and no.....It is not a Golf Cart!
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Electric cars are becoming more affordable and accessible as the technology behind them advances. However, a significant barrier to entry for many potential buyers is the high price tag associated with most electric vehicles. Enter Squad Mobility, a Dutch startup that has just launched its solar electric city car for an astonishingly low price of $6,250. But is this new product just a glorified golf cart, or can it compete with more established electric vehicles?
The Squad solar electric city car is a cute and compact vehicle that looks like a cross between a golf cart and a smart car. It is powered by a swappable 1.6-kWh battery pack, with the option of holding four additional, giving the vehicle a total range of 100km or 62 miles. The batteries can be charged in about four hours using a standard outlet.
It also has a solar panel on the roof, providing an additional 14 miles of driving range per day under ideal conditions.
Safety is still the utmost concern with a front and rear crash structure, roll cage, and actual seat belts.
One of the major selling points of the Squad car is its price, which is significantly lower than that of most electric vehicles on the market. However, this low price comes with some trade-offs. The car has a basic design and lacks many standard features of more expensive electric vehicles, such as air conditioning and power windows. Heating is standard, but doors are options.
It also has limited speed, unsuitable for long-distance travel or highway driving maxing out at 28mph.
Despite these limitations, there is still a lot of potential for the Squad car to succeed in specific markets. The company primarily targets the sharing economy, with a vision of fleets of Squad cars being deployed in cities with battery swap stations. This could make the car an excellent option for short-term rentals or ride-sharing services, where the low-cost and easy-to-drive design may attract customers. The solar panel on the roof also makes it an eco-friendly choice, which could appeal to environmentally conscious consumers. Given the fiercely competitive nature of parking, Europe will still be a significant market. At only 2 meters in length, this vehicle can park three deep in a normal-sized parking spot.
Another potential market for the Squad car is minimalists looking for a primary, affordable vehicle for getting around town. The car’s small size and low price make it a practical choice for urban dwellers who don’t need much space or fancy features. The car’s low speed and quiet electric motor make it an excellent choice for navigating crowded city streets and avoiding traffic jams.
The Squad solar electric city car is an interesting new product that offers a low-cost and eco-friendly option for city driving. While it may not be suitable for everyone, it has the potential to succeed in specific markets such as the sharing economy and minimalism. As electric cars become more popular, it will be exciting to see Squad and other startups continue to innovate and offer new options for consumers looking for alternatives to traditional gas-powered vehicles.