Manawatu Standard

The weirdest little electric truck

German company Electric Brands has shown off its latest prototype, a tiny little EV truck, writes Nile Bijoux.

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German manufactur­er Electric Brands has built a new modular platform for electric vehicles, using the new Xbus to show off what it can do.

The funny little truck-van-thing that looks like the Honda e’s commercial cousin can be configured as a fully enclosed bus, a pickup with a fixed bed, a different truck with a tilting bed, and a flatbed version with folddown sides.

There will even be a camper variant with a refrigerat­or, sink, stove, and TV inside.

Under the skin is a tiny 10kwh battery, though that’s enough to power the lightweigh­t EV for around 200km per charge. An optional upgrade pack triples the capacity and triples the range (30kwh and 600km respective­ly).

The batteries can be accessed via a drawer in the middle of the vehicle, which lets owners swap the batteries with two people or take it to a dealer for a battery change. Electric Brands doesn’t say how much a replacemen­t battery would be, or give an indication of a battery warranty.

Four hub-mounted motors make a maximum of 56kw, or 15kw of continuous power. Torque is rated at around 280Nm per motor. The manufactur­er says that, since there is neither a gearbox nor a differenti­al, the individual outputs of the motors can be applied to the wheel without loss of power.

The top speed is 100kmh. As a result, the Xbus is legally classified as a quadricycl­e in Europe. That does mean the payload is limited to 450kg, or 600kg for freight transport, but safety regulation­s are less stringent. The only mandatory safety aspect is seatbelts.

Electric Brands says it wants to make the Xbus available globally ‘‘as soon as possible’’ but we’d wager that being a few years away. In any case, the configurat­or is live and open to everyone. If you’re interested, prices start at €17,380 (NZ$29,627.69). Production is set to start in the middle of next year.

 ??  ?? You can have the Xbus in camper, pickup, van or dump truck configurat­ion.
You can have the Xbus in camper, pickup, van or dump truck configurat­ion.
 ??  ?? This tiny EV looks like the Honda e’s commercial cousin.
This tiny EV looks like the Honda e’s commercial cousin.

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