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A vehicle bicycle, the folding electric parking space solution and an electric vehicle made of sugar – these are just three of many unique electric vehicles. Here is the proof.
The Estonian company “Nobe” has invested its passion in its new vintage model on three wheels with all-wheel drive, three seats and two doors: “We wanted to build a car that makes everyone stop and stare – the way everyone does when they see an old Volkswagen Beetle and feel these warm feelings”, says the manufacturer. This electric vehicle is also intended to keep warming its owners’ hearts because according to the Estonians, their “Nobe 100” will never have to see the scrapyard. In the event of damage, the owners simply send back all of the old parts and order new ones: the manufacturer then recycles the returned parts.
As of 2020, the “Nobe 100” will put retro feelings into series production – with the latest technology under its nostalgic hood. The electric vehicle features a permanently installed and a smaller mobile battery. They can be conveniently charged anywhere, for example while visiting friends. Both batteries together provide the “Nobe”, which only weighs 390 kilogrammes, with a range of up to 230 kilometres with a maximum speed of 110 km/h.
The electric car from the Dutch “TU Eindhoven” is known as “Noah” and made of 90% renewable resources – primarily based around flax fibres and sugar. At the end of its life-cycle, “Noah” can be recycled in an environmentally-friendly way. The efficient inner city runabout only weighs 350 kilograms plus a battery weighing only 60 kilograms. Thanks to its lightweight design, the organic electric vehicle for two people has a range of up to 240 kilometres – at a maximum speed of 110 km/h. However, “Noah” is not only an environmentally-friendly concept but also practical: an empty battery does not force the vehicle to take a break – the battery unit can simply be replaced. This will also enable the existing batteries to be replaced with new battery technologies with greater range in future. However, “Noah” is not yet destined for mass production. The electric vehicle was designed by students at the technical university as an example of environmentally-friendly mobility.
At first glance it is obvious that this electric vehicle is not a practical inner city runabout. Four replaceable batteries provide the Chinese “NIO EP9” with a total power of 1 megawatt. Under normal driving conditions, the electric two-seater has a maximum range of 427 km, according to the manufacturer. However, no one wants to crawl along at a sedate pace with this powerful drive system. On the racetrack, the electric vehicle with all-wheel drive accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in less than three seconds and to 200 km/h in only in 7.1 seconds. The “NIO EP9” reaches its maximum speed at 313 km/h. At these speeds, the driving pleasure is over after only roughly 20 minutes. What remains is a racing heart and an exorbitant price. Although the manufacturer refers to the “NIO EP9” as a series vehicle, it is only produced to order – for the few who have the 1.3 million euros to spare.
Key in the ignition on and off you go? Not with “PodRide”. To start the electric vehicle, the owners first need to start pedalling. Because the “PodRide” is a unique form of hybrid: half bicycle, half electric vehicle. The Swedish inventor, Mikael Kjellman, has equipped it with a car-like chassis, a 250 W motor, pedals and pedalling support. According to Kjellman, the 70 kilogram light, 1.80 metre long and 1.45 metre high electric vehicle has a range of up to 60 kilometres – at a maximum speed of 25 km/h. A waterproof shell over the frame provides protection against wind and weather and includes a windscreen and an implied door. A door that no one uses – the vehicle is entered by folding the electric vehicle bicycle to the front.
Mikael Kjellman has collected around 90,000 euros through fund-raising. He wants to commence production of the vehicle as quickly as possible.
Finding a parking space in the city is sometimes like trying to win lotto. Scientists from the “Robotics Innovation Center” at the “German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence” (DFKI) are familiar with this experience. However, their “EO smart connecting car” robotic electric vehicle comes to the rescue. Lateral parking by turning the wheels sideways and shrinking the body down to a length of roughly 1.80 metres are no problem at all for the electric vehicle. Finding a parking space becomes effortless. The electric vehicle fits into even the smallest of spaces without the owner feeling as though they were driving in a matchbox. However, the “DFKI” has equipped the vehicle with even more options: multiple vehicles can link up to form a chain, saving electricity while driving. If one of the driving segments in the chain runs out of power, the others share their energy with it. The linkable electric vehicle has a maximum speed of 65 km/h and an (individual) range of up to 70 kilometres. This makes the electric robot vehicle ideal for urban transport. With autonomous driving capabilities and flexible docking points for recharging, the “EO smart connecting cars” are part of the future of electric mobility – tomorrow’s future, for now. The electric vehicle is currently serving as a concept car for testing autonomous driving functions in electric vehicles in the city. It aims to provide insights into mobility options, in particular for the constantly changing megacities of the future.