Via Simple + Loveable, meet the super cool UK-sensation known as the G-Wiz.
Before I get to what’s really cool about this idea and it’s execution, here are some facts about the car itself:
Part I: What GoinGreen has to say about it:
“The G-Wiz was designed in California, and is manufactured by Indo-US Reva Electric Car Company. Using just one quarter as much energy as a similar size small car with an internal combustion engine, the G-WIz is the most energy efficient car on the road (source: Energy Saving Trust). The G-Wiz is emission free, with no exhaust emissions, ever. Even when pollution generated at the power station to charge the G-Wiz is included (called ‘well-to-wheel’) the emissions impact of a G-Wiz is at least 74% less than a car with an internal combustion engine. When charged with electricity from renewable sources (available throughout the UK, sometimes at no extra cost), the G-Wiz is 100% non-polluting and sustainable. Compare juice from npower, Good Energy, and Ecotricity.
“Uniquely, the G-Wiz is also carbon neutral, because GoinGreen off-set the CO2 produced during the manufacture, shipping and first two year’s driving of every G-Wiz sold, via contributions to Climate Care.
“the G-Wiz is fully automatic, is quieter than a normal car (because it has no engine), has nippy acceleration from standstill, with a top speed of either 40 or 45 mph*, enough for urban driving conditions and speed limits – particularly as the average speed in London is 10.5 mph and the speed limit either 30 or 40 mph.
“The range is sufficient for daily urban commuting needs. The G-Wiz features regenerative braking – pressing the pedal works like a dynamo, recharging the battery and increasing the range by up to 15%. It also has optional climate-controlled seating. Each seat has tiny heat or cold-releasing holes which warm or cool the body rather than the air in the car.
“Uniquely, the body is available in 100% recyclable, colour impregnated, lightweight ABS plastic over a steel space frame with side impact bars for safety. “Refueling” is as easy as charging a mobile phone: Just plug it into any standard outdoor outlet. Charge time is only 2.5 hours for 80% of the range and 8 hours for the full charge.”
You can buy one of these babies starting at £6,999.
Part II: What I have to say about it:
You can get it custom painted or wrapped. (Leopard skin is one of the most popular options, but a giant chihuahua head is a definite possibility.) You can park it in a motorcycle parking space. It doesn’t pollute. Fuel costs per week are about equal to a candybar. You can fit about six of them in a two-car garage. The most tricked out model costs less than $16,000, and the basic model less than $10,000. A Yakima or Thule roof rack would look HOT on this thing. All three of my dogs will fit in it. (The kids can’t, but they can get their own.) Yes, Cute is the new sporty. It plugs into an outlet, for crying outloud. How cool is that?! 45mph isn’t great on country roads, but for city driving, it’s more than enough – unless you happen to live in Paris. Ahem.
Damn. I want one.
Part III: What GoinGreen did right:
Okay. Now, let’s talk about how GoinGreen is scoring big with this idea, again per Small + Loveable:
1. GoinGreen sells small electric cars CHEAP to commuters in London and they do it at a profit. By being smarter, better and more passionate than everyone else, these guys have produced the top selling electric cars in the world, while creating a devoted customer base.
2. GoinGreen Really (and I mean REALLY) embraced word of mouth, selling 600 ‘G-wizz’ cars “without dealers, showrooms, advertising, or sales staff.” They did it by thinking outside the accepted square.
a) If you want to test drive a car, simply arrange a meeting and they will come to you.
b) Their cars are mini land-marks – with beautiful (tacky?) animal prints they can’t help but stand out in a crowd.
c) It’s a club. People who buy these cars enter the club, have get togethers, tell stories, have rallys…
3. For its launch, GoinGreen focused on a very targeted audience: Londoners. (G-wizz cars wont go fast or far, but commuters in London don’t need either.) It isn’t meant to be all things to all people, but it will be everything to some people.
4. GoinGreen redefined the concept of investing in a car.
a) Priced under $10,000, annual savings made by going electric will pay off your car in no time at all. Maybe even in its first year.
b) Yes people will pay a 1000 pound deposit online if you ask them to.
5. These guys have put their heart and soul into these cars. In everything they write and every interaction they have, their passion oozes out. Seriously, the best way to get people excited is to be the most extreme, the most evangalistic believers in the benefits of your product.
It’s a tough challenge to move several billion mindsets and get us thinking seriously about our combined impact on the world. Faced with a car market that is dominated by massive dinosaurs, who would have thought a couple of guys banding together with no marketing budget, a revolutionary approach to sales and a product that ignores everyone who says it’s too hard and IS 100% carbon neutral would stand a chance?
Bravo. Couldn’t have said it better myself.