Category Archives: Electric cars

Ghost In The Shell. Reviewing Ukrainian electric cars

The future of electric cars in Ukraine is like this thought experiment called Schrödinger’s cat: it’s both alive and dead. The latter is confirmed not only by the realities of the electric car market but the whole automotive industry of the country as well.

Given the population’s low spending capacity that has also been sabotaged dramatically by the crisis of 2020, not every car enthusiast can buy an electric car in Ukraine. The price stays quite high. However, these two points of view do not contradict each other even in the slightest. E-cars will sooner or later capture the Ukrainian market almost completely. Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen in the years ahead due to a combination of causes.

Electric Cars in Ukraine: on the Verge of Progress

The government keeps incentivizing the Ukrainians to switch over to the electric cars. The deputies of Verkhovna Rada have already declared their intent to transfer their citizens to e-cars until 2030. All they got to do is to reduce the cost of such vehicles and ease the installation of electric chargers that must be available virtually in every Ukrainian village as well as on any highways. But it’s no sooner said than done. Sure, there are certain victories in the mass adoption of electric cars. But at the same time, there is a whole range of external challenges. 

Indeed, the sales of electric cars in Ukraine have risen. Moreover, the number of new e-cars almost doubles each year compared to the same index for the preceding period. As for the beginning of 2020, there were more than 27 000 eco-friendly electric cars registered in Ukraine. 7 000 vehicles were purchased in 2019, and 5 300 vehicles in 2018. It’s twice as much as 2017.

The Government Will Help Ya

Some car lovers appreciate the dynamic of such vehicles. Others are pleased with their saving abilities. Finally, someone just wants to be trendy and highlights their eco-style. On top of that, the sales and service of electric cars is a profitable business that has started its expansion for Ukraine.

The proportion of imported e-cars is still relatively low, getting close to 3.5%, while in the leading countries the number of electric and petrol cars is somewhat the same. However, by the projections of experts, in just 5 years there will be no less than 250 000 electric cars in Ukraine.

The main reason behind the increase in demand for electric cars is the possibility to cut down expenses. Moreover, this is not about fuel expenses, but resetting state fees for purchase and registration of such vehicles. With its government initiatives, Ukraine has already got into the top 10 European countries with increasing demand for electric cars, and it’s not over by a long shot.

For instance, the preferential terms of customs clearance will be in effect for one more year. Considering tough economic conditions and a few months swallowed by quarantine, word on the street was that preferential terms for legalization of e-cars might be prolonged.

The citizens of Ukraine can import eco-friendly vehicles peacefully without paying VAT, customs duties, and excise taxes. Only the pension fund (4.8%) stays inevitable, although there is a great chance it will be abolished soon.

In the meantime, the norms of switching to electric cars in Ukraine are recorded on the legislative level. Act No. 2532 assumes that by the end of December 2022, pension fund fees for registering an electric car in Ukraine will be abolished. It will take two years exactly to see such vehicles legally drive in bus lanes.

There’s more: the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is planning on developing a State program that entails insurance bonuses and preferential loans for e-cars. But wait, it’s not over yet. On the roadmap, there’s a development program for the Ukrainian electric car manufacturers as well as projects for the manufacturing and recycling of car batteries.

The Issue with Charge Stations

But these solutions aren’t the only thing stimulating the import of cars with electric motors into the country. Charge stations are still sorely lacking in Ukraine and might become a stumbling block as well. In 2014, their number was limited to 35 stations, but there is some progress, albeit very slow.

At the beginning of 2020, 2054 stations were already operating in the country. By the end of the year, their number is supposed to increase to 3000. Currently, there are about seven electric vehicles per station, which is quite comparable with the European numbers.

The problem is that the overwhelming majority of these chargers are slow AC stations with extremely low speeds. Also, infrastructure development between major cities is compromised by the lack of power grids on the highways and low demand from the owners of electric vehicles. In Ukraine, it is not uncommon for a family to have one electric car for short trips to work and around the city and another petrol car for longer journeys. But an electric car with a long-range (up to 300 kilometers or more) is still an expensive pleasure that only a few can afford. 

However, Ukrainians know how to count money, both wealthy people and those who prefer budget-oriented vehicles. Building new charging stations is surely going to turn into a grueling bureaucratic adventure. Now it becomes obvious that the whole problem should be regulated by the government.

Products for Every Need and Budget

The market determines the price. In Ukraine, you can buy an electric car for almost any taste. When taking a market profile to see what brands of electric vehicles are popular in Ukraine, we can notice that the Nissan Leaf electric car is nowhere near being the main one in the country. Although usually it can be found even in the most remote village. The answer is simple: until recently, there were no official distributors of this brand. Everything you saw on highways was imported on the fringes of the law. 

Now that the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle is fighting for leadership on legal terms, it has to compete with the newest car on the market, the JAC iEV7S crossover. Then again, other popular car models in Ukraine are not making Nissan’s job easier. We are talking about Hyundai IONIQ Electric, Renault ZOE, KIA Soul EV, Renault Kangoo Z.E., and commercial vehicles like the BMW i3s, Jaguar I-Pace, and Tesla.

In Ukraine, you can even buy a kids’ electric car. It’s simply a matter of your budget. However, we have to conclude that many still prefer purchasing used cars as the cost of newer electric ones stays on a higher end. It’s not every customer who would venture to pay $20.000—40.000 for a vehicle. But the change is in the air, although the shift is hardly expectable any time soon.

Are you interested in learning more about electric cars and their future in Ukraine? Read more on our website. The fullest news digest about the world of e-cars is available on our Telegram channel.

Zetta: Will There Be A Budget-Oriented Russian Electric Car?

More and more car manufacturers agree that the future of the global automotive industry lies with electric cars. They are convenient, handy, and friendly to the environment — which becomes increasingly relevant. Experts predict that by 2040, most vehicles around the globe will be electric, but it’s neither a trend nor a fashion statement. Instead, it will become our new reality.

