A new electric car created something of a buzz on the streets of Luxembourg on Wednesday.
The Bee Bee XS is a fully electric beach and leisure vehicle manufactured in France which first hit the market in 2017.
Able to reach speeds of around 90 km/hr and with an autonomy of between 100 and 150 kilometres, depending the battery, the curious little car had plenty of heads turning when distribution and finance chief Joseph Barreau took this journalist out for a spin in Luxembourg.
“People like the car a lot. They say it’s a funny little car,” Barreau told Delano during the test drive. “It’s really the third car for people with a bit of money.”
Production began at Beta Epsilon’s workshops in Rouillon in July 2017 where around 20 people are employed. Since then, the firm has sold 250 units. “We sell a lot on the islands. Last week we sold 15 on St Barthélemy,” Barreau said, explaining that the fact they are convertible makes them ideal for hot countries.
Currently, the factory turns out five vehicles per month, an output which is expected to rise to 40 per month by the end of 2018 as the workforce grows. The firm has a solid background in designing racing cars, a heritage which is carried through in some elements of the bee bee’s design, such as the sporty, wipe-clean seats, and light aluminium frame.
Battery & safety
The designers of the Bee Bee gave close attention to detail for safety. Barreau struggled to start the vehicle because of various safety systems. The starter also won’t work unless there is a driver sitting in the driver’s seat.
The Bee Bee’s battery, which belongs to the car owner (as opposed to being rented), are manufactured in France using Chinese components, Barreau said. As their design improves so too will the autonomy of the vehicle, he says. For now, though, charging time is between 1.5 and three hours, and the vehicles can be charged at any kind of power socket.
Costing between €26,500 and €34,000, depending on options, the Bee Bee arrives in Luxembourg at an interesting time--electric mobility is a major thrust of the government’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions.