The challenges of battery weight and the resulting size expansion in electric vehicles (EVs) have led to a growing interest in compact, small-sized EVs. Squads Mobility is contributing to this trend with its solar-powered car designed explicitly to remain compact enough for urban environments.
Founded by Chris Klok and Robert Hoevers, who were previously involved in solar car and Formula E projects, Squads Mobility aims to provide an affordable and clean mobility solution for densely populated cities. The solar-powered car is designed to address the issue of size expansion seen in many EVs due to heavy batteries. This compact design is particularly relevant for urban areas, where smaller vehicles are more maneuverable and practical.
Despite having a few prototypes showcased at events like CES 2024, Squad Mobility plans to commence production in 2025. Notably, the company has received pre-orders from customers, particularly in the United States, indicating a demand for small-sized EVs in communities where compact transportation solutions are essential. The emphasis on solar power aligns with the growing interest in sustainable energy sources for electric vehicles, contributing to a cleaner and more eco-friendly urban mobility landscape.
Squad Mobility’s Solar City car aims to provide an eco-friendly and efficient solution for short-distance urban travel. The car incorporates a 250Wp solar panel in its roof, generating enough power for several short trips each day. In Las Vegas, for example, the solar panel is estimated to allow approximately 13 miles of travel solely from the energy collected.
With a curb weight of 794 pounds, the Solar City car is designed to be light and efficient, making it suitable for short-distance commutes. The 4kW motor allows a top speed of around 25mph, which, while limited, is practical for urban commuting, such as going to work or picking up groceries. The compact size of the vehicle, measuring just 6.6 feet long, facilitates easy parking in crowded urban areas.
Despite its compact size, the Solar City car offers surprising comfort, thanks to a high roofline and a low floor. The prototype showcased at CES 2024 features some quirks, like the placement of acceleration and brake pedals, which are expected to be addressed in the production version. The rear load space is spacious enough for a suitcase or a couple of decent-sized bags, and the design allows for short trips on rough terrain. Overall, the Solar City car aims to provide a convenient and sustainable solution for short-distance urban mobility.
The future production model of the Squads Mobility Solar City car is generating optimism with an expected retail price of $6,250, excluding sales tax. This pricing strategy positions the vehicle as an affordable option for urban commuting or as a secondary car. However, it’s worth noting that this price does not include the cost of doors, which, along with air conditioning, are considered optional extras.
The relatively low price point, combined with the solar-powered features and compact design, makes the Solar City car an attractive option for individuals looking for an economical and eco-friendly solution for short-distance travel within urban environments. As the company moves closer to the production stage, it will be interesting to see how well the Solar City car is received in the market and how it contributes to the growing landscape of sustainable and compact urban mobility solutions.