Zetta Electric Car: It’s As Far As It Went

Many years may pass before electric cars become available to people who don’t want to use public transport for the daily commute. The main problem is an EV expensiveness: even basic configuration will cost a fair amount. The leaders of the industry are already looking for options to reduce the price of flagship products. They share a common principle: electric cars must get cheaper.

And while manufacturers carry out difficult calculations and develop flagship cars accessible to the mass consumer, Russia wants to fill a clear market need and release “the cheapest electric car in the world”. As usual, Russian manufacturers got down to work with an ostentatious zeal, but the high-profile project hasn’t still been embodied. Actually, it froze at the stage of plan development of the future “electric car worth only 7 thousand dollars”. 

However, Russian engineers have initially made the right decision. If you want to create a cheap electric car, then you have to save on its size. Judging by the looks, Zetta CM1 will be just as capacious as a vacuum cleaner. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, sure. But the comments under the product announcement show that most car enthusiasts don’t find the Russian electric car — Zetta — even slightly impressive, really. So when watching videos about Zetta, remember: it will be the cheapest electric car in the world. Let it be your mantra. After all, if you want to pay less, you’ll need to ignore some inconveniences. In any other case, call Elon Musk.

Zetta, What Are You?

Zetta CM1 is planned as a compact three-door sedan with an electric drive for two or four wheels. It will turn into an urban electric car designed for short trips to work or family picnic getaways.

Evil tongues ​​are already joking that it will be very interesting to look at the miracle of the Russian automobile industry on the backdrop of serious traffic congestion in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other megalopolises. Nevertheless, there’s no point in bringing up this question at least until the details of a prototype test-drive come up.

The Zetta electric car production was supposed to launch in December 2019, but the triumphant event was put on hold. And so began the year 2020. Suddenly, generalizing electric cars in Russia stopped being a hot topic, and everyone got other things to worry about. Nothing surprising about that: the issues of the day hardly include e-cars.

At the same time, we would like to refrain from any bashing, if only because it has long become mainstream. While there is nothing to praise in this Russian electric car, Zetta hasn’t got anything to dig at as well. 

The Zetta electric car is currently work in progress. Its characteristics have not been fully disclosed yet. It is stated that Zetta is planned to become a four-seater; however, the finished drafts throw discredit upon it. When comparing Zetta to smart fortwo, the Russian e-car is only 34 centimeters longer. But the length shouldn’t be confused with overall comfort. Although it seems bigger visually than the market-leading smart fortwo, the statement that Zetta can sit up to 4 people seems too optimistic. Still, it’s not easy to judge by the drafts and photos. Who knows? The engineers might still surprise us with a revolutionary approach.

A spacious trunk is nowhere to be found. That’s where Zetta follows the path of the best European sports cars. In other words, it’s not the right car to go to the station and meet your beloved auntie who has brought everything but the kitchen sink.

The declared range of 200 kilometers also gives rise to doubts. Firstly, Russian-made batteries per se cause a certain mistrust. Secondly, this range is just too good for such small cars. Then again, we are dealing with plans that are only announced to hype up a future novelty.

Guest From The Future

Overall, the future of the Russian electric car Zetta seems rather vague, and it isn’t just about the delay. The decision to produce low-cost e-cars was quite in line with other social programs for Russian citizens. At the same time, it was adopted in a completely different setting. We are talking about the ruble-to-dollar exchange rate, as well as home manufactures closing because of the COVID-19 quarantine.

What Was The Original Plan?

In 2019, the CEO of Zetta Denis Schurovsky stated that the basic configuration of this Russian electric car (with a 200-km-range battery and a front-wheel-drive) would cost 450 thousand rubles. It was equivalent to $7000 at the time.

As for today, the dollar price of the Zetta electric car decreased by almost $900, but the components went up instead. On a related note, they all are produced in Russia except for the battery manufactured by China’s GE Power Technology. But will Zetta‘s ruble price decline as well? Although the answer’s not hard to guess, the company is not yet ready to provide any commentary.

However, the much-promised low cost is also due to impressive support from the state. At some point, the Russian government decided that creating a budget-friendly electric car is necessary for a positive image of the country. Basically, something along the lines of “The domestic market will do it for starters, and then we’ll see how it goes.”

As a result, the Ministry of Industry and Trade secured funding for the research and development of the Zetta electric car. A Fund for the Development of Monotowns has further accepted the task and supported the initiative with a solid investment. A total amount to be invested in the production of low-end e-cars amounted to 450 million rubles. And the government has recently hinted it would’ve been nice to see the result.

Originally, it was planned to release up to ten prototypes with the production date set for December 2019. Then it went from bad to worse. For 2020 (we are looking at the calendar), 2000 cars were scheduled for a release with at least 15.000 cars produced annually. And that’s considering the production capacities to be ensured by a staff of only 200 workers. So how many cars were released as of April 2020? Again, the company did not answer. The official website stays silent, so the Zetta electric car remains an aspiring project. The only details we got to retrieve from the manufacturer is “Our company keeps running the tests and prepares for commercial exploitation”.

And to think that the development of Zetta started back in 2016! A year later, the company has introduced a prototype equipped with 98-hp propulsion and lithium-ion batteries. Last year, after engineering a conveyor, the construction and equipping of assembly shops have begun. The production is expected to take place in Tolyatti, and some of the Zetta electric car characteristics will be similar to Lada 8 and Lada 10. So there’s one question left: when will the low-cost Russian e-cars break free from the assembly line?

A year ago, Denis Schurovsky declared that preparations for the production launch are completed by 70%, and the assembly shops should be fully ready by the end of 2019. This was followed by a punchline: “…if there are no financial strains”. Although it has not been officially confirmed, some rumors state that the strains did begin as early as last winter, significantly intensifying in 2020. However, the Zetta electric car completed certification back in October 2019. Production has only come to a halt when approaching validation tests. The mass production never started. Still, the company believes the delay is temporary.

Did We Miss Something?

