When you’re wrong, it’s good to say “Sorry”

And thus I will for my attacks on the Ev’ie electric Citroen C1 last week.
It appears that there is in fact a fully electric Ev’ie out on the streets of London. (Shame the DVLA still think it’s petrol, but still, it IS electric. Or certainly, it is now.

Apparently I was wrong. The Citroen C1 Evie DOES exist, at least in prototype form.
Apparently I was wrong. The Citroen C1 Ev'ie DOES exist, at least in prototype form.

It seems that my little worried post about the car being nothing but hype wasn’t truly accurate. While the photos I complained about last week are quite clearly photoshopped and don’t quite match up with what ECC PLC were saying, it’s probably more a case of them having not got a vehicle to use for publicity when the shots were taken than it being a complete out-and-out fake.
So I was wrong. I apologize. How do I know? It appears that WhatCar? have been given the first test drive of the converted C1 Ev’ie prototype. Now that’s more like the behavior you’d expect from a car company with big names on the board of directors.
They even have a Youtube Video of it, which proves that the car exists and is driveable. Although there did appear to be some issues with the prototype while WhatCar? were driving it.
Video and continued post after the jump.

The following video is from the WhatCar? Youtube stream, and quite clearly shows them driving the converted EV around. From what they say in the video there are no production models as yet (Just as I’d predicted last week) but there is at least a prototype – something I’d brought into question.
Take a look at the video for yourself and see what you think. It looks like a promising car, if the prototype problems can be overcome (the test car overheated on the way around London and suffered some battery problems into the bargain. Certainly not “consumer ready”, then!)

Apparently the vehicle had some issues with overheating and acceleration, due to the three occupants. I suspect it’s more down to the fact that it was a prototype. Perhaps not the smartest move in the world to give an unfinished car to a journalist, but it does at least prove that work is being done to make an electric Citroen C1, converted post-manufacture. That’s great news, and I applaud any company who is genuinely trying to get an affordable, practical EV to market.
It’s good to know that my cynical side was proven wrong. The meteoric rise to the EV spotlight after nothing at all made me question the car’s credentials. The website too, was not is not what you’d expect from a high-class, quality car outfit. The lack of information is quite probably down to a lack of a final product. It’s understandable that the LCC PLC want to make a big splash, but perhaps, much like GM/Segway a few weeks earlier, it would have been better had they waited until they had a proper working model to display to the press: EVs need no bad press right now.
So, here I am, eating humble pie and scrunching my face up in disgust at my own quick-conclusions. I think I can be forgiven for coming to them though, based on the evidence I had at the time. However, it’s good to appologise when you get things wrong.
I’m Sorry.
However, I’ll stick by my comments about the website. And I also stick by my comments about having a ready-to-sell car. It seems as yet, they don’t have one. And until that happens, I’m not considering them as runners in the EV stakes. Just like I don’t consider some of the other EV car companies out there who have talked up huge things, only to turn out one or two cars a month.
I’m also hoping, that if anyone at ECC PLC is reading this, that they’ll perhaps forgive me and offer me a test drive. I’d love to do one to feature here. Maybe that would really help set the record straight.

4 Comments

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  1. It's always a good thing when us "EV skeptics" are proven wrong. There's so much vapourware out there you'd be crazy to believe every story you read. Good to hear this car exists! In prototype form anyhow.

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  2. Exactly. I would rather be proven wrong and see a fantastic new EV than tell everyone about an EV which never actually materialises. I hope my apology is big enough! Slightly frustrating is the person who commented on another post saying I was wrong and had too much free time, even though I'd posted this retraction. Ah well. My mistake!

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  3. It is still surprising that the car isn't registered as electric. Its the first thing I did after my EV was driveable (apart from wizz round the local countryside on proving drives ;~). Its almost like a badge of honour to get the free road tax disc (I wish it was larger or a nice gold colour when it is free!). I wouldn't like to drive it round London or give it to journo's without being completely legal.

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  4. I've got more information (and pictures) from the marketing director at ECC to add to the page at Wikipedia. You might want to check that out. It's very much a stub article but one can only add the information one has. I totally agree with you that if you're wrong you say so. Nothing but respect for that. I removed the link to your blog that was on the page, I thought about keeping it there and saying it had been retracted but that seems pointless. It was another editor who added it in the first place, but that's the way Wikipedia works. I am not related to ECC in any way. Best wishes Si (User:SimonTrew at Wikipedia).

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