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Electric micro car joins rental market

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Piers Carr with the XEV Yoyo, soon to be offered by Current Vehicles (Photograph by Duncan Hall)

Bermuda’s electric rental car pioneers will soon add a third model to their fleet.

Current Vehicles is to import the XEV Yoyo, an electric micro car manufactured in Shanghai, China, by Hong Kong-based start-up XEV, a joint venture between two Italian and Chinese companies.

The Yoyo, which is primarily built for the European market, will add to Current’s fleet of Renault Twizys, which have single seats in both front and back of the vehicles, and Citroën Ami vehicles, which feature side-by-side seating.

The left-hand-drive Yoyo, which has been approved by the Transport Control Department, has side-by-side seating.

Piers Carr, the founder and chief executive officer of Current, said he has been on the lookout for a successor to the Twizy.

He added: “I was looking for something that provided the comforts of a modern car – the side-by-side seating, air conditioning, electric windows, trunk space and superior autonomy.”

Mr Carr said the first vehicle had arrived for testing two months ago and was put through its paces to make sure it could navigate Bermuda’s terrain and testing its range.

He said: “We love it – it performs really well and it’s the perfect rental vehicle for Bermuda.”

A quick spin supported that view – the peppy Yoyo has a smooth ride.

Mr Carr said additional cars were expected to arrive on the island in May.

One feature of the Yoyo is a replaceable lithium iron battery pack, which can be swapped out once exhausted.

Mr Carr said: “You can charge the battery through our network of charge points using an on-board cable but users have the option to switch out batteries for a fee if they choose to or don’t have time to wait for a charge.”

He said the battery swapping capability “cuts down the amount of time spent charging the vehicle, improves efficiency and allows people to rent even if they don’t have a charge point at their bed and breakfast or guesthouse.”

Mr Carr added: “We believe the Yoyo will be a game changer for the rental market.”

The vehicles have a range of up to 150 kilometres and a top speed of 80 kilometres an hour.

Some elements of the vehicle have been made with 3D printed technology.

Mr Carr said: “The goal is to make it a 3D printed car, but the technology is not quite there yet.”

Launched in 2017, Current Vehicles encourages use of its fleet by the local market.

Residents can use the firm’s app to subscribe to the Current Club provided they have a Bermuda driving licence.

For a monthly fee, subscribers get 50 per cent off all rentals as well as a $25 per month driving credit.

Mr Carr said: “You can pick up a vehicle in St George’s and drive to town for about five or six dollars. A lot of locals are using it to commute now.”


Piers Carr with the XEV Yoyo, soon to be offered by Current Vehicles (Photograph by Duncan Hall)

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Published February 06, 2023 at 7:58 am (Updated February 07, 2023 at 8:02 am)

Electric micro car joins rental market

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