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Carver One - Click above for high-res image gallery

We've been following the story of the Carver One leaning three-wheeler for the last few years, and we've often thought the vehicle was a great idea just waiting to catch on. Unfortunately, the company may never build another vehicle of its own as it's just gone bankrupt after a major deal reportedly fell through in May.

The problem – as often is the case when innovative technology first hits the market – was the Carver's high price. According to Carver Europe director Willem Verheul:
Too few people wanted to buy the ingenious sports car at 50,000 euros. We had [planned for] about 300 vehicles sold per year, but in two years, only 200 were purchased.
If there's any ray of sunshine to the bad news, it's that the Advanced Technology Licensing Company is still in business, so there's still hope that future vehicles will come to market using Carver's innovative leaning three-wheel technology. No word on how or if this affects Persu Mobility (formerly Venture Vehicles).


[Source: The Kneeslider]


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  • 21 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      As often with new ideas the wrong people were running the marketing, sales and finance department. Seeing that the Carver One is as wide at the back as say a Fiat, Mini, C2, Polo, etc. You need to take into consideration the value for your money. All the small commuter cars, can transport 4-5 passengers, the Carver One only 2. In addition the small vehicles have a relatively large boot, good for groceries or small goods transport. You cannot sell a vehicle on the fun factor alone and expect people to fork out €50k. Then I might as well buy myself a bike and a small car and still save on money. This vehicle should have been mass produced after the test trials had been completed and market research had shown people willing to buy it. Sales price should have been in the €10-15k region. The sales would have been in the thousands each year. And don't come with the R&D that went into the car cost so much. BMW etc also have high R&D costs, but this is factored into the sales of the car over x years. Carver expected to make that money back asap. Wishful thinking had them shoot themselves in the foot due to greed... simple.
      usrml5
      • 3 Years Ago
      I see they made some appearances at several car shows and races, but did they ever attend the Cannes Film Festival? There are plenty of people there with 50K to play with. The Italian Job was the perfect marketing campaign to launch the new Mini Cooper, surely these could star in a film as well.
      • 5 Years Ago
      - From the start, as an engineer & motorcyclist, I loved the Carver 3 wheel car ... http://green.autoblog.com/gallery/carver-one/ ... but, thought it was complex and priced too high for the marketplace. I think most ppl who want a 3 wheel, 2 seater want something light, economical and still fun. I hate the fact that they are bankrupt too; but, somehow maybe that will end up with better marketing if someone else takes it over. - I've always liked the idea of 3 wheels; but, like the single rear wheel and wide front end. Front wheel drive or AWD would be nice too; but, AWD may cost you something in economy. - The T-Rex is about the best I've seen for performance & stability, and I think I like the wider front end for crash protection too. I always watch what is going on behind me in the mirrors and have been able to avoid several rear end collisions; but, it's a little hard to avoid someone who is coming at you and moves into your lane.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they wanted it to get a larger market, they should have tried to get it into mass production. I don't understand why they stuck to building them by hand.

      As far as the Persu goes, I wouldn't hold my breath. I gave up on it as soon as they decided to drop the serial hybrid platform, but the elimination of the user forums and the branding switch to Persu just made things worse.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I worked for Carver back in 2003. At the time, it seemed that the price was very high and that has never changed.

      When I found an investment banker willing to put 10's of millions into helping to build a factory and then mass produce the Carver or a derivative for a price that would put it in the reach of tens of millions, rather than several hundred, it was rejected in favour of the hand built business model.

      Despite any problems, this was and is still, a groundbreaking design that deserves to be on the roads of many cities and countries throughout the world. But the only way it was going to fulfill its destiny was go down the mass production road. If anyone can find a way to resurrect the vehicle, then there is Europe and Asia to consider rather than just the US market.

      Good luck to anyone that wants to try. I would love to help you if I can.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Tim - Would it be possible to buy non-exclusive design/technology aspects of the vehicle, with the inclusion of how they fixed the pivot bar problem? So if I just want to build one at a time. I guess the key really is the titling system.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would be interest in buying carver and building the thing here in Texas, How can i find information on who to talk to. Thanks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        please send me the details. Thanks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Steve, If you are interested, please email me and I can share some details on the Carver One. Reply via Autoblog. Geoff.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Steve, I know I am a little behind on this blog, but assuming you did not make any investment with the Carver vehicle, I am working with a Swiss manufacturer of a "similiar" vehicle, which 'may' be interested in building their vehicle here in the U.S. if some U.S. partnerships can be arranged. E-mail me at Jim@RevItUp.BIZ if you would like more information. Go to this link if you would like to see the vehicle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9-hMlN19NE .
        • 5 Years Ago
        Just go to ; www.flytheroadclub.com
        There will be all sorts of contacts and conversations about this in their forums.

        Last word there is that the Persu IS GOING TO HAPPEN . Story is they went off the grid for "LEGAL" reasons but are well on the path to mass producing the PersuHybrid
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hi Steve,

        I saw your comments about wishing to purchase Carver and if I can help at all, I would like to.

        You can mail me at timhodgetts@yahoo.com

        Best regards,

        Tim Hodgetts
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is a design by GM back in the late 70's. They only built one and it looked a whole lot better that the Carver. The Carver built on GM's design and added needed hydraulics upon which they promptly took out several patents even though it was just standard hydraulic stuff. Their price was so very ridiculous that there never was ANY chance of succeeding with this excellent invention. I am just sorry that GM gave up on their idea just because big cars were starting to sell again (read more profit) and they were very afraid of liability suits (after all, this is the USA).
      • 5 Years Ago
      I absolutely love this thing but they are right in that $50k was far too much for many to swallow. Maybe if they could outsource the production and materials to Chinese manufacturing they could get the price way down and still monitor quality and keep rolling. It's better than folding I suppose.
        • 5 Years Ago
        50000 Euros is ludicrous. They should be able to make this for 20000 DOLLARS.

        It's a modified motorcycle. Yes it's got some custom bits, but in mass production, this would not seem a tricky and expensive vehicle to make. I think green greed got in the way of bringing a unique product to market.
        • 5 Years Ago
        BMW is toying with this tech. Slap a BMW propeller on it and sell it for 30,000 euros.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think Honda could crank these out to sell in the US for under $20K if they wanted to, having in-house expertise for building both kei cars and heavyweight motorcycles, but apparently they're making as much money as they need right now.
      I'd buy one in a heartbeat for $20K, it would suit my commuting needs perfectly, and I could keep my minivan for weekend grocery-getting/project-material-hauling duties.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh No! Last week I saw one of those Carvers. They are bigger than I thought.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Are these going into production? how does one become a dealer
      • 3 Years Ago
      What a damn shame, i live on an island in Moreton Bay and this carver would have been ideal, yes the price is high , but ,surely Honda or Ducati or another bike manufacturer could have made them at a much cheaper price and I,m sur.e would have made an absolute killing
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