Peugeot BB1: we get a drive

* Part car, part scooter * Battery powered for zero emissions * On show in London this weekend...

Peugeot BB1: we get a drive

Meet the BB1 Peugeot's answer to the increasing problem of pollution and congestion in our city centres. It's electric, which means it doesn't pump out any harmful emissions, and at just 2.5 metres long it takes up less of the road than a Smart car.

What is it?

Think of the BB1 as the love-child of a car and a scooter.

With four wheels, doors and a roof, it certainly looks like a car. However, instead of a steering wheel and pedals, it has handlebars like a motorcycle. Rear passengers also ride pillion-style by straddling the back seat.

Power comes from two electric motors (one in each of the rear wheels). Together they produce 20bhp, which might not sound like much, but the BB1 weighs less than 600kg.

It will accelerate from 0-19mph in 2.8 seconds and 19-37mph in four seconds, and has a range of up to 75 miles. Perfectly adequate for the city centre.

What's it like?

The BB1 was on display at the Frankfurt motor show last month, but it's here in the UK right now and not just for show.

We weren't allowed to drive it ourselves at the exclusive event in London yesterday, but did get a chance to experience the BB1 from the passenger seat.

It's certainly bumpy and not very refined, but that's hardly the point. The BB1 puts a smile on your face, and got more attention than the average supercar does in London.

If you want to see for yourself, it's on display this weekend (November 7/8) in Covent Garden, London.

When can I buy one?

The BB1 hasn't yet been confirmed for production. Still, the very fact Peugeot has taken the concept model this far shows that it's seriously considering doing so.

There are hurdles to overcome, including safety legislation. However, all of the technology used in this concept model is available off the shelf.

In other words, the BB1 is already commercially viable. It just needs the green light from the head honchos at Peugeot.