• Jul 15th 2010 at 2:09PM
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There once was a little media company called the BBC that wanted to take a little electric vehicle (EV) across Europe, a continent full of little countries. The resulting four 30-minute radio shows for BBC Radio 4 about the trip – which covered around 4,500 miles in a month – showed that electric cars are good for some things, but not everything. In general, the show was positive about EVs, but was also realistic about their potential in the real world.
We spoke with a technical and scientific editor for the BBC, Richard Scrase, who was part of the BBC Electric Ride team, to get a little more information about what it was like to drive a Think City that far and to try and dispel some of the worries people have about EVs.

There's a reason we kept using "little" in our lede, and it's to highlight the different expectations that some Europeans and some Americans have for their cars. Scrase said that the average car journey in Europe is around 15 miles, which the City can handle with ease:
That's the sort of journey most people here do, going to work and back or school and back. For most users within the European context, the range is fine. if you're someone who needs to go hundreds of miles, then it wouldn't be feasible.
For the TV crew on the long journey, the City's 100-mile range worked out all right most of the time. Once, they managed to go around 125 miles on a charge by only driving 45 miles per hour and making as much use as possible of the regenerative brakes. The longest drive in one day was over 180 miles. Most days, though, the team charged the car up overnight, then stopped and recharged once during the day to go an average of about 160 miles a day, using the time sitting still to give and get interviews. "Some days [the charging] was convenient, other days it was a bit tedious," Scrase said. Another size thing: Scrase said that, while the City isn't the biggest vehicle around, headroom was plenty spacious for a 6'6" driver along on the trip.

(updated to show that radio, not TV segments, were produced)

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