people really cars that offer a practical solution to getting or do people actually want with some poke – pulling power, in more than one? Of course, room for a variety of vehicles, and a spectrum of tastes, but if you asked us to Tesla’s emphasis on performance and dynamics or Mia’s leaning providing cute town we’d have to go with the

And then there are the nice-looking, relatively ‘normal’ pure-electrics the Nissan LEAF, Renault Z.E. and Ford Focus not far off the same price. Electric no longer need to be second-class and EV drivers should not be treated as operators of eco-boxes. In this the Mia seems to us to be a step backwards than a push forwards.

MIA ELECTRIC Mia Electric Cars
MIA ELECTRIC Mia Electric Cars
MIA ELECTRIC Mia Electric Cars
MIA ELECTRIC Mia Electric Cars
MIA ELECTRIC Mia Electric Cars
MIA ELECTRIC Mia Electric Cars
MIA ELECTRIC Mia Electric Cars
MIA ELECTRIC Mia Electric Cars
MIA ELECTRIC Mia Electric Cars
MIA ELECTRIC Mia Electric Cars


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