If you have read the first two parts of my review of Fully Charged Live South 2023 and have returned, thank you. I really hope that you have been as impressed by all the vehicles so far as I was. The good news is, in the words of Jon Bon Jovi, we’re [only] halfway there. Stay tuned for more great and, in one case, particularly unusual vehicles.
The Volkswagen ID.Buzz Life
As before, I will talk about one of the four vehicles that we showcased at the Fully Charged Live South event. In this blog post it is the VW ID.Buzz that I will be showing off. Next to the Rivian, the ID.Buzz was a very popular vehicle at the show. This was particularly true on Saturday and Sunday when more families were in attendance.
For the kids, this is such a fun vehicle. It also reminds me of a character from the Disney film Cars. No wonder the children wanted to clamber all over it. For the adults, this vehicle is a brilliant mix of the nostalgic mixed with a very modern electric twist. You can clearly see the design style borrowed from the classic VW camper-vans of yesteryear. However, there are the glorious modern rounded edges and LCD lighting displays which bring the vehicle into the 21st century. Inside the van there is no shortage of space. This is something that was remarked upon by many of the guests visiting over the three days.
The current Volkswagen ID.Buzz that is available is a 5-seater vehicle that has ridiculous amounts of head and leg room throughout the cabin. This is designed to be a very practical vehicle, and the specs certainly back that up. You have a real world range of around 205 miles and a battery that can charge up to 80% in just 30 minutes. The torque isn’t too bad for a van of this size either. You can achieve 0-60mph in just 10.2 seconds. This is a serious all-round family vehicle.
The Smart #1 Arrives Fully Charged
Smart is a joint venture between the German manufacturers Mercedes-Benz and the Chinese manufacturer Geely. This company ditched petrol and diesel vehicles back in 2017 and went on a mission to focus on electric cars only. This is a brave move by a company that has made traditionally fuelled vehicles. They are a real trendsetter who took Fully Charged Live by storm.
The Smart #1 is a fun looking small car. It is also pretty reasonably priced at £35,950, which is very good for a known branded electric vehicle. This is also a very practical car for city driving or even for longer distances. A real world range of around 205 miles has been quoted, plus a top speed of 112mph and a 0-62mph time of just 6.7 seconds. These are pretty impressive numbers it is putting up.
The Smart #1 is going to be available to order in the UK from June 2023… allegedly. I can see this car doing really well in the competitive EV market.
The Polestar 2 has been out for a while now and is being seen increasingly in the wild (EV spotting safari is good fun). Well built, super comfortable and an excellent performer, Polestar took the best from both worlds of its owners. These being Volvo from Sweden and Geely from China. The Polestar 2 was so good that there was demand for a follow-up. And here it is at Fully Charged Live 2023.
The Polestar 3 is a luxury SUV style vehicle that has a classically Scandinavian minimalist design combined with high level Chinese performance and technology, including an advanced LiDAR system. If this car drives half as well as the Polestar 2 it will be a roaring success.
Let’s have a look at the numbers behind the Polestar 3. I’ve chosen the dual motor long range version for this bit. If you want to buy a Polestar 3 you will be looking at around £79,000 pounds for this version. However, with this amount of money you are getting a seriously great performer.
The real world range (not WLTP) is a staggering 306 miles! The top speed is a very impressive 131mph (watch out Autobahn) and you can achieve 0-62mph in just 5 seconds. There is an impressive 250kW max charging speed as well, which means you can charge up to 80% in 32 minutes. That’s a lot of miles. I really like the look of this car. The price may be high, but it lives up to the tag.
Last, but not least, is a seriously fun little electric vehicle. The Microlino had a lot of admirers at the Fully Charged Live show and it’s not surprising. A smile adorned the faces of everyone who had the opportunity to sit in this tiny car.
Hailing from Switzerland, this brainchild of Merlin Outober is a really nice 2 seater space saving electric vehicle. The largest of the battery packs is just 14.4kWh. However, as this is such a tiny vehicle and only has a kerb weight of 496kg, the Microlino doesn’t need a big battery. To put it into context, this electric vehicle weighs a third of what the small Renault ZOE does. Quite incredible.
When it comes to the performance figures, you may be in for a bit of a surprise. The larger battery version can achieve an incredible 124 miles… allegedly. When it comes to the top speed, you will only reach 56mph. This is due to the fact that 56mph is the maximum speed permissible for a vehicle in this category. By this, I mean that the Microlino isn’t officially classed as a car. It is classed as a quadracycle.
Whatever it is, this is a fantastically fun little machine that will be sure to have a lot of buyers.