The Ups and downs
IT’S A well-known if shakily founded maxim that diabolical results come in threes. Last week, as the nation reeled from theWallabies’ bottomless capacity to disappoint and the Socceroos’ wretchedness, we could but wonder what fresh hell awaited. Fear not. As the above results were numbly registered, Carsguide took on the task of completing the hat trick, joyously losing the international E-Up Rally by getting across the line first.
The purpose of this eightnation tourney, held from and for 100km around Bensberg Castle near Cologne, is to introduce the lithium ion battery-driven e-Up.
It sounds like a Yorkshireman’s oath but is the most efficient and indeed tolerable electric commuter car we’ve yet encountered. Fully chargeable from your wall socket in some six hours, it has a theoretical range of 150km.
After 40 km of hyper milling perspiration, however, Glenn Butler and I in the Aussie flag-stamped e-Up were undone by boredom— and humiliated when overtaken by a FordKa.
Boosting the aircon, we overtook the field, especially our cousins froma land to the north with their interesting habit of braking hard on exiting a corner. We at least ascertained that the four-seat commuter can drive efficiently at the speed limit.
Hence the organisers were unprepared when we finished 45 minutes ahead of schedule. We in turn were bemused to be greeted by hundreds in a gala podium finish. Champagne and microphones were thrust at us.
Yet we came stone motherless eighth using 11.3 kilowatt hours for a score of 60. The winning Poms used barely seven and scored 260. Even so, we somehow had 44 km range remaining.
The Germans felt this the day’s most impressive result, given we’d driven it as we would a conventional VW Up.
Whichwas our point. The e-Up is but the remotest chance for Australia but zero-emission motoring is a real possibility the day government ceases profiting by car sales and grant sEVs the concessions they are due.
Then companies can talk seriously of running green fleets and privately owned public charging points will flourish as they do in the firstworld.