A New Electric Microcar Could Redefine Urban Mobility. By Folding?
Everyone who owns a car in the city struggles with parking and traffic with the ever-increasing car population around the world. In some cases, one wishes their car could just shrink down to fit in a tight parking spot or slide through a gridlock. Well, this new all-electric microcar from an Israeli technology startup City Transformer can do just that.
The new electric two-seater promises to reshape urban mobility in smart cities and will hopefully help lessen the effects of overcrowding on the roads.
The solution to traffic and parking? Shape-shifting.
Claimed to be the world's first ultra-compact electric vehicle by City Transformer, CT1 features an enclosed, high-grade, safe, and air-conditioned cabin with two wing doors. What sets CT1 apart from other electric microcars is its unique ability to change its width, even when it's on the move with the touch of a button. The new micro car helps avoid traffic and parking problems by simply "shape-shifting".
Combining the best qualities of two-wheeled vehicles and regular cars, the lightweight, 992-lbs (450-kg) CT1 allows users a brand new, green alternative for mobility. Aside from its patented foldable e-vehicle platform, this green microcar has minimal CO2 emissions with fewer parts compared to traditional cars. What's more, it offers a 56 mph (90 km/h) top speed when unfolded and 25 mph (40 km/h) when folded, with an estimated range between 75 and 112 miles (120 and 180 km) and fast charging that can reach 80 percent in 30 minutes. Drawing a contrast to regular cars, this microcar has a 20-hp all-electric powertrain that is made up of two 10-hp motors located at the rear wheels.
The CT1 uses its revolutionary retractable chassis technology to push its wheels out for smooth driving in terms of both stability and speed and pulls them in for easy maneuvers. It goes from 98 inches (250 cm) to 39 inches (100 cm) by tucking in its middle part that helps slide through heavy traffic and squeeze in tight parking spots. All that topped with only 55 inches of width (140 cm), this microcar can pretty much fit in anywhere.
Interested? The City Transformer notes that preorders are available now for a price of €12,500 ($14,650). The company plans to do a widescale roll-out of the electric vehicle by 2024.
IE attends New Scientist Live and speaks with the UK Atomic Energy Authority, to learn more about the ambitious STEP program.