SQUAD, World’s First Solar City Car Is Coming
Urban mobility should be safe, accessible and hassle-free. It should contribute to a liveable, free and open city life. This calls for a smart vehicle that makes life simple for everyone. This fall, we will present the world’s first Solar City Car, optimized for shared mobility.
Creating something both simple and impactful is no easy task. In 2019, we started with a powerful vision: a solar city car for everyone. Above all, we wanted to simplify mobility for users, fleet owners and cities all over the world. The result: the SQUAD Solar City Car, available in 2022.
What makes the SQUAD easy to share? It’s all about access, energy, space and connectivity. The two-seater vehicle is easy to access and operate. It charges automatically in sunlight and includes swappable batteries. Its small size helps to quickly navigate the city and easily park anywhere. The robust design makes it safe and stable. Essential vehicle data is available 24/7 for fleet management, and mobile app connection.
“Keeping a free-floating fleet charged is one of the main operational costs of an EV sharing fleet operator. The automatic, wireless and free solar charging is of course a wonderful solution.” “Also, cities love solar charging, as this is a sustainable energy source. It decreases the load on the local charging infrastructure and energy demand.” “Cities are looking for zero emission mobility solutions with a small space footprint. We have achieved both. A per capita energy consumption lower than public transport and a space footprint comparable to a bicycle. And all this, while offering the flexibility of personal transport and the comfort of a car.”
On top of a 100km range provided by the swappable batteries, automatic solar charging provides up to an extra 20km per day. As the average person in this LEV segment drives 12 km per day, this is enough on most days. Three SQUADS fit comfortably in one parking space. The aluminum tubular frame and roll cage guarantee safe rides. The tires act as bumpers to protect the bodywork. Sensors enable remote diagnosis, e.g., operating condition, charge levels, tire pressure, location, etc.
SQUAD is designed to withstand the wear and tear of heavy use. Both interior and exterior are easy to clean, broken parts are easy to replace. Recycled materials are used where possible. The bill of materials and construction have been optimized, making the SQUAD simply affordable and guaranteeing low CAPEX and OPEX for sharing operators.
Next to solar charging, the SQUAD features swappable and portable batteries. Batteries can be swapped when vehicles need a quick recharge. Battery State of Charge and State of Health, as well as many other parameters like maximum discharge rate, cell temperature and misuse indicators like water damage or excessive G-forces are monitored and are available to the operator. Squad will offer a smart charging & swapping station for reserve batteries to fleet operators. Other charging options include charging from a regular power socket and DC charging directly from locally installed solar panels.
Information is key, users want to know where the vehicles are and what the state of charge is. We offer additional information on the state of operation, tire pressures, cleanliness, damage, etc. Operators need all relevant information on the state of the fleet so they can plan maintenance as efficiently as possible. We will equip the Squads with cameras to check the state of the vehicles and their position in the public space, the usage by the customer and the cause of accidents. Customers tend to be much more careful when the vehicles are equipped with cameras. They can also ask the operator for help when necessary. Finally, cameras offer the possibility for remote control of the vehicle by the operator, for instance, when the vehicle is improperly parked or blocking an exit.
“Remote control means we take extra capabilities into account in the design, such as the application of remote actuation of the steering and the possibility to relay data from the CAN bus to the operator and back in a secure way. In the longer term, we envision the use of autonomous technology to control the fleet in the city, for example to move vehicles back to places with high demand or more sunshine for charging.”
The SQUAD Solar City Car is currently available for pre-order. Sharing operators are invited to get in contact with Squad Mobility for customized designs and offers.
This article was originally published by Squad Mobility BV.
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