Published on December 7th, 2013 | by Christopher DeMorro


$12,000 Colibri EV Set For Launch In Germany

December 7th, 2013 by  

Originally published on Gas2.


Buying a car anywhere isn’t cheap (except maybe for India), though there is a growing market for cheap transportation in an increasingly expensive world. It is notoriously expensive to buy a new car in Europe, though a small electric car company plans to launch a $12,000 city EV sometime in 2015, and if such a car can succeed anywhere, it’s Europe.

The Colibri is a German-built electric car with a goal-price of just 8,831 euros, or about $12,000 U.S., as well as a $74 monthly battery rental fee. Equipped with a tiny 6 kWh battery pack, the Colibri is strictly a city commuter, with room for a single person and a few bags of groceries. Weighing in at less than a thousand pounds, the Colibri claims a range of 68 miles per charge, and can scoot from 0 to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds. Despite its size, the designers claim it can comfortably fit people up to 6 feet 3 inches tall.

While the top speed is limited to 74 mph, most drivers probably won’t even come close to maxing out this miniscule EV. A full charge takes just two hours from a Level 2 charger, and you can supposedly squeeze two of these tiny cars into a normal parking space. There are no plans to sell the Colibri in the U.S., and a planned 2014 launch date was pushed back to 2015.

Though a car seems difficult to find a market for, Europe’s best-selling EV is similarly designed and priced. I am talking about the Renault Twizy, which doesn’t even have a fully-closed cockpit, but has found plenty of urban buyers looking for an alternative to mass transit. If the Colibri makes it to market, it could find a decent following, though America is still many years (and much higher gas prices) from embracing such a small, limited-use vehicle.

Source: Plug-in Cars

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • Ďakujem

    Another electric compromise-mobile.

  • Have a hard time believing a 1-seater is going to do well anywhere for the price of $12000 +(!) battery leasing.

    • Wayne Williamson

      Yeah, I think the battery leasing will kill it.

    • ThomasGerke

      It should at least be a 2-seater IMO and if it succeeds it needs to be distributed to modern car-sharing providers (hop in anywhere).

    • Frederik

      To me it seems interesting. I go to work by car everyday. It’s a 30 km drive from my home to work, and I am always alone in the car. If the Colibri becomes available I might buy it for going to work, and keep my gasoline car for when I need to drive farther.

      • Bob_Wallace

        The long term battery lease would be a deal killer for me.

        A 6kWh battery is small. About 1/4th the size of what is in the LEAF.

        I’ve seen claims that the LEAF replacement battery is $10k. That would make this one about $2,500. $74/month should purchase the battery in about three years.

        I’m not sure about the accuracy of the battery price, but use it as a starting point and see what a 6kWh battery might cost. Ten years of $74/month is close to $9k.

      • so you’d rather buy this than a 2-seat smart electric drive?

    • Conrad Clement

      Zach, may I ask you to do some serious research in order to find out about the average percentage of driver-only occupied vehicles in commuter and city traffic?

      I bet you’ll get confirmation that driver-only occupied vehicles represent by far the largest part of the urban motorized individual mobility market.

      So, I invite you to be cynical enough to encourage automakers to forget about the damned few who absolutely want to have their sweetheart or their family with them…

      • Hey, from my graduate planning studies, recall something like 90%. but the few times when people do want more than one person in the vehicle generally drives (no pun intended) their purchasing decisions here. but true that could change.

  • Bob_Wallace

    $12,000 plus $13,320 for 15 years of battery leasing. Total $25,320.

    For $23,845 you can buy a Mitsubishi i-MiEV which seats four.

    • wattleberry

      …and also received a 5/5 rating from Autocar UK mag.

    • Ďakujem

      Or a Spark EV for $20,000 (with US tax credits).

  • agelbert

    I like it! A simple tow container like a scaled down u-haul trailer would enable you to make large grocery purchases or move most of your stuff from point A to Point B or even tow a tiny camper!

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