There’s one more thing that no one seems to recall. When the government announced its plans to produce Russian electric vehicles, it has also promised to deal with an equally important issue. We are talking about charging stations, which are still virtually absent around the country. And the ones available are so inconvenient that the e-car owners regretted purchasing a non-standard vehicle painfully. The car lovers constantly post comments on the Internet, saying that Russia is not the right country to experiment with the purchase of an electric car. The future is nowhere near, so the problem remains unresolved.

It was assumed that the Zetta electric car would be mass-produced. Following the example of Western countries, it means that charging stations need to be built at every gas station, in the parking lots of shopping centers and supermarkets, and even in some precincts. So, has anything been done yet? The answer containing all the diversity of Russian obscenities can be found on the very same websites. Spoiler: things are right where they started. All in all, the state of things is reminiscent of the 2015 road comedy film Vacation that mocked an Albanian electric car, Tartan Prancer, for being impossible to charge.

Long-Playing Project

So what is known about the Russian electric car Zetta aside of tech specifications that happen to not be fully public yet? The only information available is that the prototypes have no buttons on the dashboard. Also, the vehicle will be operated using portable electronic devices: for example, a controller or a radio signal tracker. It was even mentioned that a special app will be developed to control Zetta remotely. The steering wheel was only added to a prototype to complete certification.

The Zetta electric car is planned to be released in 3 configurations, with up to 40% of the lineup having a front-wheel drive. The average trim of the Russian e-car will include increased battery capacity, and up to 30% of production is focused on implementing this task. The luxury version will get a four-wheel drive and even more battery power. The operating life is expected to not surpass 150.000 km range.

In Russia, budget-oriented cars have been in the greatest demand for years. Space-effective and relatively cheap Zetta electric cars were supposed to fill a market niche, and the production plan was quite competent. It suggested Zetta conquers the Russian market quickly and further expands to Kazakhstan, the Arab countries, and the countries of North Africa. However, as it often happens in Slavic countries, it went a little sideways. Let’s hope that the Zetta electric car won’t become another pompous, yet unembodied project of the Russian automobile industry.

Do you want to learn more about electric cars in mass production? Read more on our website. Also, the fullest possible range of news from the world of electric vehicles is available on our Telegram channel.

Monarch: Electric Car From Russia. What Hides Behind The Picture

Over the past few years, it has become one of the most discussed mysteries among Russian car enthusiasts. It’s the symbol of the upcoming growth that was promised for the Russian e-transport industry in 2021. Yes, we’re talking about Monarch, the new Russian electric car. Let’s see what is actually hiding behind this name!

The Monarch Electric Car: This Is My Design

With Yo-Mobile and Marusya sinking into oblivion, it seemed that the idea of switching to the modern eco-friendly fuels had left Russian inventors. However, on March 29, 2019, a statement about a new startup attempt appeared in the media. From now on, this day may be officially considered ground zero for the Monarch electric car.

Until August 2019, the new project was hastily sewn together somewhere in the offices of Novosibirsk. Guests of the Monarch Concept S presentation and its broadcast audience could only see the pictures of the vehicle. The actual e-mobile was not delivered to the event.

Nevertheless, according to the official website of the brand, there was a lot of work carried behind the scenes. As for the end of March 2020, the plan assumed (briefly):

  • developing the concept of an electric vehicle in all areas (technological, economic, etc);
  • forming teams and expert lists for prototyping;
  • developing and presenting the car’s interior and exterior, including its charging station.

By the way, the source included an extensive quarterly plan with a crash test. It seems that the launch was planned for the end of 2021. The project manager Alexei Ponomarenko has outlined the course of action in several interviews as well. One thing is notable: for 2019, he didn’t promise to present anything other than a picture. 

Monarch: Not An Electric Car But A Picture

It all started with Alexey Ponomarenko’s decision to fill the gap in the Russian transport’s electrification, or “we will never outrun Tesla.” With a group of developers, he starts developing a project that would attract both drivers and investors. He placed his bets on …

Futuristic Exterior

It’s exactly what Concept S and Concept SX wanted to bring to life. There have been active discussions around the design of the luxury sedan. For instance, rhythms of the body lines reminded enthusiasts of Lexus. Others saw the Tesla Model 3 in the shapes of the back. 

Indeed, in terms of size, the Monarch electric car is somewhat reminiscent of the latter. The vehicle length is 5002 mm, width 2000 mm. However, the back with the supposed luggage compartment looks more like concave forms of Chinese mini-cars and, to some extent, Zetta.

Reserved Interior

The passengers are preparing themselves to be amazed by snow-white leather chairs and a panel made of combined materials. Sensors and buttons are located quite traditionally for a Russian car. The unusually big tablet is removed so as not to distract attention. Still, there’s a surprise. The windshield is intended to combine the functions of a touch screen. Apparently, most buttons will not be needed, since one of the of future electric cars’ features is voice control.

Tech Savvy Side

Monarch has made some serious claims regarding authenticity in its power supply.

First, the developers want to achieve a driving distance of up to 300-600 miles without recharging. That’s why they need a new generation of batteries similar to the Taycan. 

Second, a vehicle is intended to use several sources of energy at the same time. As Ponomarenko stated in his interview with Zelyonaya Tochka Starta on March 19, 2020, the first models to be released will only have a 50 kW non-removable battery. It’s the same battery used in popular Nissan LEAF.

The number of synchronous motors depends on the buyer’s needs. The Monarch electric car can fit up to four such motors, 160-190 kW each. It provides from 250 to 1000 horsepowers under the hood. You might as well consider:

  • four-wheel drive,
  • system of pneumatic suspensions, levers, and racks,
  • 1 or 2 electric motors with 8 power options,
  • 100 kW battery with the reserve sufficient for 350 miles.

However, there was a need to reject the idea of a replaceable modular battery pack, although it has struck the imagination of journalists and bloggers.

