• Oct 31st 2011 at 3:40PM
  • 29
Looking for an electric vehicle that has can perform on the street, but costs only around one fourth the price of a Nissan Leaf or Ford Focus EV, but comes in at about one quarter of the price? If you're willing to settle for two seats and a range less than 50 miles, you find such a thing in the StreetScooter EV.

The StreetScooter is being built in a very unusual way. Rather than being the product of one company, StreetScooter a cooperative venture of over 80 auto parts suppliers, engineering firms, and electronics companies. It does have a management team of sorts, but is designed around the Disruptive Network Approach to project management, which is meant to keep the project flexible and to provide ways to work around potential roadblocks. The companies involved are all subject matter experts, with each bringing their expertise and manufacturing capabilities to the project. By defining the car as a series of modules and requiring consistency only at the places where those modulars interface, the project is structured more along the lines of an open-source software project than a typical manufacturing process.

The goal of the project is to build an EV with a price that bests conventional automobiles. In setting the requirements for that vehicle, the engineers involved looked to the kind of travel that they needed themselves and found that short trips of less than 40 kilometers (25 miles) were typical. So, the vehicle was designed to that range, saving both dollars and weight when compared with existing EVs. An even more important target is the price: around $7,000, with an additional charge for the battery lease. Though it will have only two seats and a small range, the StreetScooter is not an NEV. It's expected to be fully compatible with highway safety laws and provide a top speed around 74 miles per hour. Production in Europe is slated for 2013, with availability in the United States coming at a later date.

*UPDATE: Thanks to Dan F. for the link to the video after the jump.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 29 Comments
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      not an entirely uninteresting concept but it would be nice if the engineers were competent enough to know what aerodynamics is. they could double the range at 100km/h with moderate aerodynamics alone. a good price target though
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Odd, we both got voted down. Maybe they didn't like your comment, and I wasn't supposed to laugh at it?
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        I still laugh at your, "Even Republicans can understand...." Comment....
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          laughing is good. it is the embrace of the cleansing light of truth
      Somian
      • 3 Years Ago
      " but costs only around one fourth the price of a Nissan Leaf or Ford Focus EV, but comes in at about one quarter of the price?" — do you even read what you're writing? :D
        fairfireman21
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Somian
        Do you read what you write? You said the exact same thing twice within 2 sentences. It also has a shorter range than both cars you mentioned.
      Marco Polo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yet another EV start-up doomed to fail from its inception! For some reason, there are always engineers and dreamers, who think that automotive marketing is all about what they believe people need, and not what people actually want! In fact such a vehicle is already behind the times, I think the Twizzy, is a ridiculous little vehicle, but at least it has Renault's brand behind it, and may find some sort of market. The idea that a 'cheap' vehicle can be mass produced outside of a giant manufacturer is just plain silly. And the idea, of buying 'off the shelf parts' to save costs is equally irrational. (A good example of why engineers often make lousy businesspeople). But, I expect this stupidity will attract a legion of internet fans, none of whom will ever be real buyers, even if this little vehicle ever sees the light of day!
        Nick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        You're quick to judge. We know the odds are against this type of company, but we do not know for a fact that it will fail. Some products unexpectedly sell very well. Would you have invested in the company making the 'snuggie' ?
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Nick
          @Nick Unlike the 'snuggie' or other novelties, the dynamics of EV marketing are not unknown. Investment is about making educated assessments, not blind faith or 'hope'. Just being polite and not being realistic, will only produce deep bitterness among all those who do eventually lose money on ventures like this. The fundamental premise of the business plan is flawed, it can't get better. It's not even a gamble, the inherent flaws can be seen from the outset.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Nick
          Or the Sham-Wow! :D They even have the Snuggie for your dog. I can see the dog, on the ground, looking up as it is taken out of the box, thinking, "Oh good God, now what?"
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        I am an engineer with an MBA dag gum it! Your last paragraph made me LOL
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        The Twizy has a guaranteed market as it is to be used by La Poste as a delivery vehicle, for which use it is ideally suited. It is carefully specified so that the licence to drive it is a long way short of a full driving licence so that young people will be able to use it instead of a scooter. The only real downside is that the battery lease costs compare poorly with the larger ones in cars, and are not competitive against running a petrol scooter. Legislation may make it more and more difficult to run two stroke on city streets though,
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @DaveMart, Thank you for that information. Makes sense. As I said, the Twizy may well carve out a niche market for itself as part of the Renault line up.
      Mladen Kalinic
      • 3 Years Ago
      Considering that batteries are the majour part of the cost, it would be cool if you could buy a car type vehicle and then choose how much money you wanna spend on batteries i.e. 25/50/75/100 mile range, and have the option to upgrade to a bigger pack as and when you need it. This is a nice idea and all, but does it mean you'll just be buying the two things separately, and still getting the same or similar value as compared to other EVs when they add up?
      Larz Larzen
      • 3 Years Ago
      Waxing a little tautological? "but costs only around one fourth the price of a Nissan Leaf or Ford Focus EV, but comes in at about one quarter of the price?"
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Larz Larzen
        Dummy, that means it is one eigth of the price. Gosh Larz...your such an idiot.... (saying that in Napolean Dynamite voice)
        Chris M
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Larz Larzen
        More a case of a repeated redundancy.
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm taking bets now from anyone who reckons this will out-compete the Renault Twizy...........
      Ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like it. But, they should get a LiFePO4 (or solid state) battery company on board to allow me to purchase a battery as well. I like the expert approach to each component they are doing. As long as they work well together, the price is right.
      Arun Murali
      • 3 Years Ago
      Great actually. The G-Wiz used to cost about the same in the UK and sold about 800 pieces a month. This car fits perfectly into that segment if they manage to make it. Though I think setting a target of 40 kms range is a little too low. Even the G-wiz with a 9 KWh lead acid cells, could easily go about 60-80 kms per charge. They were themselves working on 5-6 KWh li-ion version that would go about the same distance with a better crash tested flyer before all hell broke loose on the management front. So we are looking at about 3Kwh batteries. If it has to be highway capable it should at least be 10C capable batteries.
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Arun Murali
        @Arun Murali Where do you get these ideas? The Reva G-Whiz, is not an auto-mobile, it's a quadracycle. Due to an arcane loophole in the regulations this appalling little vehicle was allowed to be sold in the UK.. The new legislation will remove this anachronism from UK law and this class of dangerous little road pest will deservedly disappear. "Sold about 800 a month" ? Really? This would mean that REVA has sold nearly 80,000 G-Whizz in the UK? Check your facts.
      fairfireman21
      • 3 Years Ago
      This thing has only 1 thing going for it,the price. Other than the price it is useless, I bet it: has a slow speed there for not for highways, low mileage, probably slow recharge rate,and only has room for 2 passengers.
      LEONARD
      • 3 Years Ago
      PROGRESS !!!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      looking forward to this development - finally it will make sense to consider a drivers license
      HVH20
      • 3 Years Ago
      Does that price take into account someone actually building it, supporting it in the future when it breaks, crash testing, taking ownership of liability, and making any sort of profit on it? No offense, but $7k today wont even get you much of a battery pack in an EV that will last longer than 18 months in service. And you still have to buy the rest of the vehicle and build it. I would love to see their math.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @HVH20
        That's ex the leased battery, like the Twizy for about the same price.
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