A cheap solar-powered car roughly the size of a golf cart is coming to the U.S.
The U.S. launch of the Squad solar electric city car will take place early next year at the influential CES tech industry event in Las Vegas.
“We are seeing a tremendous interest from the USA, specifically for markets such as sharing platforms, gated communities, campuses, (seaside) resorts, tourism, company terrains, hotels & resorts, amusement parks, and inner-city services,” Squad Mobility co-founder Robert Hoevers said in a statement reported by electrek.
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The Squad solar city car is the work of Squad Mobility – a Dutch-based company founded in 2019 by Hoevers and Chris Klok, both of whom had previously worked at Lightyear, according to a press release. The car made its European debut in May as what the company said was the “world’s first solar city car.”
It seats two people and charges both via the sun and by battery. In the U.S., it will retail for $6.250, according to electrek. While this might be attractive for individual urban denizens, the company also sees it as a potential competitor or complement to shared electric scooters or bike fleets.
“The SQUAD is optimized for sharing platforms,” the company said when it first launched in Europe. “It is designed to withstand the wear and tear of heavy use. The small-sized two-seater is easy to access, operate and park.”
The electric vehicle went on sale in Europe for €6,250, according to techgenyz. It can charge up to 19.2 miles via its rooftop solar panel and 62 miles via its four battery packs. The fastest it can go is 28 miles per hour. In the U.S., it will be classified alongside golf carts as a “low-speed vehicle,” though electrek says it has more capability than a traditional golf cart.
Still, the debate among industry experts seems to be whether it is “just a golf cart or actually a new and useful product,” as Fred Lambert wrote for electrek. Techgenyz called its small size “dinky and fun.”
The company, of course, says it will fill a unique niche for city dwellers looking to run errands without getting their groceries rained on, paying congestion charges or fighting for parking.
“Squad offers an affordable, secure, quick and sustainable solution for your daily mobility needs,” the website reads.
Because of its classification, drivers don’t need a license to operate it in most countries. It is only two meters (approximately 6.6 feet) long, so three of the vehicles can fit into the average parking space. It can comfortably fit a laptop on its dashboard and has a storage area in the back that can be extended by folding in the passenger seat. Electrek said the folded seat would fit a stroller or golf bag.
It remains to be seen how the vehicle will fare in the U.S. CES, where it will make its first appearance, runs from January 5 to 8.
This article originally appeared on EcoWatch.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.
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Featured Image Credit: Squad Mobility.