Set of Functions

Justifying the slogan “Environmental friendliness everywhere”, Monarch is attached to several eco-management systems:

  • sharing accident-preventing information about external environment between electric cars;
  • driver behavior monitoring system;
  • autopilot with the ultrasound recognition of obstacles and flaws in the road surface;
  • voice control of the car up to self-parking.

Pleasant bonuses include air ionization and visual effects on the windshield matrix. All vehicle maintenance services can be paid directly from the car’s interior.

Fake Luxury Of the Monarch?

Following the ill-fated presentation on December 24, a scandal arose around the vehicle. After all, a prototype of the latest Russian electric car did not appear to the judgment of journalists. As it turned out, the concept car got stuck somewhere on the road due to problems with transportation fees. One thing led to another, and a blogger of the Rusautomobile portal published raw sketches of the lost model. The photos speak louder than the most eloquent descriptions.

This discovery entailed a chain of conspiracy investigations. Apparently, Ponomarenko has long been involved in fraudulent schemes. The goal of his project was only to attract investors and happily lose all the money, just as it happened to his previous financial project.

Yes, indeed, it was an initial plan to create the Monarch electric car using millions of private investments. By the way, anyone can invest at least 250 thousand rubles in the company. So what’s the fraud so far? It seems that people hoped for a quick launch, but got disappointed with an empty prototype.

Nonetheless, there is an elegant explanation. Just look at the concept name. Ponomarenko explained it was called after the butterfly: “fast, green, and silent.” What people saw in an awkwardly tailored draft is just a cocoon for a future beauty that’s going to spread its wings on the roads of Russia. 

Will Monarch beat Zetta? By the way, we’re going to discuss the future of this most anticipated Russian electric car as well. Don’t miss our reviews on our website and in the Telegram channel!

Renault Electric Car: Range, Specifics, Price

Renault Electric Cars Review 

E-cars have only appeared at the end of the last decade. Nevertheless, they are increasingly becoming a larger part of our lives while getting better and exploring new dimensions. For instance, it’s been a long time since the first unmanned electric vehicle was introduced to a mass market.

Among the manufacturers of electric cars, the French company Renault belongs to the five companies with the largest range of vehicles. In this review, we will be discussing the models of Renault e-cars available for sale.

Renault Electric Vehicles Features

Among other e-cars manufacturers, Renault was the first of its kind. In 2011, the French started producing copies of their most common car models equipped with electric engines instead of gasoline-powered. Also, most of Renault electric cars have the signature Z.E. (“Zero Emission”) prefix in the name. 

Below, you’ll find a detailed description of each model that’s relevant today. All the reviewed variations are equipped with a battery that can be charged not only at special gas stations but also from the supplied cable compatible with a standard 220 V household outlet.

ZOE

Renault ZOE car is a full-scale hatchback with an electric motor. The company launched production in 2012, and very soon ZOE became known as the best-selling electric car at the time.

Being the largest one in this French auto group, ZOE electric car is equipped with the most powerful units (compared to other Renault models). For instance, the electric engine has got an unprecedented 87 hp. and a torque of 220 Nm, while the battery has a capacity of 41 kWh. The Renault ZOE range is 135 miles, and to keep the car a-going longer, the French developed several charging schemes. In normal mode, ZOE charges for 6–9 hours. In accelerated mode with the maximum power intake, it only takes about 40 minutes.

In 2018, the ZOE model was modernized. The manufacturer installed a 108-hp. engine with a torque of 225 Nm, while the range was increased up to 185 miles. In addition, the fuel system experienced partial modifications that brought it in line with the latest environmental standards.

Both versions are still available for purchase.

Kangoo Z.E.

In 2011, Renault started the production of electric versions of the popular minivan/van. The novel second-gen Kangoo Express Z.E. has got an electric motor with 70 horsepower under the hood and a charge reserve sufficient for 105 miles. Also, the French sell this model’s batteries separately in their home country.

Overall, the electric version has the same characteristics as its gasoline-powered predecessor. The main difference is the location of the batteries. They were placed under the bottom of the cabin, further increasing the usable space. So the luggage compartment of the van-body model can fit 1400 lbs maximum payload. In addition, the battery reached a capacity of 22 Nh and gets fully charged in 6-8 hours.

By the way, here’s an interesting fact: early versions of Renault Kangoo electric cars retained the gasoline filler hole. As heating the car with electricity was economically irrational, a traditional heater was installed where the gas tank is usually supposed to be.

Car model review: 

Twizy

Renault has also taken care of the residents of metropolises when a line of Twizy models was launched.

Strictly speaking, this is not quite a car. Because of its super-tiny size, some countries mark this vehicle as ATV. With the width of 47 inches and the length of 88 inches, it’s even smaller than the famous Smart made by Daimler! That’s why you need to check with the vehicle category in your place of residence, else you may have to get a new driving license.

Twizy is available in two versions. The first version, Urban 45 has a small 5-horsepower engine that speeds up to 28 mph. The second one, Urban 80 is equipped with a 4.7-gallon engine and accelerates to 64 mph. When buying any of them, you can choose how to arrange the seating: two seats can be installed either side by side or one upfront, another behind.

A bit later, Renault released a Twizy Cargo modification specifically designed for freightage. The luggage compartment replaces the rear passenger seat. Cargo 45 and Cargo 80 are available with the same characteristics as in the corresponding versions of the Urban car model.

It was clear that such a small car might get crushed in traffic jams along with the driver. That’s why manufacturers made sure the vehicle has increased security. The frame and the body have a deformable structure, and the wheels are mounted in suspension to protect passengers from side impact. Finally, the Twizy model is equipped with an airbag.

As in other Renault electric cars, a lithium-ion battery under the front seat has a capacity of 6.1 kWh. Although the charge won’t last long (60-miles range only), it should be enough for the intended “work-home-work” route. Also, Twizy shares another common feature with Renault’s Kangoo electric vehicles: its batteries are sold separately as well.

Fluence Z.E.

Fluence is the sedan lineup that replaced Megane in 2009. The production of electric and gasoline versions launched at the same time.

