Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Squad, the golf cart-sized self-charging solar city car

A Dutch startup Squad Mobility has unveiled a two-seater solar electric car called the “Squad,” which is already available for pre-order with a starting price of €5,750. Two former employees of Lightyear, who created the Lightyear One, have been working on this solar car for the city since the beginning of this year.

Squad installs a solar panel that occupies the entire surface of the roof and will serve as a support for recharging its batteries. That way, if you don’t have to drive too many kilometers, you can completely spin around emission-free.

The solar cells directly and automatically self-charge its on-board battery throughout its life-cycle. According to its makers, it is possible to achieve up to 9,000 km (5,592 mi) of autonomy annually in a sunny country. This means that if daily, you only want to travel 30km, you will never need to go through a charger although that is somewhat dependent on the weather.

The roof is covered with solar cells directly charging it’s on-board battery
The roof is covered with solar cells directly charging it’s on-board battery.

For the days when the sun does not shine, it has two 2 kW engines that print a force to the 2.7CV rear wheels with portable and exchangeable batteries that offer the vehicle a total autonomy of 100 km (62 mi), which is not bad for a vehicle designed almost exclusively for the city.

The squad is capable of reaching 45 km/h (28 mph) of maximum speed. The golf-cart-sized vehicle, which claims to be the first affordable solar car, offers a two-person solution with optional seats for small children (where legal) and/or extra dry storage in the back. It is very safe and stable with four wheels, roll cage, and belts, so no helmet needed.

Moreover, Squad offers a dry and weatherproof solution with a roof, windshield, floor, and optional side protection for very rainy days.

To keep the weight and price low, they left out the doors. This ensures that you can park the Squad in a smaller space, as you don’t have to open doors. On paper, the Squad is not a car but a scooter; it must be a combination of the low threshold of a scooter and the comfort of a car.

The Squad will enter the market in 2021, but you can already place your order for it. The starting price comes to €5,750 (around $6,325), excluding VAT. You can also lease a Squad. The price for this is less than €100 per month. The down payment for the standard model is €500.