Urban Transport

Silence S04 electric nanocar makes international debut in Milan

Silence S04 electric nanocar m...
Originally announced in October, the S04 electric nanocar made its official international debut at EICMA in Milan
Originally announced in October, the S04 electric nanocar made its official international debut at EICMA in Milan
View 8 Images
Originally announced in October, the S04 electric nanocar made its official international debut at EICMA in Milan
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Originally announced in October, the S04 electric nanocar made its official international debut at EICMA in Milan
The removable battery unit is housed beneath the seat, behind the door
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The removable battery unit is housed beneath the seat, behind the door
The S04 offers 313 liters of trunk space
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The S04 offers 313 liters of trunk space
The 2.28 x 1.29 x 1.59-meter S04 rolling down after-dark city streets
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The 2.28 x 1.29 x 1.59-meter S04 rolling down after-dark city streets
Each 5.6-kWh battery pack includes wheel and a telescopic handle for easy rolling to the nearest charge point, or the upcoming Battery Stations to swap for a fresh one
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Each 5.6-kWh battery pack includes wheel and a telescopic handle for easy rolling to the nearest charge point, or the upcoming Battery Stations to swap for a fresh one
City parking made easy with the S04 electric nanocar
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City parking made easy with the S04 electric nanocar
The S04 has seating for two, and comes with a 7-inch TFT digital display and a Bluetooth sound system
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The S04 has seating for two, and comes with a 7-inch TFT digital display and a Bluetooth sound system
The S04 electric nanocar will be available in two versions, one of which requires only a moped license to drive it
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The S04 electric nanocar will be available in two versions, one of which requires only a moped license to drive it
View gallery - 8 images

Spanish electric scooter maker Silence has pulled the cover off a new electric nanocar called the S04 at EICMA in Milan, Italy. Coming to Europe next year, the vehicle will be available in two versions – one of which only requires a moped license to drive it.

Electric mobility is shaping up to offer drivers, riders and commuters a number of different ways to get around – from familiar favorites like buses, SUVs and motorcycles to relative newcomers in the shape of ebikes, pods and microcars.

The S04 joins an interesting inner-city runabout segment along with companies such as Citroen, Opel, Eli, Micro, and of course Renault where small is king. Like those vehicles, Sielnce's electric nanocar – as its being dubbed – is not going to suit every need, but could make sense for solo drivers or couples looking for something that merges "the advantages of a car with the philosophy of a motorcycle."

City parking made easy with the S04 electric nanocar
City parking made easy with the S04 electric nanocar

"Why is Silence presenting a four-wheel vehicle at EICMA 2021?" quipped Silence CEO, Carlos Sotelo. "Because Silence is a mobility company that began with two-wheel vehicles, yet which believes in this new category, which we call nanocar and which combines technology, connectivity, removable batteries, with zero emissions and hardly any carbon footprint. It also has all the advantages of a motorcycle: agility, lightweight, easy to park, with the comfort and security of a four-wheel vehicle. With this Silence model we want to reach more people and become a leader not only in the two-wheel sector, but in all of urban mobility."

The S04 is built around a tubular motorcycle-like frame, and measures 2.28 x 1.29 x 1.59 m (7.5 x 4.2 x 5.2 ft). And a turning radius of 3.5 m (11.5 ft) makes it a good fit for narrow city streets, particularly in Europe, while also slotting into parking spaces a fraction of the size of a regular car. There's side-by-side seating for two, room for luggage or shopping in the 313-liter trunk out back, control and access to status via a mobile app, and the vehicle is being produced in two versions for the European market.

The L7e variant sports a 14-kW motor for a top speed of 90 km/h (56 mph), and rocks two removable trolley-style batteries available as owned or leased with a total capacity of 11.2 kWh, which is reckoned good for up to 149 km (92.5 miles) of range per charge. The L6e version comes with a 6-kW motor that will get the vehicle up to 45 km/h (28 mph), and one 5.6-kWh battery for 70 km (43.5 miles) of per-charge range. A big selling point of the latter model is that drivers only need a moped license to motor along.

Each 5.6-kWh battery pack includes wheel and a telescopic handle for easy rolling to the nearest charge point, or the upcoming Battery Stations to swap for a fresh one
Each 5.6-kWh battery pack includes wheel and a telescopic handle for easy rolling to the nearest charge point, or the upcoming Battery Stations to swap for a fresh one

Both S04 models feature rear-wheel drive and roll on 155/65 R14 tires, and come with disc braking front and rear with optional ABS. There's a multifunction steering wheel, a 7-inch digital dash, a smartphone holder and charger, LED lighting, power windows, central locking, and a Bluetooth audio system.

The Silence S04 is expected to be available for sale in the first quarter of 2022 for a starting price of €7,500 (about US$8,500, though the company hasn't indicated that models will make it across the pond).

The Barcelona-based company also revealed a Gogoro-style battery swap station concept at EICMA, previewing a future where S04 drivers can roll up and exchange low-charge batteries for fresh ones in seconds. Silence says that such services will be located at entrances to metropolitan areas, and be open for business 24/7. A Battery Station pilot is to be undertaken in Barcelona and Madrid over the next two years.

Source: Silence

View gallery - 8 images
8 comments
8 comments
guzmanchinky
Those make perfect sense in bike lanes in Europe, but you wouldn't want to even be in a small crash with even a small car in one...
Trylon
The L7e could never meet federal safety standards for passenger automobiles. No way it could ever be sold in the US. The L6e might be possible, but only if they downgrade it to 25 mph to meet NEV regulations.
Bob Stuart
Does it carry more than it weighs? If not, how badly does it miss?
Daishi
Designing a small pod with chairs in it is mostly trivial. Assuming we were to create a dedicated rail line for pods what I have yet to see is a sufficiently useful multi-direction junction like a traffic circle designed to move them through at high density. A traffic circle is the simplest example but I'm picturing something closer to a multi-layer system that would scale closer to straight line throughput without creating a traffic backlog. The result would look like something closer to upscaled factory equipment than a road. I've never seen a good proof of concept designed to move people pods at high throughput even in video games. The point would be to build something like the physical equivalent of an IP traffic router that supports multi-degree non-blocking throughput.
Jeek
The modern version of the East German Trabant. A small and dangerous path to force us into e-cars. The technology is not mature enough and the charging station infrastructure is not ready for primetime. The US has 50 states and many of them are larger than most European countries. Also, the wide open spaces in some states makes this totally impractical.
malcolm
A removable and transportable battery pack is a great idea. No need to park near your house or apartment!
Daishi
@malcolm I like the removable battery pack too but I feel like they missed an easy layup by having the human need to drag it when it could have then served as the power source of a sort of scooter. The worst possible version of such a thing would be like the powered luggage you see people sit on and drive (see Modobag as example).
ReservoirPup
guzmanchinky@ - would you prefer to crash on a bike rather than in this car?