|Dutch startup pitches its two-seat solar EVs for car-sharing|
A Dutch startup is putting car-sharing in a new light.
The company, Squad Mobility, plans to roll out small battery-electric vehicles that it believes are well suited to car-sharing fleets and mobility as a service. The vehicles are equipped with rooftop solar panels to extend their range. The company says its goal is safe and accessible urban mobility.
The Squad Solar City car is a two-seater that runs on swappable batteries. The name Squad is short for solar quadricycle.
The company plans to launch the cars in Europe, then expand to the U.S. A prototype is expected to be unveiled next month. Production is slated to begin in the last quarter of 2022.
The vehicle is about 4 feet wide, 5 feet tall and 6.7 feet long. Its small size allows for easy navigation and parking in cities. The company says three of the cars can fit comfortably in one parking space. The car has a top speed of 28 mph.
"Cities are looking for zero-emission mobility solutions with a small space footprint," Squad Mobility CEO Robert Hoevers said in a press release. "A per capita energy consumption lower than public transport and a space footprint comparable to a bicycle. And all this while offering the flexibility of personal transport and the comfort of a car."
The batteries provide 60 miles of range. Automatic solar charging extends that by up to 12.4 miles a day.
The tires of the vehicle act as protection bumpers. Sensors enable remote diagnosis of operating condition, charge levels, tire pressure, location and other features. The Squad will be equipped with cameras to check the state and position of the vehicle.
Squad Chief of Design Chris Klok said the long-term vision for the vehicle includes remote control using autonomous technology.
"Remote control means we take extra capabilities into account in the design, such as the application of remote actuation of the steering and the possibility to relay data," Klok said.
– Wendy Guzman