Allow us to introduce you to the SQUAD Solar City Car, a brand new car launched this week within the Netherlands. It targets individuals looking for a automobile for brief city journeys — and, even higher, you possibly can drive one and not using a driver’s license in lots of international locations.
Design-wise, the SQUAD resembles a two-seater upper-class golf cart, though it comes with absolutely detachable doorways to accommodate a variety of seasons. In line with the corporate, it’s compact, however provides room for 2 (tall) individuals plus baggage.
The battery-powered car provides a 62-mile (100km) vary and has a detachable battery.
The corporate plans to supply a battery swapping service for fleet managers, however the car can be charged using a regular 220V outlet that’s present in most properties.
SQUAD is headed by Robert Hoevers, CEO and former GM at A1GP Netherlands, and one of many initiators of the FIA Components E. He additionally used to work as a gross sales and enterprise growth supervisor for solarEV maker, Lightyear, which is engaged on a long-range photo voltaic that might solely want charging annually.
This is smart contemplating SQUAD’s photo voltaic capabilities.
A Photo voltaic automobile… within the Netherlands?
The SQUAD comes with a photo voltaic panel on it’s roof. The photo voltaic panel can cost as much as 12 miles (20 km) per day in Europe. It even works in any gentle and even within the shade.
Let’s face it; the Netherlands isn’t identified for the sunny climate loved in locations like Australia and California, however the firm asserts that the nation will get sufficient gentle to energy the town automobile for common city use.
Parking the SQUAD is a breeze
Maybe the SQUAD Photo voltaic Metropolis Automobile’s largest power is parking. With a size of solely two meters, it may be parked transverse on a mean parking spot, with the tires in opposition to the curb. The truth is, in keeping with the corporate, three SQUADS can simply park in a single automobile spot.
And, in most European cities, it may even be parked on the curb or at a particular moped parking location.
There can be no parking charges in most cities, no highway tax, and no congestion cost.
However is it secure?
The car is safer than it’d seem. It comes with a legally required roll cage and full entrance and rear crash construction. The SQUAD Photo voltaic Metropolis Automobile is steady due to its width and low heart of gravity, and works over tram rails and curbs.
Is the SQUAD authorized?
Concerning vehicle classification, the car sits at L6e. This represents quadricycles weighing underneath 350 kg with diminished engine cylinder capability, energy output, and degree of steady energy.
The sunshine electrical car falls underneath the identical rules as vehicles just like the Opel Rocks E and the Renault Twizy 45. In line with SQUAD, most European markets don’t require a automobile driving license to make use of its car, however it’s unlikely you’ll be allowed to drive it on highways or freeways.
Age limits for drivers fluctuate from 14 and 18 years in several European international locations. For instance, in France, you possibly can drive one and not using a license from the age of 14. However within the UK? Sadly, you’ll want a driver’s license.
Nonetheless, US enlargement might show to be extra sophisticated the place the rules for gentle EVs are nonetheless evolving and fluctuate state-by-state.
General, it’s thrilling to see one other firm specializing in photo voltaic electrical car manufacturing. It makes numerous sense for brief journeys — and as a means of extending its vary.
It additionally appears to be like like a hell of numerous enjoyable at an reasonably priced worth.
I’ll be curious to see who buys it, particularly in cities like Amsterdam, the place bike driving already accounts for the brief journey answer. The choice of fleets of SQUADS sounds interesting, particularly for vacationer sightseeing. Nonetheless, I’m undecided if it’s as huge as Arcimoto’s Deliverator, making it much less viable for last-mile supply fleet operators.
The SQUAD Photo voltaic Metropolis Automobile can be out there in 2023, priced from $6,522 (€6250), and is now out there for pre-order.