Fluence is the first model to use the Quickdrop technology which allows you to quickly replace a low battery with a new one.

With an engine power of 95 hp and a torque of 226 Nm, the fully charged battery of Fluence Z.E. will last for 115 miles. Ergonomics, on the other hand, received more attention from the engineers. Fluence has extremely comfortable bucket seats that saved up space for an enlarged spoiler and diffuser at the rear of the car.

Unfortunately, this model was not in great demand, so it was discontinued in 2014. Nevertheless, the Fluence electric car is still quite popular on the secondary market.

Symbioz Demo

It’s a remarkable model for several reasons. First of all, it’s more of a concept car. Since the only-begotten test release of 2017, the production has still not been established. Second, as an unmanned vehicle, it’s a pioneer for Renault, France, and all of Europe.

Symbioz is a huge, 16-inch hatchback with a slightly inclined rooftop. The body is 6.5 inches wide with a weight of 2.2 tons. Such a colossus is driven by two electric engines with a capacity of 490 hp, both hidden at the rear wheels. The battery capacity is 72 kWh, which lasts for 310 (sic!) miles.

The car range reads in the interior design. The first thing to catch your eye is the lack of rear-view mirrors. They were replaced by cameras installed in the corners of the cabin. In addition, the front panel consists almost entirely of touchscreen displays that replace traditional buttons and levers.

Symbioz is equipped with one of the most advanced autopilot systems (4 stars out of 5 on the SAE scale). On the trip, the driver can even rotate the seat 180 degrees to face the passenger compartment and communicate with fellow travelers more conveniently. The steering wheel and dashboard both get shifted towards the hood. The autopilot is supported by a number of sensors and radars that completely cover the lower parts of the body from both sides.

The mass production of the novelty is planned somewhere in 2023 after all tests on the roads are completed.

Renault Electric Car Price And Official Dealers

First of all, we should say that the countries of the former USSR are supplied with a limited assortment of Renault electric car models. For example, residents of Ukraine only have a Kangoo electric car available for purchase. Russian citizens can only buy Twizy. Because of this, it’s hard to disclose the Renault ZOE price in Russia, since this model is not officially sold there despite having a strong demand in Europe.

In Ukraine, there are about 60 official dealers of Renault electric vehicles. The biggest players are the Autocentre Goloseevsky and Arma Motors in Kyiv, as well as the Solly Plus in Kharkiv. You can buy an electric van at a price of 688 000 UAH.

For the Russian Federation, Renault electric car price varies depending on the location of the auto-center. The farther from Moscow, the more expensive it will cost. The Moscow branch of the largest dealer, Renault Automir offers Twizy electric cars for 950 000 rubles. In Novosibirsk, the very same dealer sells this model for 978 000  rubles. Among the Russian representatives of the brand, we can also recommend Avtoprodiks in St. Petersburg and Lucky Motors in Kazan.

Latest News

In the fall of 2020, we’re going to see the third-generation Kangoo model presented to the public. Although its detailed characteristics are still unknown, it’s clear that the French will add one more body type to the lineup: a pickup truck.

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Choosing Kids Electric Cars: Sharing Our Life Hacks and State Secrets

A few years ago, holiday parks were the only place to ride on an electric jeep for kids. Nowadays, some parents purchase them for home entertainment. Why not? Check these cars’ characteristics and see they are not just your typical toys. They look exactly like real ones, too!

But did you know that children’s electric cars have a different purpose? That’s why there are all-terrain vehicles and options designed specifically for the youngest drivers. Let’s see what electric car would be the best pick for your kid.

Kids’ Electric Cars Models

Ford Ranger

What are the advantages of this model? Name something. Four-wheel drive and high ground clearance guarantee a high passing ability on sand, gravel, or grass. The car has got bright lights, a spacious interior for 2 passengers with seat belts, and even a trunk. 

This doll can speed up to 4 mph while being controlled by an automatic transmission. Battery capacity depends on the manufacturer (an average of 10 Ah). Exactly like a real car, the Ford Ranger has a music system with FM broadcasting and Bluetooth signal transmission. 

Parents will find a few more benefits: the kids’ electric ride-on can be controlled remotely, and a massive retractable transportation handle is attached to the back.

Mercedes

The children’s prototype of the famous car is part of a line from such manufacturers as RiverToys, Barty, and Toyland. You’ll see different models here, from the Mercedes GLA R653 to the retro-style Mercedes-Benz S300

Power and other indicators vary as well. For example, the two-speed and two-engine S300 is designed to move 3 miles per hour, while the AMG GTR HL289 has 4 engines and a limit of 3.7 mph. 

All cars boast the same set of options more or less: opening doors, an interior that fits 2 children, seat belts, and a music system (compatible with MP3, USB, and microSD).

Mercedes-Benz G-Class (G-Wagen)

For the lovers of massive electric jeeps for kids, there is a Mercedes-Benz G-Class prototype. RiverToys has declared this model as licensed, but it’s not particularly different from other brands’ dupes (except it has got 4 wheels as opposed to 6-wheel Barty’s and 2-4 engines proportionally). They all start with a key and speed up to 3-4 mph. 

The vehicles are equipped with a couple of 7Ah batteries that can work up to 120 minutes without recharging. Your kid will have plenty of riding to upbeat music. Shock absorbers and a five-point belt provide them with additional safety and comfort.

Jeep

This kids’ electric car replicates the image of a real SUV. Don’t worry if your kid under 8 years old sits behind the wheel: wide rubber tires, shock absorbers, and high ground clearance make it easy for the car to move even on stones. 

This four-wheel-drive model has got 4 engines of 45 watts each. It is charged from the 7Ah battery and speeds up to 4 mph. Parents can supervise the car using the remote control. A loud audio system and light-up headlights will add to the mood of the trip.

Buggy

If you’re looking for a safe open SUV, Buggy is a great option. Soft seats and strong seat belts will brighten up even the bumpy rides. The child gets to feel the upper hand: for instance, the car starts up with the key. You can also switch speeds on the go or turn off the all-wheel-drive completely. 

