Posting in Energy
StreetScooter is developing a lightweight EV for the urban commuter that gets 50 miles per charge and costs around $7,000.
Looking for an EV to get you around town without shelling out upwards of $30,000?
Recent studies have shown that most potential EV buyers would not be content with the current EV range offerings on the market. But the fact is, most urban commuting does not exceed around 25 miles per day.
The developers behind the European-made StreetScooter kept this in mind when conceiving of the lightweight model. The two-seater gets less than 50 miles per charge. But it also costs around $7,000 (plus the cost of the battery lease). For the urban commuter, the price might just be worth the size and range constraints.
The StreetScooter, which is expected to comply with highway safety regulations and reach a top speed of about 74 miles per hour, is not your typical EV. StreetScooter brings together more than 80 suppliers of auto parts, electronics companies, and engineering firms. Though there is a management team involved, the idea is that each firm would bring its own expertise to bear in creating an affordable, lightweight electric vehicle. Think of it as open-source auto manufacturing.
Production is expected to start in 2013 in Europe, although the company has not indicated when the StreetScooter will be available in the United States.
Readers, what do you think? Would you invest in a low-cost EV that could get you to and from work, but would not be much help on a longer road trip?
See the StreetScooter in action:
Oct 31, 2011
All sounds wonderful; but how safe will it be? Saw one of those new (ugly) 2 seat smart cars get hit head on by a Toyota Avalon the other day. Avalon won the battle, smart car driver was life flighted. This occurred in a 35 MPH zone, which neither seemed to be exceeding. Toyota had front fender pushed back into radiator, smart car was half it's original size. All for electric; this would work for my daily driving to and from work, but other drivers could be a problem.
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I would definitely look into this if it were available. If it was available for lease, sign me up right now. The things I want in a vehicle for life beyond commuting & running errands don't go together with good fuel economy.
I drive 28 miles one way in hills . With one pass to go over to shop.I dont think it would make it to bad....
This would be a serious consideration...with my short commute I could go several days between charges...an enclosed vehicle which would make use for travel all year round is very desireable...
As an RV owner, this vehicle would make the perfect "toad" vehicle. A towable unit that has a sufficient range for local sight seeing, is rechargable at the RV site via shore power, and seats two. If it is towable it would serve a very large community of RV owners who do not want to shell out $30k for another vehicle. Hope it arrives soon to the USA. Battery leasing charges are of a concern, however.
If it has room in the back for my guitar and amp, and the battery lease is reasonable, this could be just the ticket for tooling around town.
If you consider all the households which have more than one vehicle and at least one is used only for daily commutes/shopping this could be a winner. Cheap to own, cheap to drive, trouble-free electric. Even if it worked for only 10% - 15% of drivers, that's a very large number of potential buyers. Give it the option of a couple of rear-facing kid's seats accessible from the rear door and families are going to like it. And hire someone to make it a bit nicer looking.
On the prairies in Canada; Instead of having a second car that sits a lot, costs a lot, burns a lot etc etc - the Urban EV sounds like one very sensible solution - that I'd like to have! I certainly hope they bring it to North America.
Without knowing how much the battery costs or the expected life of the car/battery, it's not possible to figure the cost per mile. Unless the cost per mile over the lifetime of the car is better than the current offering, there's not much point. It *sounds* good for me for a second car if the numbers work out. My commute is too far for my use but fine for my wife who has a much shorter commute.