Ioanna is a writer at TNW. She covers the full spectrum of the European tech ecosystem, with a particular interest in startups, sustainabili Ioanna is a writer at TNW. She covers the full spectrum of the European tech ecosystem, with a particular interest in startups, sustainability, green tech, AI, and EU policy. With a background in the humanities, she has a soft spot for social impact-enabling technologies.
As electric microcars are gradually becoming a thing, there are a number of companies that want to introduce us to tiny EVs with an intriguing design twist: shapeshifting.
Two of these interesting shapeshifters, scheduled for launch later this year, are the Triggo EV and the City Transformer.
You can’t really expect Batmobile-like transformations, but both vehicles have variable chassis that enable them to change their size when space is at a premium. To fit into a tight parking spot or pass swiftly through traffic jams — that’s your call.
The Triggo EV can extend or contract its front wheels horizontally, measuring 148cm and 86cm wide, respectively.
Similarly, the City Transformer’s front and rear tracks expand together with the fenders — maximizing the width to 140cm. When the process is reversed, the minicar retracts to a narrow 100cm.
But there’s another electric microcar that really takes shapeshifting to the next level: the iEV Z.
The mini four-wheeler doesn’t extend its tracks or wheels. Instead, it literally expands its body in the middle to provide space for a second passenger or extra cargo.
Yes, just like that:
That’s thanks to what iEV Motors calls a “state of the art robotic platform.” And despite the vehicle’s ability to create extra space, it’s still freakishly narrow — at 78cm, the company boasts it can fit basically anywhere and even pass through your home’s door frame.
And here’s another cool spec: everything can be controlled through the accompanying app. You can transform it, lock and unlock it, open it, change the color of the LED lights running across its body, and check the remaining battery life all from your phone.
Speaking of battery life, the iEV Z also draws power from integrated solar panels and can be fully charged within three hours with a regular charger, or within 15 minutes with a fast charger.
It comes in two different versions: the standard with a 25-45km/h top speed and 100km of range, and the iEV Z+ with a 60-80km/h top speed and 160km of range.
This performance, along with its technical classification as a quad moped (according to EU regulations, at least) means that you can drive it either on city roads or bike lanes.
The iEVZ is set for launch in late 2022, with an estimated $6,431 (€5,850) price tag. You can already pre-order it from $110 (€100).
Interested to see it move and transform? Check out the video below:
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