SQUAD Solar Car Has its Sights Set on Australia
Posted: 28 Jul 2021
Tagged: Solar Car | Solar Cars Australia | Squad Mobility |
Squad Mobility, a European developer of sustainable transport solutions, revealed its working prototype of the SQUAD solar city car earlier this month. The car itself is an electric quadricycle that is powered by its own rooftop solar panels. The term quadricycle was actually coined by Henry Ford (the founder of Ford Motor Company) in 1896; it’s the name of the very first car he ever built!
What is Squad Mobility?
Squad Mobility is a Netherlands-based company that is working to develop more efficient and sustainable ways for people to travel. With its ‘Mobility as a Service’ (MaaS) concepts, the company is designing vehicles that are emission-free and help to ease congestion on city roads around the world. Earlier this year, Squad Mobility moved into its new office and workshop to begin assembling and testing its creation. This office and workshop is based in Breda, which is in the south of the Netherlands.
In 2019, Robert Hoevers and Chris Klok left their positions at Lightyear (a Dutch start-up) to work on their own project, with the goal of developing an affordable solar car for a large market. The result? A solar-powered car called the SQUAD (solar quadricycle). Robert Hoevers has taken up directorial duties at Squad Mobility, while Chris Klok spearheads product development as the Chief of Design.
With a vision for free and open city life, Squad Mobility aimed to develop a solar-powered car that made life easier. The SQUAD uses rooftop solar panels to charge its batteries, which are swappable and portable. This means batteries can be easily swapped in-and-out when the vehicle needs a quick recharge. Squad Mobility will include a smart charging and swapping station with extra batteries to fleet operators. Furthermore, the option to charge from a regular power socket, as well as direct current (or DC) charging straight from locally installed solar panels will be available.
There is currently one model of the SQUAD solar car on offer; the L6. This model is a 2-seater with a maximum speed of 45km per hour. The rooftop solar panels on the car can generate enough energy to power the car for 20km per day in European summer sunlight. Additionally, the car has been manufactured to be safety-centric, low maintenance and durable for city use; designed to withstand the usual wear and tear often associated with heavy use of vehicles. Just when you think it couldn’t sound any cooler… the doors are completely optional! So, especially in Australian summer, you can remove the doors and enjoy your journey through your city. Otherwise, you can keep the doors on and use the air-conditioning feature.
While the L6 is the first model that will be available, Squad Mobility has announced that there will be a second model later down the track… the L7. While the L7 works to the same concepts, it will have a maximum speed of 65km per hour (for all you daredevils out there) and will be a 4-seater.
How Expensive is the SQUAD?
We think a lot of people will be interested in the SQUAD… and if you are, you’re likely wondering how much it’ll cost. The amount might surprise you; it’s actually pretty cheap all things considered. To get one of these cars as part of its regular production rollout in the next year or 2, you can expect to pay around $9,200 AUD (excl. tax) at the time of writing. Not too bad, right?
When Will This Thing Be Available in Australia?
The SQUAD’s arrival down under will depend on demand, though the company has expressed its desire to enter the Australian market at some point. However, the first rollout of this solar city car will be in Europe, where it’s already been tried and tested. The vehicle is expected to be made available for purchase in 2022. So, if you’re an Aussie and you want to register your interest to help bring the SQUAD down under, you can set up a pre-order through the company’s website for a refundable fee of about $8 AUD.
Have you already pre-ordered your SQUAD? Or would it be something you’d think about? Find us on social media and let us know!
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