Now this sounds like a car that can solve problems ... pollution, parking, congestion charges - even conscience. The electrically propelled Reva G-Wiz is smaller than a Smart car but seats four, has no polluting exhaust, is exempt from both road fund duty and London's congestion charge, can often be parked for free, and in places even its batteries can be recharged for nothing. A year's use, reckons its maker, will cost no more than £100 in fuel. Shouldn't everyone be driving it?
But then you see it. The G-Wiz's gawky looks make you appreciate what a design masterpiece the Smart is. If you think it looks silly at the kerb, wait till you see someone driving it - they sit so high that they look in danger of a banged head as it goes over bumps. Yet if we face global meltdown, the least a car user can do is put up with a set of uncool wheels. You may look like Postman Pat but at least you're saving the planet.
Steel-framed and plastic-bodied, the G-Wiz is made in Bangalore, India, and marketed in the UK by Goingreen. The cheaper version, with DC electrics, is £7,499, while a more powerful AC model starts at £8,797. The electric motor sits under the boot floor and the battery beneath the front seats (hence the high driving position). The rear seats are small. According to Goingreen, it achieves the equivalent of 600mpg, making it easily the cheapest car you can run.