Eco-friendly cars are getting cool now. New designs are coming along and vehicles themselves are becoming sort of beautiful. However, they still look like cars – a bit more streamlined, a bit smoother, but still not too far from what petrol drinking ones look like. “Efficient Urban Light Vehicle” European consortium, involving Groupe PAS, has just introduced a new kind of electric vehicle.
This project was funded by the European Commission (€6.7 million) under the “Horizon 2020 GV5” Research and Innovation programme. This vehicle is somewhat of a triangular shape – it may even seem that it has only three wheels, even though there are two wheels in the back. It is meant for urban driving. Although it is just a concept, its creators are thinking that it would be perfect for urban and peri-urban trips. While it is not fully electric, in certain zones in the city it could go emission-free. This would allow drivers to use such benefits as lower taxes or maybe even free parking.
Not that parking would be an issue as this is a rather small vehicle. We’re not sure if calling it a car is correct, but why now – four wheels, fully enclosed cabin and conventional controls. It uses a plug-in hybrid system for a powertrain, which allows switching petrol engine off in certain areas in the city. While in hybrid mode, this vehicle has a top speed of 130 km/h, in purely electric mode – 70 km/h. The total range is around 300 km. Not bad, considering this two seater wants to replace a scooter rather than a proper city car. Furthermore, it should be fairly agile.
This PSA car has a tilting mechanism, employing hydraulic components and hydropneumatic suspension. This means, that this relatively narrow vehicle can attack corners at higher speeds. Furthermore, it is more engaging to drive and is unique in this sense. One cylinder engine is borrowed from a scooter, so we suspect it may be loud, but what does a little noise do if you’re having fun?
Its design is compact and futuristic. Probably the most interesting feature is rotating doors, which are designed to open easily in a tight parking spot. It is short and edgy, with its two rear wheels being close together. Passenger’s seat is right behind the driver. Carla Gohin, Senior Vice President, Research and Advanced Engineering PSA, said: “This new electrified light vehicle allows an individual, safe and sustainable mobility thanks to its zero-emission mode. We are proud to take part in this European project with all our partners”.
Electric mobility is our future and we can totally see how this car would fit in it. It is compact, fun and personal. However, for now it is unlikely to ever reach mass production.