With the maximum speed of 4 mph, parents can stop worrying that the child will get too carried away while driving. Also, 4 motors with a power of 45 kW make you feel as if you were driving a real car.

BMW

The BMW fleet of children’s electric cars is just as extensive as Mercedes-Benz’. Still, the all-time favorite among manufacturers is a mini-copy of the sixth model. It is designed for two passengers under 6 years old, but the older the child, the more space they will need. 

There is an engine-starting button. When the driver presses the pedal, the car speeds up smoothly. It can also move back and forth, and if your child does not cope with the steering wheel, you can use the remote control to help.

This BMW is equipped with 2 engines of 35 watts each and a battery from 7 to 10 Ah (depending on the brand). The battery runs for 2 hours, and a charge indicator shows the fun time left.

Tractors

Three large manufacturers produce electric tractors for kids: Peg-Perego, JIAJIA, and Pilsan. Products by Peg-Perego look more realistic than their competitors’, but they are significantly more expensive as well.

Tractors can move in two directions, play music, and even buzz with a horn. Typically, with its two engines of 165 kW, such a vehicle can reach the speed of up to 4.6 mph. 

There is only one disappointing thing: the operating time is less than in a small electric car for kids. It only works for 40 minutes. Also, electric tractors are powered from a charge of only 6 volts.

Motorcycles

Most often, children’s electric motorcycles are actually tricycles. 

Most manufacturers duplicate the general outlines of well-known brands. Nevertheless, there are those who specialize in duplicating BMWs (Joy Automatic, Barty, RT). 

Chinese electric motorcycles have the same characteristics as most children’s electric cars. The only thing left is to choose what you prefer: a bike or a simple passenger car.

Double-Seat Models

Almost all kids’ electric cars are designed for two children, except for tractors and motorcycles. Unfortunately, the novelty of 2019, the kids’ electric Apple Car is only developed for one driver.

Important: when making a purchase, pay attention to what age the car is designed for: children of 5 years and older simply will not fit inside together.

Remote Control Models

The remote control is another safety measure for a young driver. You can find it in the following popular electric car models:

  • Barty Ford Ranger F650,
  • RiverToys Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG,
  • Barty Hummer H777MP,
  • Barty Baggu XMX-603,
  • RiverToys Jeep M777MM et al.

The remote control helps parents control both the speed of the car and its trajectory.

Where to Buy a Kids’ E-Car

You can buy electric cars for 6-year-old boys and girls (and older) not only in sporting goods but also in children’s stores. Especially for our readers, we have found their whereabouts.

Russia

The largest selection of small electric cars for kids is in the following chain stores:

  • Detsky Mir,
  • Korablik,
  • Dochki-Sinochki.

Belarus

  • DetMir,
  • Buslik,
  • Funtastik.

Ukraine

  • Budynok Ihrashok,
  • Antoshka,
  • Baby Boom. 

Used Electric Cars

You can buy used electric vehicles on the following Internet websites:

  • Yula (Russia),
  • Avito (Russia),
  • Onliner (Belarus),
  • Bulavka.by (Belarus),
  • RIA.com (Ukraine).

Renting Children’s Electric Cars

How easy it is to rent a battery car for kids, depends on where you live. Look for renting points not only in parks but also on the online message boards. There is always a wide range of options to choose from.

How to Charge a Small Electric Car for Kids

To charge an e-car properly, you should only follow 3 important steps:

  1. Do not fully discharge the battery neither after the first assembly nor during your further use.
  2. After delivery, put the vehicle on charge immediately.
  3. For long periods of use, remove the terminals from the battery.

For more information click here:

Repairing Battery Cars For Kids

You are free to choose whether you want to repair your electric car in the service center or on your own. However, if the car is still under warranty, do not try to fix the damage on your own and contact the seller right away.

Spare Parts for Children’s Electric Cars

Again, when looking for spare parts, the Internet will be of greatest help. Original parts can be found both in the online store where you have made the purchase and at the service sites of your region. Take note of the websites:

Wheels for Kids’ Electric Ride-On

  • Russia: rc-today.ru, 2sundays.ru.
  • Belarus: Star-Store.deal.bu, ypa.bu.
  • Ukraine: CD-Market.ua, masha-dasha.com.ua.

Batteries

  • Russia: 1000va.ru, техмарт.рф.
  • Belarus: turbotoys.by, akumulator.by.
  • Ukraine: bigl.ua, aky.com.ua.

Chargers (12 V)

  • Russia: boy-toys.ru, rc-today.ru.
  • Belarus: 1AKB.by, turbotoys.by.
  • Ukraine: bigl.ua, aky.com.ua.

Read more information about popular models of kids’ electric cars on our website, and to make it easier to follow the news, subscribe to our Telegram channel.

Reviewing Popular Electric Cars for Kids

Children electric car is a dream for any kid. Such vehicles have long become a must-have attraction for any playground or leisure park. You can rent them anywhere to enjoy a 5-10 minute ride. But even if you buy a few rides in a row, it won’t be much. The territory of the rental ride-on is also limited to a tiny area. 

Now, if your kid uses their own vehicle, it’s a totally different experience. Both boys and girls will be thrilled about such a purchase. 

The market offers dozens of car models. But how can you make a wise choice? Let’s get this sorted out.

Types of Children’s Electric Cars

E-cars for kids vary in their specifics:

  • size;
  • capacity;
  • accumulator volume;
  • design;
  • number of seats;
  • other perks.

Nevertheless, the main functional differences depend on the age category:

  1. Age 1-3. In cars for toddlers, speed and carrying capacity are limited. There is always a control console for parents with a signal range of 100-160 feet. Even if the kid drives the car, an adult can always take over the wheel to prevent any dangerous scenario.
  2. Age 4 and up. Electric cars for bigger kids entail full vehicle control, larger sizes, and higher maximum speed. For a child over 3 years old, you might prefer buying a two-seated car, as younger car owners love riding with their friends. In this category, the upper age limit is defined by the size of the e-car, its carrying capacity, and the child’s height and weight.

