It was while stuck in a traffic jam that German engineer Juergen Riegel was hit by a stroke of inspiration.
Observing that most of the other drivers grumbling behind their wheels were sitting alone in big SUVs, he thought someone ought to make a small, lightweight, non-polluting car.
So he set off to do just that.
Two years and €150,000 later, Riegel is ready to test his vehicle, the “Crowdcar.”
“The car is battery-only so there’s no engine and it’s lightweight — about 550kgs,” Riegel told Euronews.
Just 3 metres long and 1.5 metres wide, the car seats one, has a range of 100kms and a top speed of 80-100 kmh.
It runs on 72-volt batteries and its body is made of fibre-reinforced plastic.
Riegel was helped by a network of friends and former colleagues and together they did the design, procurement, engineering and manufacturing of the prototype.
“We’re like a think tank and we try to analyse the situation in the mobility sector, find new ideas and figure out if it’s difficult or not.”
“The car we have right now is just a demo. The next step will be to use this proof-of-concept car to create a modular open-construction kit for electric mobility,” Rigel said.
The aim is that automobile manufacturers and suppliers will use the platform to source ideas for hardware and software to incorporate in their own technology and develop more efficient electric cars.
Crowdcar is expected to roam the streets of Munich, Germany, later this week in its first road test and will take on the Alps next month, as part of Wave, the world’s largest electric vehicle rally.
The first part of the rally will be held in Switzerland on June 8-16.