Electric cars have come a long way in a short space of time. Ten years ago, a mass-produced electric car wasn’t even a thing. Today however, there are loads of them, and the standard varies wildly.
Tesla may have injected some much-needed passion and excitement into the electric car world, but they can’t all be zingers and for every Model S, there’s a G-Wiz.
So here, we’re looking at those battery-powered bums, those plug-in planks, and those zero-emission zonks and listing the worst electric vehicles (EV) the world has ever seen.
To appreciate the unbridled rubbishness of this Indian EV, you don’t need to know about its pound shop-grade build quality or that it took 18 seconds to reach 50mph.
No, its failings are summed up by the simple point that this car, which replaced the famously feeble G-Wiz, was withdrawn from the UK market within just 13 months. Mahrindra even offered to buy back all e2o examples at the full purchase price.
It took a long time to develop electric cars as awesome as the Tesla Model S and the 1970s were a particularly painful time in the EV journey. This dire stage is represented by the Citicar and its looks say it all – even Mr Bean wouldn’t be seen dead in this.
People who swallowed enough pride to actually drive this thing say ride comfort was average, while performance and range weren’t too shabby. But look at it, that design is enough to want to drop a ten-ton weight on all 4,444 Citicars that were produced.
Renault Fluence Z.E.
Here’s another recent-ish example and to be fair, without the Fluence Z.E. we wouldn’t have the Zoe and the truly bonkers Twizy. In that sense, it’s easy to forgive this small electric saloon and chalk it down as a stepping stone to greater things.
It was still a pretty poor electric car though and that was partly due to its woeful battery. Off the shelf, its 22kWh battery was already underwhelming, enabling speeds of just over 60mph.
Fast forward four months and in most cases, the battery capacity had plummeted to 16kWh, which meant even tamer performance and restricted range.
Performance may have been lethargic but one thing it was quick at was depreciating. After a year and 12,000 miles, you’d be lucky to resell your Fluence Z.E. for 27 per cent of what you originally paid for it new.
Is this a car or a glorified golf cart? That’s a very viable question and the latter would be a very accurate description.
Some police forces actually use this with a straight face and we’re fairly sure this is the same car that frustrates Officer Judy Hopps in Disney’s Zootopia during her stint as a traffic cop. Out on the open road, this is hopeless.
China isn’t renowned for producing quality automobiles. In fact, the country is better known for pumping out dreadful cheap rip-offs of great cars. So it’s no surprise that the Flybo is a poorly engineered rust bucket.
It will take something especially terrible to displace the Sinclair C5 as the running joke of the EV world. This one-person battery-powered go-kart was a terrifying death trap in the city and with a top speed of 15mph, there was barely any power to get you out of trouble.
Sinclair produced 14,000 C5s but only 5,000 were sold, landing it with the label of being one of biggest marketing failures of post-war Britain.
Have we missed your favourite ‘worst ever electric car’? Tell us about it down there in the comments.
For more articles like this, receive our weekly e-newsletter, including partner deals and all things motoring, register your email below.