You may already know that buying a car is without a doubt one of the most decisive decisions any Sri Lankan will make, particularly because of the complex taxation system in our country. While car models such as the Honda Fit Hybrid or even the Toyota Prius are considered as mid-range cars in the international market, these will fall into the luxury category if the cars were sold to the prices that we see here in Sri Lanka. Unfair this may seem, there is still hope for you and me, especially if you think about the fully electric car models that are now being brought down to the country.
Unlike the typical gas guzzling two wheelers, the government taxation for electric vehicles are much simpler and is considerably lower, due to some of the recent environmentally friendly policies that were passed down by the parliament. In the wake of this, as Carmudi.lk, we would like to give you a glimpse into the world of highly advanced fully electric vehicles that you can now find in Sri Lanka.
From all the mainstream electric car models that are currently available in Sri Lanka, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV is the cheapest that money can buy. It might not be the cheapest vehicle in the country, but the i-MiEV does offer a number of features that makes it appealing for many price conscious buyers. To begin with, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV offers a very good fuel economy, which is equivalent to 47.6 km/l, on a traditional fuel based vehicle. It is powered by a 49 kW AC motor at 6000 rpm and generates a maximum torque of around 196 Nm @ 300 rpm. On the down side, the i-MiEV’s range is only around 100 km, which is the lowest from the top five EV’s, making it only suitable for city commutes in Sri Lanka.
- Range: 100 km*
- Fuel Economy: 47.6 km/l equivalent*
- Price (As Of 2015): Between Rs. 2,500,000 to Rs. 3,000,000
The Nissan Leaf is the most popular electric vehicle in Sri Lanka, as in anywhere else in the world, but with very good reason too. The car offers ample seating space for its size, as well as almost all other standard convenience and safety features seen in other vehicles. Being the second cheapest electric vehicle sold in Sri Lanka, the Leaf does not terribly lag behind with the range and offers around 135 km, until a full charge is needed. The economy of the Leaf is also one of the best seen in the country, with the hatchback achieving around 48.4 km/l, if adjusted to the standard of a conventional fuel driven vehicle. The only down side to this car is a common issue for all EV’s, where its range might not be suitable for long distance commutes.
- Range: 135 km*
- Fuel Economy: 48.4 km/l equivalent*
- Price (As Of 2015): Between Rs. 3,050,000 to Rs. 3,850,000
Even though most Sri Lankans might not have heard, the EV version of Volkswagen’s Golf model is also available for buying in Sri Lanka. The e-Golf is a competitor to the Nissan Leaf, with an assortment of advanced safety and convenience features that are offered to a bit higher price range. The Volkswagen e-Golf is powered by a more capable 85 kW AC motor that has a maximum torque of 270 Nm, giving this car much needed power to handle the daily commuting needs of the countries busy city dwellers. With a range of around 133 km, the e-Golf might not be a cruiser on Sri Lanka’s expressways, but is certainly an option to consider if you are thinking about buying an EV from the Sri Lankan market.
- Range: 133.5 km*
- Fuel Economy: 49.3 km/l equivalent*
- Price (As Of 2015): Between Rs. 5,500,000 to Rs. 6,000,000
The BMW i3 is one of the two luxury level electric vehicles that are offered in the Sri Lankan vehicle market and is a highly capable crossover hatchback for its relatively small size. Designed as a part of BMW’s “Project i”, the most interesting aspect of this car is its range extender option, which is being offered as a separate feature for those who prefer an EV that can also do long distance commutes. The feature is essentially a fuel-powered generator fixed to its rear engine that will kick in if the i3 experienced any sudden range drops, due to bad weather, high-speed driving or even rough road conditions. With this option, the BMW i3 can achieve a maximum range of 240 km, making it one of the best long distance capable EV’s on the market. The i3 also has the best fuel economy for any vehicle, which is equivalent to around 52 km/l, saving a lot of money for you in the process.
- Range: 240 km (with the range extender option)*
- Fuel Economy: 52.7 km/l equivalent*
- Price (As Of 2015): Between Rs. 5,400,000 to Rs. 5,800,000
Tesla Model S
If the best of the best is what you want, and does not mind spending a bit more money, then without a doubt the Tesla Model S is the car that you should be driving. The Model S is nothing short of an engineering masterpiece in modern times, and has a number of features that are not available in any other vehicle. The car has achieved the highest safety scores possible in its native United States, giving it even more credibility as the king of all electric vehicles. This four-door sedans powerful electric motor is capable of generating around 283 kW (380 bhp), allowing it to attain a top speed of 225 km/h in the process. One of the best features of the Model S is its “Autopilot” function that gives this car the capability to drive by itself, under particular ideal conditions. The feature operates as a traffic-aware cruise control function and can even automatically Parallel Park the car on command.
- Range: 370.1 km*
- Fuel Economy: 40.3 km/l equivalent*
- Price (As Of 2015): The current base price for a Model S is $71,000 in the US.
Most dealers who import the vehicle does not disclose the local price. However, if it follows the pricing strategy of other vehicles, then the value should be around Rs. 10,000,000, which is competitive with most other conventional luxury vehicles found in Sri Lanka.
Other Notable Electric Cars Sold In Sri Lanka Include: Mercedes Benz B class Electric Drive
Currently, popular electric vehicle importers such as EV Lanka and Spark EV will import these vehicles upon customer requests and will provide a good aftersales service for its clients. However, a number of third party vehicle importers who are based in Colombo also import these models for a very competitive price range for the electric vehicle enthusiasts of Sri Lanka.
(*Subject to change under real world use)