Buddy EV - Norway

For those who dared to dream of a day when their pants and their car were made of polyester, that day has come.

by Ross Bonander


  • Type: Electric vehicle
  • Class: 3-seat hatchback
  • Manufacturer: Elbil Norge AS
  • Propulsion system: SepEx 72V DC 13kW
  • Top Speed: 50-55 mph (80-90 km/h)
  • Zero-to-31 mph (50 km/h): 7 seconds
  • Vehicle range: 62 miles (100 km) under ideal conditions (the lithium ion batteries up this to 93 miles or 150 km).
  • Fuel(s): Electricity
  • Battery system: Lead acid batteries are standard; li-ion a
  • Battery charge time: 0-100, in 6-8 hours. 30-95 in 3 hours
  • Tailpipe emissions: None
  • Price:
  • Availability:

The manufacturer says

“Kewet Buddy aims to be one of the least expensive electric cars on the commercial market—with a satisfying performance for city use.”


For those who dared to dream of a day when their pants and their car were made of polyester, that day has come.

What began many years ago as the Danish-born Kewet EV has, 6 generations later, evolved into the Norweigian-made Buddy, an electric microcar based on simplicity and efficiency, and yes, one whose body is made of fibre-glass reinforced polyester (see your other dealer for optional 1970s staples, such as Quaaludes and uncut Colombian cocaine).

What we like

The acceleration spec. Don’t leave home without a neck brace because you’ll hit 31 mph in a time-bending 7 seconds. Ignore the guy passing you on foot, he’s just being a smart-ass.

The platform. The Buddy’s technological platform was designed to be flexible enough to accommodate advancements in battery design. My only concern is, if it were good business to sell a product that only required occasional upgrades to remain relevant, I wouldn’t be buying a new laptop every six months.

The luggage capacity. The maker claims the Buddy’s luggage area is “designed around two cases of beer”, plenty to get you blitzed enough to buy one.

The range. A 62-mile range, with a top speed of 50 mph, means the Buddy eludes the N-word, the ugliest label in alternative transportation: NEV.

What we don’t

The name. The term ‘Buddy’ is condescending, as in “Hey buddy, take a chill-pill” or “Grrr, you’ve done it again, little buddy.” It’s the kind of just-missed-the-mark linguistic faux pas routinely heard in the lyrics of Scandinavian death metal bands.

The curiously flat face. The Buddy’s entire front end slants flatly at a 45 degree angle. This design could lessen the trauma inflicted on pedestrians struck by a Buddy, but it remains moot until a Buddy can actually catch one. For now, not even the turtle community is concerned.


You will know right away that the Buddy is no bro of the oil companies, and you will quickly learn that he’s no friend of your sex life. But he’s just making sure that the women you do attract are green-friendly, if not attractive or even all that friendly.

In sum, it’s not easy to get excited about vehicles like the Buddy. They lack that spark. It’s too bad, because that excitement is what motivates us to want to get behind the wheel of vehicles like the Tesla. Consumers aren’t conditioned to think, “I can’t wait to drive myself around on battery power only, no matter what car it is.” But given a month behind the wheel of one, a month of bypassing gas stations and ostensibly saving money and the environment, most would discover that motivation.

With that in mind, the Buddy is probably destined to be no more than another minor step in the evolution of the future car. To its credit, the Buddy is certainly no less than that.

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