I am interested in electric mobility since more than 30 years. Since more than nine years I am working in the marketing department of the biggest European distributor of electric scooters and motorcycles, I successfully completed an online course on electric mobility of the “École des Ponts Paris Tech” and received a Professional Certificate in Electric Cars of the Technical University of Delft. And: 2 years ago, I started to collect models of electric cars in 3-inch-size.
The 3-inch-size, also often referred to 1/64-scale although hardly any model really is in this scale, is a typical toy car size – rather intended to play with than to collect them. The most famous brands are Matchbox (UK), Hot Wheels (USA), Majorette and Norev (France), Siku (Germany) and Tomica (Japan).
But now enough said, here’s my collection of currently 18 cars:
The BMW i3 is BMWs best selling electric cars and one of the best selling electric cars in Europe, introduced in 2013. The BMW i3 is a full-electric vehicle, but was also sold with range extender. The modelcar in my collection was produced by Matchbox.
The BMW i8, built since 2013, is a plug-in electric vehicle (PHEV). Although I do not collect modelcars of PHEVs, I added this BMW to my collection because of its exotic status. The modelcar in my collection was produced by Siku, but Matchbox and Tomica also sold models of the i8.
The first generation of the Chevrolet Volt (in Europe sold as “Opel Ampera” or “Vauxhall Ampera”) was sold between 2010 and 2015. The Hot Wheels modelcar in my collection is called “Super Volt” and an highly exaggerated phantasy version with a big electric engine and a big rear spoiler.
Greenlight’s modelcar of the Chevrolet Volt II (built since 2015) is the absolute opposite to the Hot Wheels model of the first generation. Greenlight is a small US-american producer that creates very detailled models in true 1/64 scale, that are rather collectables than toys.
The Citroën C-Zero and its sister models Peugeot ION and Mitsubishi i-MiEV have been introduced in 2009. They have been the first mass-produced electric cars. The modelcar of the C-Zero was produced by the French producer Norev.
The Fisker Karma was only built in the years 2011 and 2012. It was an electric car with range extender. The modelcar in my collection is from Matchbox. Although only around 2,500 Karmas have been built you might know this car – Ashton Kutcher drove one in the TV series “Two and a half man”.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is the second triplet. In opposite to the modelcars of its PSA-sisters, the modelcar of the Mitsubishi was produced by Tomica and is slightly smaller than the Norev modelcars of C-Zero and ION.
Here’s another model that is discontinued. The Navistar eStar is an electric delivery van built only from 2010 to 2013. The modelcar shown here was produced by Matchbox.
So, now back to successful electric cars! Here’s the world’s all-time best-selling electric car: The Nissan Leaf. The first generation has been built from 2010 to 2017. The modelcar shown here was produced by Tomica.
This is the second generation of the Nissan Leaf, built since 2017 and I am sure that this generation will even top the first generation’s sales figures. The modelcar shown was produced by Matchbox, but Tomica also makes a modelcar of this generation.
Here’s the third triplet, the Peugeot ION, built since 2009. The modelcar was produced by the French producer Norev (just as the model of the Citroën C-Zero).
The Renault Symbioz was a prototype presented by Renault in 2017. It is an outlook on a midsize model that will go into mass production in 2023. The modelcar was produced by Norev.
Here’s another Renault prototype, presented in 2016: The Renault Trezor. This sports car should get into mass production already by 2020! The modelcar was produced by Norev.
Now back from prototypes to today’s best-sellers. The Renault ZOE is the best-selling European electric car, produced since 2012. The modelcar was produced by Norev.
The Tesla Model S, as the Renault ZOE produced since 2012, was Tesla’s first mass model. The modelcar shown here is from Matchbox, but also Hot Wheels offers a modelcar of the Tesla S.
The Tesla Model X, the SUV in the range of Elon Musk’s famous brand, is produced since 2015 and famous for its rear gull-wing doors. The modelcar was produced by Hot Wheels.
The Tesla Roadster was the first model of Elon Musk’s brand. This car was based on the Lotus Elise’s chassis and body and could not been regarded as mass model. Still, it was the first electric car that used Lithium cells. It was produced from 2008 until 2012. The modelcar was produced by Hot Wheels.
Here’s the probably most exotic car in my collection: The Toyota Auto Body COMS. This electric car is built since 2012. A small one-seater that has some similarities with the Renault Twizy. The modelcar is from Tomica.
Is my collection now complete?
Hm, no! First, I only own one modelcar of one car model and there are some car models from which more than one modelcar producer produced a modelcar. Second, as the number of electric cars on the markets is going to explode in the next months and years, also the number of modelcars of electric cars is supposed to explode. Rumors say, that Hot Wheels is going to introduce modelcars of the Jaguar i-Pace and the Tesla Model 3 already in 2019. I hope these rumors are going to turn out to be true – and I promise to keep you updated!