What To Look For When Choosing a Children’s Electric Car

What should a kids’ vehicle be like? Good-looking and comfy, for sure. But the bottom line is always safety. Although this is a toy car, it’s still a vehicle. The children ride-on safety measures consist of:

  • stability (a car won’t roll over when turning);
  • structure reliability (it won’t fall apart on the go);
  • compliance with age restrictions (height, weight, speed limit, parental control);
  • noticeability (visible from afar: bright-colored design, glowing lights);
  • environmentally-friendly materials.

Only the products from well-known brands can guarantee fine quality. That’s why it is not recommended to buy no-name e-cars. You can bring your attention to the larger manufacturers of high-grade electric cars: Peg Perego, RIVERTOYS, and Toy Land. These companies offer a wide choice of models within a large network of representatives across Russia.

In any city, you can find a store that sells at least one brand. If there’re no official representatives, you can buy a mini electric car for kids online.

When choosing a vehicle, consider your child’s age. Both a compact car and a larger car to grow into will do it for a little driver. 

Also, take into account if there’s any free storage space available. You can keep tiny models at home, but the bigger ones will not fit in the elevator or the doorway. Therefore, a larger electric car is only worth buying if you have a garage or a stairwell to leave it there.

Electric Cars Review For Ages From 8 Months to 12 Years

Our review includes vehicles that meet different needs. There are tiny models for toddlers and electric cars for big kids that even an adult can ride on; sedans for smooth-road driving and ATVs for an out-of-town experience. All toy cars are copies of real models equipped with a full essential kit of a modern children’s electric car:

  • EVA rubber wheels;
  • LED headlights;
  • seats with eco-leather covers;
  • opening doors;
  • seat belts;
  • horn;
  • dashboard with backlight;
  • recorded music player;
  • USB, AUX, SD inputs;
  • carry handle.

10 Best Electric Cars For Kids

Based on sales, we present to you the most popular kids’ e-cars for different age categories. Despite the different battery capacities, the charging time is 8-10 hours for all the listed models, give or take. The run-time variations are also insignificant: 2-3 hours at medium load. We place this information here so as not to repeat the same data in each product matrix.

Mercedes-Benz GLA

Mercedes-Benz GLA

It’s a compact single car. The driver’s seat is adjustable and flexible, so any child from 8 months to 8 years can sit in it comfortably. There are 2 fans in the dashboard (called air conditioners just to sound cooler) to help your kid drive even in the hottest weather.

The music player volume is adjusted with the wheel, unlike other models with a volume button-adjustment. The charging connector is under the lid of the simulated gas tank.

The front wheels are equipped with excellent shock absorbers to ensure a smooth ride. When turning the steering wheel, the front gears are switched off, making it easier to control the vehicle.

The wheels of this model can be removed easily with just one lever push. Put them inside the cabin to make this children electric car even smaller: this way, it fits in the trunk of your vehicle perfectly. For transportation, small rollers are provided under the bumper. The removed wheels are easy to wash. Finally, your kids can drive the car at home.

Mercedes-Benz GLA is the most thoughtful and dynamic e-car among compact models.

Age from 8 months to 7 years
Max load 77 lb
Seats 1
Dimensions 48 х 25 х 25 inches
Vehicle weight 46.2 lb
Battery power 12 V / 7 Ah
Motor power 2 х 35W
Drive unit rear-drive
Colors red, white, blue, black
Max speed 4 mph
Engine starting button
Manufacturer RIVERTOYS

Porsche Cayman 180 W

This is one of the biggest and fastest cars that kids can ride in as it speeds up to 9 miles per hour. Even an adult or two teenagers can ride on this Porsche Cayman unless their total weight exceeds 220 lbs. Inflatable tubeless wheels are like those of actual vehicles. The steering wheel is adjustable for any height. Separate comfortable seats with individual seat belts. Also, you can download music not only via a USB flash drive or a memory card but also from a phone using a Bluetooth connection.

The battery is under the hood. You can get it out and charge it without bringing the car to a power outlet. The hood lid can be locked open. Also, there is some free space inside for your belongings. 

The mechanical disc brake is complemented with a handbrake, so the car can be safely left on a slope. This vehicle is designed for kids of 4 years and older, so there’s no remote control.

With its bold and chic appearance, this Porsche Cayman is certainly the coolest electric car in the children’s category “ages 5+”.

Age 5-15 years old
Max load 220 lbs
Seats 2
Dimensions 68*40*18.5 inches
Vehicle weight 128 lbs
Battery power 24 V / 7 Ah
Motor power 180W
Drive unit rear-drive
Colors white, black, yellow, red
Max speed 9.6 mph
Engine starting key
Manufacturer RIVERTOYS

Porsche Cayman 12V

A lighter version of the previous Porsche Cayman, this 12V mini electric car for kids is just as big and visually striking. However, its battery power and maximum speed are twice as less. The maximum load is different: it can only handle 130 lbs. Finally, the cost is also lower. In total, this is a great battery-operating children’s electric car for ages 3 to 10.

Age 3-10 years old
Max load 130 lbs
Seats 2
Dimensions 68*40*18.5 inches
Vehicle weight 77 lbs
Battery power 12 V / 10 Ah
Motor power 2 х 45W
Drive unit rear-drive
Colors white, black, yellow, red
Max speed 4 mph
Engine starting key
Manufacturer RIVERTOYS

Mercedes Benz Maybach G650 AMG Landaulet

This is a large all-wheel-drive SUV with high passing ability. Ground clearance of 10 inches allows your children to have a smooth ride even on a country road. Soft rubber wheels don’t make too much noise on the pavement and do not slide on grass.

The two-seated cabin has an adjustable driver’s seat. Also, parents can drive this children’s electric car using the remote control. So when you buy a Mercedes Benz Maybach G650 for your toddler to grow into, don’t worry if the young driver will be able to reach the pedals. 

