Do you want to grab the Reaper by the scruff of his cloaked head and stare him deep in the eyes? Do you want to laugh in the face of your own mortality? Do you want to be in a position where you need to renew your will on an almost daily basis? But do you want to do all of this without harming the baby penguins and the polar bears and the, um, kittens? You need a Reva G-Wiz then. A car so terrible and so deadly that is was the UK’s best-selling electric car until 2009… wait, hang on, that’s not right, surely?
Well, yeah. It was. But that’s because pre-2009 there wasn’t exactly a lot of competition in the pure EV (Electric Vehicle) market. The G-Wiz wasn’t the best-seller because it was good. It was the best-seller because, frankly, it was the only one on sale. So if you meet a G-Wiz defender, be sure to point that out to them.
Normally we’d be all “aww, bless them for trying” but really, did Reva (or Mahindra) try at all? The G-Wiz was nothing more than a plastic box with some very basic lead acid batteries stuffed into it on the pretence that it was kind to the planet. Nobody lauds the your TV remote’s ice-cap preserving qualities, and that, too, is plastic box with some batteries stuffed in it. Granted your remote (probably) has no wheels, but even so, we can still be sure it handles better than a G-Wiz. But we’ll get to that in a bit.
Before then, let’s look at what it offered, and as such, why we bought it. Well, while people from London bought it. Nobody who needed to go further than eight foot from anything resembling civilisation could own one because it would run out of charge before you found another plug. Because London, so we’re told, has lots of plugs, the G-Wiz sort of worked there. The city types lapped it up. It was free of the Congestion Charge, it was a doddle to park due to being about as big as a Micro Machine and it it was so unappealing that even the most crack-addled street urchin wouldn’t steal it. Perfect then.
Then there’s the fact London is so congested it’s impossible to go fast enough to have a crash. This again worked in the favour of the G-Wiz, because it was about as safe as wet shoe box full of nails. But as nobody could actually crash one in London, nobody ever found out.
We did find out though, as a G-Wiz was eventually crash tested and it folded up into a gruesome mess faster than motorway services one-ply loo roll. It was shit, basically. Something something toilet pun.
Then, if the thought having your face grated off by one wasn’t bad enough, there was the way it looked. You’d want to crash it just to avoid looking at it. Reva had an opportunity here to make something fun and charming, and instead it produced a car that looks like a frog and a Henry hoover got trapped in Jeff Goldblum’s teleportation device at the same time. It looks like it’s confused. And possibly in pain. We can’t be too sure.
We can be sure that you’d be in pain though. Reva said the G-Wiz could house two adults and two children. This may be possible if your children are mannequins and you can take their lower halves off. And even then, there’s still not really enough room in the front for a normal-sized human, let alone two.
You won’t want more than one person in this abomination anyway, as it would only serve to dramatically reduce the already pitiful 50 mile range care of the giant, heavy lead acid batteries and 13kW motor. Which, for the record, is less powerful than a lot of starter motors. Yet Reva anticipated it would be just fine to propel the G-Wiz. No. No Reva.
Later modes moved from DC to AC, which was an improvement. Much like being hit in the face with cricket bat is better than being hit in the face with a lead pipe. Even the fine Lithium Ion version wasn’t enough, despite the best efforts of its roof-mounted solar panel.
And that’s because by the time there was a Lithium Ion G-Wiz, there were also other, better, fully electric cars to buy, so we did. The short and ‘by proxy’ reign of the G-Wiz was over as quickly as it began. And that’s good. The abysmal, roll-poly ride, the DRUM BRAKES, the pathetic top speed of 50mph (which, if reached, would drain the batteries in an instant), the deathly consequences of hitting so much as a dandelion with it, the sheer ugliness of it… they’re all in the past. Thankfully.
It was a proof on concept, and for that we should perhaps be a bit grateful, but that said, the advancement of EVs wouldn’t have been stunted without the G-Wiz. And neither will your motoring history. You don’t need one. And if you’re 16 and thinking “yeah, but I can drive one on my CBT” you’d be right. But try going into college with herpes. You’ll be more popular.