Tiny electric car stretches to take on more passengers
We've already seen single-seat electric cars, the tiny size of which makes them ideal for maneuvering through congested urban environments. However, what happens when you want to carry a second passenger? In the case of the iEV X, the car just gets longer.
Currently in functioning prototype form, the German-made iEV (Intelligent Electric Vehicle) X is just 78 cm wide (30.7 inches), and 160 cm long (63 inches) in single-passenger mode. When users want to bring someone else along, the car can be electrically lengthened to 190 cm (74.8 inches), allowing a folded second seat to pop up behind the driver's. If they want to take on some extra cargo, the car can be further lengthened to 220 cm (86.6 inches).
The sides of the vehicle remain open when it's extended.
Plans call for the 115-kg (254-lb) base model to be powered by a 48-volt lithium-ion battery pack, which should be good for a range of up to 60 km (37 miles) per 3-hour plug-in charge. A 40-watt rooftop solar panel will help charge the battery while the car is parked. The top speed is 45 km/h (28 mph).
The fancier 145-kg (320-lb) iEV X+ model should feature a higher-capacity 72-volt battery, a range of up to 120 km (75 miles), a 60-watt solar panel, and a top speed of 60 km/h (37 mph). Plans also call for an optional automatic robotic charging system, and even a pedal system to help boost battery range.
Additional features of both models should include power-retractible side mirrors, a wide-angle rearview camera, a 7-inch touchscreen display, a full LED lighting system, and a steel chassis with aluminum body panels.
Should you be interested in getting an iEV X, it's currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. If it reaches production, an early bird pledge of €1,850 (about US$2,144) will get you the base model, with €7,850 ($9,098) required for the iEV X+.
You can see the prototype in action, in the video below.