XEV looks to crowdfund YoYo 3D-printed, two-seater electric city car
Last year, Italy's XEV announced a partnership with Chinese 3D printing firm Polymaker to produce a small, inexpensive electric city runabout called the LSEV. Now the name has changed to the YoYo and the car has moved closer to production with the launch of a Kickstarter campaign.
The YoYo has been designed to significantly lower the cost of all-electric driving while also allowing for lots of vehicle personalization possibilities. That last bit is made possible courtesy of the 3D printing of components, and in the future the company will offer a library of new part styles that can be retro-fitted to the car to alter its look to suit changing tastes or to repair damaged bits.
The little car is being built to meet European safety standards. All of the components are secured to a steel frame, and there are front impact beams, side impact beams in the doors, and there's rollover protection too. Other safety features include ABS, front and rear disc braking, and driver's airbag.
It will sit in the L7 vehicle category, like Renault's Twizy, which means it's regarded as a quadricycle rather than a car. The 2.5 x 1.5 m (8.2 x 4.9 ft) dimensions offer smart car-like maneuverability and parking ease – with a turning circle of less than 8 m (26 ft) – but despite its compact size, XEV is promising a comfortable ride for "everyone from the daintiest ballerina to the burliest rugby player."
A 7.5 kW (22 kW peak) motor will manage an electronically-limited top speed of 70 km/h (43.5 mph), so it won't be suitable for highway driving, but should be good for zipping around urban or city streets. Per charge range is 150 km (93 mi) and, usefully, XEV has included technology that monitors the health of the LiFePO4 cells. When they start to show their age, company techs can then swap out the poor performing battery pack for a fresh one, which means that YoYo owners can potentially benefit from future battery technology improvements as they happen.
Elsewhere, the compact EV has a large touchscreen infotainment console, panoramic roof, keyless entry, electric mirrors, trunk storage space big enough to hold two carry-on suitcases (180 liters with liftgate access), and energy-efficient LED lights front and rear, with added safety from daytime running lights.
Kickstarter pledges start at €5,999 (about US$6,650, though the compact EV is not currently being made available in the US), which represents €4,500 off the expected list price. If all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in December, 2020. The video below has more.