The mobility space is getting more competitive by the day with new players entering the segment. Squad Mobility, the Netherlands based mobility startup has also announced its new affordable solar city car called Squad. Aimed at enabling daily suburban mobility in a hassle-free manner, the Squad (Solar Quad) sports seating capacity for two people and is capable of hitting top speeds of 45km/h.
It is developed by ex-Lightyear employees and the company’s CEO is Robert Hoevers. Hovers was one of the early employees at the Lightyear Solar Car project and was responsible for commerce, business development and government relations.
Car with a solar panel roof
While most of us are familiar with the concept of electric cars, Squad Mobility takes the concept one step further with the Squad. The new electric car comes equipped with a solar panel on the roof, which generates electricity for recharging the vehicle’s batteries on the go. Now up for pre-orders in the EU, the Squad’s retail price is set at €5,750 and it will be sold as a light 4-wheeled vehicle in the L6e category.
Robert Hoevers, CEO of Squad Mobility says, “Emissions and traffic congestion are the two main issues in today’s urban mobility. Our solar-electric Squad can charge up to 9.000 km per year in a sunny country with its own solar roof, making it completely emission-free for most users driving circa 30 km or 1 hour per day for 300 days a year in an urban environment. Most vehicles in this segment don’t drive more than 6000 km per year. Extra range can be charged directly from the grid with an ordinary plug and/or our portable batteries.” Additional battery packs will be available for an increased range.
Consumes less space, offers more features
As mentioned above, the Squad is capable of reaching speeds of up to 45km per hour but depending on how it is received, and local laws, an 80 km/h version could also be offered later. While two passengers can be seated side by side in the vehicle, there’s also a storage compartment on the rear. The body panels and doors are deliberately omitted to lower costs, increase efficiency, ruggedness, durability and easy access.
For safety, a full roll cage with seat belts and 4-wheel stability is available. Additionally, two children (with a height of up to 1.25 m) can sit on rear seats, where it is legally permitted. As per the company, a standard car takes up about 10 m2 space, whereas a Squad only needs 2 m2. This means four Squads can be parked crosswise in one car parking space.
Chris Klok, Chief of Design at Squad Mobility says,“The Squad is conceived as an essential mobility solution, with state-of-the-art technology such as in-wheel motors and a solar panel. This combination will make the Squad accessible for a much larger group of users, without the hassle of maintenance. It’s no coincidence that the Squad technically resembles a scooter.” Klock adds, “The first post-war scooters were designed with exactly those values in mind. Today, we offer this for two people, with safety and better protection against the elements. In some ways the Squad opens up a completely new segment. The strength of the concept is that we keep both efficiency and costs low, by focusing on bare essentials.”
Additionally, there are notable cost and tax benefits for vehicle buyers in this segment. For example, there is no congestion charge, no parking fees, no road tax, low insurance fees and no car driving license needed for an electric vehicle like Squad, in most regions.
Developed for sharing platforms
The Squad is developed specifically for sharing platforms. While shared mobility users require easy access, safe, stable ride, cities look for the smallest space footprint and near-zero emissions. Features like automatic solar charging, exchangeable batteries and high durability are said to make the Squad extremely suitable for sharing platforms. As mentioned above, Squad Mobility also offers a cargo and delivery version of the vehicle with cargo storage in the back.
Squad will be made available in subscription and/or lease models next year with a target lease price of around €100 per month. The Squad can now be preordered on the Squad Mobility website, both as signature version that has a reservation cost of €500 with maximum range for first in line customers and as regular production €500. Deliveries will commence in 2021 in the EU. With notable savings benefits and an enticing proposition, are you planning to pre-book the Squad?
Image credits: Squad Mobility
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