Silence S04 electric nanocar makes international debut in Milan
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."
"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.
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.