An innovative electric car has been developed by Israeli startup, City Transformer, that addresses not only the issues of tailpipe emissions but also congestion and parking on narrow city streets.
The Israeli startup hopes to address Israel’s shocking traffic congestion, which has been reported by both the OECD and IMF as being the worst in the Western world.
Able to “fold” its chassis in order to take up about as much parking space as a motorcycle, the microcar is definitely designed with city drivers in mind, carrying a small battery capable of about 150km range.
And the tiny two-seater is matched with a tiny price – just $US10,500 ($A14,500) for the base model.
The tiny vehicle doesn’t shirk on other specs however – the promoters says it can travel at speeds of up to 90km/hr, and sports 360 degree car sensors to ensure tight parks are taken with ease.
Boasting a modular base which retracts from 1.44 metres to only 1 metre wide with the push of a button, City Transformer says it will be able to offer the EV with custom cabins, which opens up possibilities for use as a courier car or other types of vehicles.
City Transformer intends to start production of the EV microcar in Israel – where plans are being made to phase out ICE cars by 2030 – as early as 2019, with deliveries commencing from the end of the year.
When it does, the CT smart car could be the only locally-made passenger EV on the Israeli market – while the country is well known for its innovative startups, it currently imports all its vehicles save a few ambulances and fire engines.
While the final prototype is still under development, the concept has been seen at several trade shows, including at the YPO Innovation Week event in Tel Aviv where it arrived in a very unusual way – via elevator.
“Though doctors recommend using the stairs, we drove the CT prototype right into the 1.2 meter wide elevator, rose to the second floor, and from there to the event hall threshold without ever leaving the CT,” the CT crew told Israeli21C.
Plans for expansion into other markets will be made “depending on demand”.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.