The car has a large spacious trunk. If you’re planning a long walk, you can safely put your things and toys in there.

Age 1 – 8 years old
Max load 110 lbs
Seats 2 — for kids age 1 to 5,
1 — for kids age 5 to 8
Dimensions 56 х 39 х 25.5
Vehicle weight 87 lbs
Battery power 12 V / 7 Ah x 2
Motor power 4x35W
Drive unit all-wheel drive
Colors white, burgundy, blue, black metallic
Max speed 4 mph
Engine starting button
Manufacturer Toy Land

Buggy XMX603

The next electronic SUV, Buggy might be the most original of them all; it’s the only model in our list that doesn’t imitate the design of a particular vehicle. Still, it doesn’t look like a kids’ toy. Large wheels, high clearance, and all-wheel drive make the car very passable. This children electric car is equipped with strong shock absorbers and adjustable rears. Combined seats are secured with a shared seat belt. You can switch the gears with the gear lever.

Age 1 kid of 1-8 years, 

2 kids of 1-5 years

Max load 110 lbs
Seats 2
Dimensions 127x81x80
Vehicle weight 60 lbs
Battery power 12 V / 7 Ah
Motor power 4×45W
Drive unit full drive
Colors black and white, red, blue, green, pink
Max speed 4 mph
Engine starting key
Manufacturer Toy Land

Mercedes Benz G63 6×6

This powerful double G-Wagen with six wheels has got a reinforced metal frame and a plastic body. Its high doors protect the driver and passenger very well.

In rough terrain, it glides like a tank. There’s everything you need for an extreme trip:

  • highly stable base;
  • four-wheel drive;
  • large protectors;
  • spring shock on each wheel.

Under the hood, there are 2 removable batteries that can be charged separately. The back has a roomy trunk that transforms into an additional passenger seat if you fold it down. Frames on the sides can be used as handrails.

Age 1 kid of 1-8 years,

2 kids of 1-5 years

Max load 132 lbs
Seats 2
Dimensions 59 x 33.7 x 28 inches
Vehicle weight 82 lbs
Battery power 12 V / 7 Ah х 2
Motor power 4x45W
Drive unit all-wheel-drive
Colors white, black, red (gloss or metallic)
Max speed 4 mph
Engine starting button
Manufacturer RIVERTOYS

Lexus LX 570

This is a beautiful and reliable luxury electric car great for an off-road experience. The frame is made of metal, and the plastic body has a UV-protective coating. Wide wheels with powerful treads provide great stability on the road.

Inside, there’s a double seat with a perforated eco-leather. A five-point seat belt is used for both passengers.

The battery is easily removed for charging. Gearboxes are built into the wheels. When preparing for a smooth ride, the front-wheel-drive can be disabled as it makes the battery last longer.

Age 1 kid of 1 – 8 years, 2 kids of 1 – 5 years
Max load 110 lbs
Seats 2
Dimensions 56 х 29 х 18.8 inches
Vehicle weight 66 lbs
Battery power 2х12 V / 7 Ah
Motor power 4 x 35W
Drive unit all-wheel-drive
Colors white, black, red, blue, grey metallic
Max speed 7
Engine starting key
Manufacturer Toy Land

BMW 6 GT

This elegant single-seat sedan is the most compact and lightweight children electric car in our review. With a weight of 30 lbs and length of 40 inches, BMW 6 GT will fit in the trunk, elevator, or apartment without much ado.

Despite the small size and weight, the car has all the standard functions. Additionally, it is equipped with side mirrors. All in all, this is a perfect city or home option for novice drivers.

Age 8 months – 5 years
Max load 66 lbs
Seats 1
Dimensions 41 × 25 × 20 inches
Vehicle weight 30 lbs
Battery power 2×6 V / 4,5 Ah
Motor power 2×35W
Drive unit rear-drive
Colors white, black, red, blue, grey metallic
Max speed 3 mph
Engine starting button
Manufacturer Toy Land

Porsche Sport QLS 8988

This compact and stylish-looking children electric car is designed for a kid up to 8 years old. In terms of weight and dimensions, it is only slightly superior to the BMW 6 GT.

The soft leather seat is equipped with a reliable five-point belt. This doll has 2 unique options that are extremely rare in such cars:

  1. You can turn off backlights to save battery.
  2. There are 4 gears: 2 forward and 2 reverse (for comparison: all other models have only 2-3).

This is a very stylish, high-quality car. It is easy to carry around, and your kids can play with it at home.

Age 1-8 years
Max load 77 lbs
Seats 1
Dimensions 44 х 24 х 19 inches
Vehicle weight 32 lbs
Battery power 12 V / 7 Ah
Motor power 2×35W
Drive unit rear-drive
Colors white, red, blue, black
Max speed 4 mph
Engine starting button
Manufacturer Toy Land

Ford Ranger VIP 2017 4×4

A comfortable middle-sized all-wheel-drive SUV will suit the children from 8 months to 8 years old. Wide tires and high clearance guarantee a good passability. Ford Ranger can drive on sand and even light snow quite well. 

This children’s electric car is equipped with two capacious luggage racks, a wide seat with headrests, and a single lap belt.

Ford Ranger draws attention from afar due to its stylish design, bright metallic coating, and additional lights on the frame. This is one of the best electric cars for kids and young rangers.

Age 1 kid of 3 – 8 years, 2 kids of 3-4 years
Max load 110 lbs
Seats 2
Dimensions 55 х 32 х 32 inches
Vehicle weight 57 lbs
Battery power 12 V / 10 Ah
Motor power 4*45W
Drive unit all-wheel drive
Colors white, red, blue, black, orange
Max speed 5.5 mph
Engine starting key
Manufacturer Toy Land

This is the last model in our review. Nevertheless, if you are looking for new information on the best electric cars for kids, you’re welcome to search for it on our website. And if you are also an adult e-cars enthusiast, subscribe to our Telegram channel.