Tuesday, May 21, 2024

SQUAD, a self-charging Solar City Car for daily urban mobility

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.

The Dutch startup Squad Mobility comes with a small, relatively affordable SQUAD Solar City Car, which is also suitable for shared urban mobility services. The two-seater vehicle charges automatically in sunlight and has the option of swappable batteries if its charge is low.

Its small size helps to quickly navigate the city and easily park anywhere – three of the SQUAD vehicles fit comfortably into one parking space. The robust design makes it safe and stable. The aluminum tubular frame and roll cage guarantee safe rides, while real-time vehicle data allows fleet operators to keep an eye on their vehicles from afar.

In addition to a 100 km (62 miles) range provided by the swappable batteries, automatic solar charging provides up to an extra 20 km (12 miles) per day. Squad Mobility points out that, as the average person in this LEV segment drives 12 km per day, this is enough on most days. They are aimed squarely at the urban mobility space and can reach top speeds of 45 km/h (28 mph).

SQUAD, a self-charging Solar City Car for daily urban mobility.
SQUAD charging station. Credit: Squad Mobility

SQUAD is designed to withstand the wear and tear of heavy use. Both interior and exterior are easy to clean, and broken parts are easy to replace. Recycled materials are used wherever possible. Components and construction have been optimized, making the SQUAD simply affordable and guaranteeing low CAPEX and OPEX for sharing operators.

Cities are looking for zero-emission mobility solutions with a small space footprint,” said Robert Hoevers, CEO of Squad Mobility. “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.

Sensors inside the vehicle enable remote diagnosis, e.g., operating condition, charge levels, tire pressure, location, cleanliness, damage, etc. SQUAD will also be equipped 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. 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.

The vision of Squad Mobility within a longer horizon is also interesting. The company would like to use autonomous technology in fleet management in the city. For example, to move vehicles to places with high demand or more intense sunlight for more efficient use of the integrated solar system.

We are to see the introduction of the SQUAD Solar City Car in physical form in the autumn of this year and its launch in 2022. The vehicle is currently available for pre-order.