There’s no question we’re in a race against time as far as city transportation goes. The more people we cram into these urban spaces, the more pollution and congestion builds up. And it’s getting to a ridiculous state right now. Just take a look at Milan, Beijing or any other major city, where private transport has caused problems. You travel through London at an average speed of 10 mph or something at the moment. Which is why this new little runabout could be a real part of our urban future.
The Mo is a solar powered electric car which is part car, part bicycle. Which means it won’t move very fast at all, but it also won’t cost you the earth to run. Or pollute your neighbors. Or take up much space in the car park. We spent some time with the designer as he showed off the prototype at the COP21 conference in Paris back in December, and came away cautiously impressed. Take a look at the video below to learn more.
Now we’re pragmatic folk, so there’s a number of things that probably will make or break the idea in the long run. First you need sun to power the battery packs, and in various places North of the equator this is not a guaranteed state of affairs. And second, we’re not sure how many people will be happy floating around in a lightweight three wheeler which looks so… well odd.
But there’s no denying that the idea behind it is sound. When you’re inside it feels bigger and definitely stable. And although we sat in a wooden prototype, the designer made it clear that the car can be built using whatever material is available to hand in your particular region. Legalities allowing of course.
Yes it definitely looks odd as heck, but it is not inherently unsafe, like a Sinclair C5 seemed to be, and other motorists will see you just as clearly as a motorbike, if not more. But it’s probably going to be a while before we all feel totally cool with part pedaling, part driving our way around cities full of 20 ton trucks. Especially at a max speed of 25 km/h.
But all that said, we’re going to have to do something drastic soon, and if it’s not the Mo, it will have to be another simple, small, cheap, non-polluting vehicle, so why not this Spanish open source model? Oh yes, the open source component is also very compelling, especially for keen DIYers. The price of the Mo is expected to be around 4500 Euros complete, but you can grab the plans and make your own for less we suspect. One to watch?
Size: 140cm wide, 200cm long, 130cm high
Capacity: 2 pax + luggage and/or children seats
Weight: ~85 Kg
Autonomy electric mode: ~50Km
Aluminum and/or composite 20″ rims
Drum or disc brakes front, rear electric or drum or disc (d/v)
Direct drive motor, 1200/1500W+ (UE 250W/350W)
Embedded solar panel
Removable battery, ~700Wh+ (48V 15Ah)
External charging sealed plug
Light set (lights, turning, emergency, brakes) and Horn
Price: ~€4500 net