METROBuddy electric car debuts
Tiny Norwegian EV Carries Plenty of Beer
By Tony Borroz – Wired.com
This is the MetroBuddy concept, a city car with more angles than a con man and the cutest name since Hello Kitty. The Norwegian EV looks like it came straight out of the origami school of design, but it’s everything you’d want in a city car: It’s small, it’s tough and it’ll carry two cases of beer.
Designer Jo Espen Bjerk tells us the car is meant to look unlike anything on the road – even if it does look a bit like a squished Smart ForTwo. The last thing he wanted to do was build a “cute” city car. “Life as a city car is rough,” he said, and so the car should look the part.
The styling also pays homage to the original Kewet Buddy by keeping the triangular profile and what Bjerk called the “slightly odd character and the Scandinavian ‘openness’” while also lending the car “a touch of southern European flair and passion.”
He made a point of noting the car has room for “two crates of beer.” That’s two cases on this side of the Atlantic.
Elbil Norge has been building EVs since 1991, and the MetroBuddy updates the original quite nicely. It’s small enough to park it sideways – nose to the curb, in other words – just like a Smart ForTwo. But unlike the ForTwo, the MetroBuddy can carry three people.
Elbil Norge didn’t provide any specs on the car, but according to AutoblogGreen, buyers can choose from lead acid, nickel metal hydride or lithium ion batteries. Range is 50 to 75 miles, depending upon the battery pack. Top speed is 50 mph.
The body designed with help from the Portuguese design firm Ceiia. It is made of “the advanced material Telene,” an “advanced composite material” the company says is scratch and dent resistant. Bjerk says the design was inspired by the Fiat Grand Punto and various Alfa Romeos. The headlights were influenced by those on the Lamborghini Gallardo.
The automaker plans to build 5,000 annually and offer them throughout Europe by the end of the year. Crates of beer not included.