In my article yesterday I introduced the innovative Antro Group and one of its new developments, the foldable electric scooter – Moveo. As indicated, this was not everything from the company that specializes in development of environment-friendly means of transportation. The other revolutionary innovation by Antro Group, the Solo triple hybrid concept car, was considered as one of the 50 best inventions in 2010 by the Time Magazine.
In alignment with the strategy of the Antro Group, Hungarian experts have developed an extra light-weight, eco-friendly car family consisting of Solo, a three-seater, Duo, a six- or seven-seater and Porto, a three-seater pick-up car. The prototype Duo+ is a plug-in multi-hybrid car with four electric in-wheel motors covering its energy need from the following sources:
- lithium-ion battery packs lasting for a range of 35-70-110 km (depending on the battery package) in city traffic, if used as a sole source
- a multi-fuel engine generator (range extender) that typically generates power during longer rides, it supplies the in-wheel motors and recharges batteries – extending the range to above 1,000 km
- solar roof generating sufficient energy for up to 20 km range (at in-city speed), if the weather is nice
- electro-magnetic shock absorber that transforms a great part of the shock energy into electricity.
Solo and Porto are built on the same technical concept as Duo, but address different consumer needs. Further characteristics of this new car family are their extremely low unloaded weight of about 600 kg to 680 kg and their low fuel consumption in hybrid mode that equals to 2.0 – 2.5 l/100 km, i.e. one-third of similar sized energy saver cars.
Besides technical elements, the futuristic design is definitely another eye-catcher, with functionality and organic shapes being in total harmony. In the six-seater model Duo, trunk space is about 500 liters, if extended to a seven-seater, space is reduced to 370 liters. And if you think this is only something to slowly cruise through the city with, you will be disappointed, as its maximum speed is estimated at 150 km/h (with built-in speed limiter), which is more than enough on most highways (except Germany – of course … ).
The real value of the car family lies in the revolutionary new technology and design combined with low running costs and a long lifespan, all this offered at a price similar to that of existing cars. Production is anticipated to start in 2015 and Solo Duo Co. – an Antro Group company – is in talks with different partners and investors to finalize all three models, to build manufacturing plants and to bring the car family to the consumer market.
Nowadays, the mid- and low price segment of the automotive industry faces some serious issues as well as the breakthrough of electric cars is still ahead of us. However, as I mentioned in my other article, environment-friendly means of transport is part of the worldwide mega trends and it is just a question of time as well as clever marketing until more & more consumers consider the shift from regular cars to electric & hybrid versions. Given the attractive price positioning of Solo, Duo and Porto it could be a very interesting alternative e.g. as a second car due to the low running and maintenance costs.
Source of images: courtesy of Antro Group.