Nice Car Company -
Never mind the concepts; here’s the Ze-0 - 2008
European styled and developed and built in China, the Ze-0 from NICE is the
world's first affordable, 5-door family electric car. And unlike so much new
metal at motor shows, this is no concept car; it goes on sale in the autumn.
Ze-0 brings all the benefits of electric motoring in an MPV with a range of
around 55 miles in normal city driving. It makes no compromise on specification
or styling and, perhaps best of all, it costs from as little as £13,995. An
all-electric family car for a family budget? That's NICE!!!
NICE is the leading independent retailer for electric vehicles.
In July 2006 the NICE Car Company was born. Founded by former-Lotus colleagues
Julian Wilford and Evert Geurtsen, NICE made its debut at the British
International Motor Show. The stylish Mega City, the company’s first car, was
presented to more than 400,000 eager ExCeL visitors.
NICE signalled the start of a shake-up in the auto industry. Car makers had
dallied with electric cars since the turn of the 20th century, but NICE
recognised the zeitgeist. The electric car’s time had finally arrived.
Since launching the company, the automotive picture has changed. For some,
within and outside the industry, the electric revolution has been sudden and
unforeseen. For many it is unwelcome. But the change has real political momentum
and the business case for all-electric cars, vans and trucks has never been
The world caught up with the NICE vision. Electric vehicles have won the
technology war and, as the company grows, customers across Europe are set to
reap the benefits.
The political tide
Biofuels, hydrogen, hybrids and electric cars; two years ago the drive to
sustainable motoring seemed to be wrapped up in a host of competing
Then in March 2008 two influential reports were published. The King Review
shaped policy maker’s thoughts about sustainable motoring in the 21st century.
Its author said that road transport could only achieve significant reductions in
CO2 emissions if industry, consumers and government turned to electric and
hybrid vehicles en masse. Government took notice.
Last month the prime minister added his weight to the electric revolution,
announcing an increase in renewable energy supplied to the national grid.
Renewables would form 15 per cent of the mix by 2020, he said, as part of the
government’s renewable energy strategy. He added that greater take-up of
electric and hybrid vehicles would be key to achieving carbon reduction targets.
It was a message with echoes of an influential WWF report, also published in
March. Called Plugged In: The End of the Oil Age, it pointed out the benefits of
all-electric cars, even with the current energy mix. But also their potential
for the future:
“despite those wretched power plant efficiencies and the fact that powertrain
technology is relatively immature, the battery electric vehicle can be over 60
per cent more efficient than today’s conventional ICE (internal combustion
engine) across the plant to wheel life cycle” – p 86
“Electric vehicles need not wait for the coming renewable energy revolution,
though they will automatically reap the rewards when that does happen.” – p91
Mainstream car companies have started queuing up to reveal plans for
all-electric models. More and more will be coming to market, they claim, either
in 2010, 2011 or 2012. But few can sell cars to customers today.
For the NICE Car Company though, the dawn of mass-market, all-electric motoring
was something for which the company had prepared and planned.