For this latest concept, MIT has abandoned traditional centralized powertrain designs by incorporating four in-wheel motors to power the diminutive electric car. Power comes from a lithium ion battery pack that can recharge in as little as 15 minutes although no mention is made as to the capacity of the pack. Utilizing in-wheel motors allowed the designers to fold the car vertically when not in use, thus significantly minimizing the electric vehicle's impact in a crowded urban environment. In this configuration, three city cars will be able to fit in a conventional parking spot.
While this project is still in the early stages, we applaud MIT's out-of-the-box thinking. With the general trend of people moving from rural to urban environments, these types of low-impact vehicles could soon be a necessity.
[Source: The Energy Collective | Image: William Lark, Jr. ]