STORY HIGHLIGHTS


Sino-Greek co-op on electric car

CNC
Added On December 6, 2017

A new Chinese-Greek electric car is promising to shake up the inner city transport in Greece.
 
Meet the Ecocar.
 
100 percent non-pollutant and almost noise-free, it's kind to the environment.
 
It's also kind to the wallet too. 
 
The Ecocar comes tax free; is in the same insurance bracket as a motorbike; and can be driven 100 kilometers on just one euro's worth of electricity. 
 
At just 2.5m long and 1.3m wide, the Ecocar can also be parked vertically - perfect for Greece's historic town centers.
 
The car is the work of Chinese firm Nanjing Jiayuan Special Electric Vehicles Manufacture Company and the local Greek battery-expert Ecosun, who say they think it parks neatly into a new gap in the market.
   
SOUNDBITE(GREEK): YORGOS KAZANTZIDIS, Ecosun manager
"I believe this car covers a category that doesn't exist in Greece and solves many daily problems." 
   
European studies show that 80 percent urban commuters drive between 60 km and 80 km a day, and that in most occasions they drive alone or with only one co-passenger.
   
SOUNDBITE(GREEK): YORGOS KAZANTZIDIS, Ecosun manager
"It was essential to us that we put on the market a two-seater car. The size was also important to us, so that it is as easy as possible to park in the city."
   
There are two models of Ecocar currently available: the "low-speed" model, which can reach 45 km/h and whose price starts at 6,700 euros, and the "high-speed" model at 80km/h starting from 7,900 euros.
   
Extra features include a multi-function video screen, which can be connected to a front or rear-view camera, Bluetooth receiver, and media players. It also comes with air conditioning and heated mirrors.
   
Batteries are estimated to last around 30,000 kilometers, and can be topped up from one of the 120 charging stations being installed around Athens.
   
Co-developer Ecosun normally specializes in renewable electricity - but say they had been looking to enter the car market for a while.
   
SOUNDBITE(GREEK): YORGOS KAZANTZIDIS, Ecosun manager 
"Over the past 3 to 4 years, we have been systematically preparing to enter the industry of electric vehicles and charging stations. It was something we were very interested in and that's why we were closely watching all the latest trends and developments in this field worldwide."
   
The car itself was developed by the Chinese developer Nanjing Jiayuan. The two say the cross-continent partnership has been working well.
 
SOUNDBITE(GREEK): YORGOS KAZANTZIDIS, Ecosun manager
"I have come across a friendly environment which personally helped me a lot and I have met businessmen who have the culture of win-win cooperation."   
 
SOUNDBITE(GREEK): YORGOS KAZANTZIDIS, Ecosun manager
"[From my first visit to China], I realized that it [Nanjing Jiayuan] is a factory that we can work with and that together we can have a bright future. I am telling you, we have only just started."
 
Ecocar was first presented in early September at the 82nd Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), Greece's most prestigious annual trade fair.
 
Yet there are already plans to develop the car further. 
 
SOUNDBITE(GREEK): YORGOS KAZANTZIDIS, Ecosun manager 
"Lately we are developing a series of lithium-ion batteries, as an extra which will prolong the vehicle's life-span and autonomy, as well as other features…"
 
Since hitting the market, Ecocar has proved popular. 
 
The car is already temporarily out of stock, and hopes are high for 2018.
 
SOUNDBITE(GREEK): YORGOS KAZANTZIDIS, Ecosun manager 
"There is enormous interest and we can see there are excellent future prospects."
  
SOUNDBITE(GREEK): YORGOS KAZANTZIDIS, Ecosun manager 
"I believe that Ecocar is leading a new era in Greece."