Regular readers of our news will know that throughout 2008, an ever-lengthening list of auto manufacturers announced their intentions to launch electric or hybrid electric cars in Denmark in the wake of the Danish government's energy policy decision to tax-exempt these vehicles until at least 2012.
The French micro-car maker Aixam was among the first to signal its intentions to launch in Denmark, and now it is doing exactly that. The 100% electric Aixam Mega City is available in both 2-seater and 4-seater versions at dealers in Denmark, reports national daily newspaper Politiken.
The Mega City is an unashamedly low-tech vehicle, its power plant consisting of 12 conventional lead-acid batteries weighing 300 kg, which corresponds to no less than 40% of its kerbside weight. Charging via standard 220V mains electricity takes 8-10 hours, top speed is 64 kph (40 mph) and the range is up to 60 km (38 miles).
Nonetheless there are cash-saving aspects to the Mega City that could make it attractive in economically leaner times as a short-haul commuter car or local runabout. Danish car taxes are hefty, so tax exemption makes any electric car an advantageous purchasing proposition. Parking charges can be avoided too, with town councils offering free parking to non-polluting electric vehicles.
The Mega City clearly has good credentials from an environmental perspective with zero emissions and low noise pollution, as well as having almost 100% recyclable ABS plastic and aluminium bodywork.
It's worth bearing in mind however how the electricity used to charge the vehicle is produced. If it's from a coal-fired power station, the CO2 emissions are simply shifted from the car to the power station, albeit with a resultant higher energy conversion efficiency. But if it's from a biomass-fired power plant or from wind turbines then the Mega City really does represent a clean local transport solution.