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