Few owners claiming 80-90 mpg from Aixams, but without specifying how those figures were measured. However unreliability and high insurance costs look like a problem. Interesting to hear how the 2 cyl Kubota engine more readily runs on veggie oil, possibly even straight oil. Something to do with the digger engines swirl chamber hotter than direct injection. Say what you like, it has 4 wheels, doors and a roof, and if averaging 90 mpg then it is a truly heroic eco car...!
Realistically, the 50 miles of twisty, hilly, potholed rural roads I travel each day would probably kill an Aixam in short order. The i20 (though classed as a supermini) is taller and seems to have as big a cabin as old Escort sized cars - just a shorter boot. Thinking about it seriously, I don't know if an Elio, Aixam, Microcar or such could comfortably carry 200 kilos of adults on anything other than nice smooth A-roads... My wish list eco car is a Mk 1 Insight, but when I described it to the missus, she thought it sounded too small, damn!
Even if that's 20 US mpg, 24 mpg imperial is still awful! I can appreciate some people are performance orientated (a mate just swapped a subaru for a golf r32), but I bet most of those vehicles could be comfortably switched for a diesel equivalent that would halve those owners fuel costs. From every US conversation about diesels, I m aware that is unpopular and would never happen, due to various reasons and a different mindset. I sell printer cartridges and the world is full of needlessly uneconomical printers and cartridges. Manufacturers greed and a lack of consumer knowledge keeps the market awash with rip off machines and products. Sadly good economy is an active choice involving conscious effort- it won't just fall in people's laps.
I'm somewhat ashamed to admit it but my car only gets 19 US mpg (it gets 74 smiles per gallon). I live in an apartment so having two cars is not an option, and I like my C55 a lot, it's a high quality high grade car, there were no costs cut while its making. Most people here where I live drive trucks and SUVs, and I'm not surprised that there are 90,000,000 cars with 20 mpg or less. When I get a house soon, the first thing I will do is install an electric car charger for around $2,300 and then keep my eye on the used electric car market. I always buy used cars to save money on depreciation. I might sell my C55 when I get my next car, or just keep it since it's a sweet ride. That's why to most North Americans an Elio would make a lot of sense. The Elio would pay for itself in the first year by just using less gas and not paying the maintenance on the AMG. I have been looking at the used Smart cars as well, they go for very cheap and take up very little space, but I want an electric car as my next car. My dad has a '15 Passat TDI and my brother has a '12 Golf TDI and my first car was an '86 Jetta TDI 2-door; so my family is a big fan of diesels. I think people like diesel cars here, but they are a bit reluctant to buying them when they see a bit higher asking price, even though factoring in the fuel consumption and resale might make it worthwhile.
The base petrol 1.2 litre i20 was about £8,000,my 1.1 diesel cost around £12,000. The Fuelly average mpg for the petrol is 38 UK mpg, i'm getting 64 UK mpg since buying it (and my running average over the last 10,000 miles is closer to 70 mpg). I've spent around £3,000 in 2 years on fuel. I would have spent at least an extra £2,000 in petrol over the same time, plus every year I save £140 as I have free road tax. As I'm keeping the car for at least 10 years, that higher sale price will likely save me £8,000 plus over the ownership of the car. I m interested in an electric car too - Draigflag tipped us off about a VW Up! Diesel-electric with potential for 250 mpg! Pure electric might not have the range I sometimes need.
I'm just hoping pure electrics get better so that by the time I have some cash saved up they will have a better range. I use my car for work a lot and in some cases an electric car wouldn't have the range that I need. At this point the only electric car that would make sense for me is the Chevy Volt or the BMW i3 with a back-up generator; there are a few used Volts here for around $20,000 and I haven't seen any used i3s yet. The battery replacement usually runs around $6,000; so I will have to factor that in into the price when buying used.
Seems like the battery on the gen1 Volts are holding up without issue. GM gave it active cooling and heating to keep it happy, and a generous buffer of spare capacity so it isn't actually seeing a full discharge to zero.
Actually, the only plug in with reported battery issues is the Leaf in hot climates, but Nissan has switched to a better battery since the early models. One has done over 100k miles of taxi service in the UK before seeing a loss of battery capacity.
What software does the i3 REX with the range extender use in Canada; the European or hobbled CARB one in the US? Because of the CARB limits, the range extender doesn't come on until the battery is almost empty, which means no reserve power for serious hills on the highway.