Amsterdam-owned start-up Squad Mobility has revealed a new car run by solar energy, which is expected to be launched late next year.
Created by Robert Hoevers and Chris Klok with the aim of making urban mobility safe and hassle-free, the Squad car offers an affordable, convenient and sustainable solution for daily transportation. Despite the apparent police theme to its name, Squad is derived from S(olar)quad(ricycle).
The car is equipped with a solar panel on the top which allows the vehicle to charge its batteries directly from the sun. It also has an alternative battery for use in emergencies. Reaching a maximum speed of 45kph, the vehicle is probably best kept off major arterial routes.
However, it offers a range of 100km thanks to swappable batteries, and automatic solar charging provides up to an extra 20km per day. Squad Mobility says that given the average person in this LEV segment drives just 12 km per day, Squad’s range will be enough on most days. Besides, owning one will save you congestion charges in some European cities – and you can park it like a scooter…
“We saw the potential of solar charging,” said Hoevers, who is also CEO. “But we both agreed that it was a shame that the car was only available for the happy few. We wanted to make a vehicle that’s basically available to everybody.”
Squad car will be unveiled in a commercial version this September at US$6800. It is available for preorder in Europe, with deliveries commencing next year.
It comes in a weatherproof solution with a roof, windshield, floor and optional doors with windows. The company says the doors can be easily removed for warm summer days.
Air-conditioning is offered as an option, but only in combination with full doors, which can be ordered post-purchase for retrofitting if desired.
It comes in two versions – two or four-seater for adults, with the two-seater model including a bench seat for children in the back.
An aluminium tubular roll cage protects the occupants and there is a full crash structure front and rear.
Hoevers believes there is a ready market for the tiny car in Europe.
“Cities love solar charging, as this is a sustainable energy source. It decreases the load on the local charging infrastructure and energy demand. Cities are looking for zero-emission mobility solutions with a small space footprint – and we have achieved both.”
Squad offers owners 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,” said Hoevers.