Single-seater electric micro-car takes aim at big city congestion

The design collaboration that brought us the Revolve wheelchair in 2021 has now turned its attention to the problem of inner-city mobility. Noting that many SUV-sized vehicles around town only have a single occupant, the team has designed a compact EV for one.

The collaboration in question is between Italian mobility designer Andrea Mocellin and engineering consultancy Dexet Technologies. The Zigy concept was inspired by the narrow and congested roads of London, with the thinking seeming to be that big and burly SUVs often have only one occupant so why not just develop a “small, zero-emission vehicle tailor-made for city commuting”?

Electric micro “cars” are nothing new of course, we’ve seen a number from automakers big and small, but we’ve not come across too many single-occupancy urban vehicles outside of velomobiles. The project is still at the feasibility stage of development, with Mocellin and team now on the lookout for industry partners to take the concept into prototyping and beyond. The Zigy is being developed for private use, lease models and fleet operation – though there’s also the suggestion of future cargo versions for commercial use.

Parking the Zigy electric quadricycle in a crowded city shouldn't pose too much of a problem
Parking the Zigy electric quadricycle in a crowded city shouldn’t pose too much of a problem

Andrea Mocellin

Specs at this point are very much subject to change, but the single-seater electric quadricycle is currently expected to be 1.95 m (6.4 ft) in length with a wheelbase of 1.59 m, and stand 1.1 m (3.6 ft) wide and 1.6 m (5.3 ft) high. We do know that the designers have undertaken digital aerodynamics simulations, and are claiming a drag coefficient of about 0.35 – which “contributes to a 25% improved range compared to competitors.”

It’s designed to be built around a modular thermoplastic composite frame engineered by Dexet, with recycled carbon fiber and unspecified natural fibers used inside and out. It will have a curb weight of 353 kg (778 lb). The turning circle is relatively tight at 7 m (23 ft) for good maneuverability in the city, and its compact dimensions should make for easy parking, plus there’s 30 liters of trunk space for hauling the shopping home.

The single occupant enters the Zigy via a single door to the left
The single occupant enters the Zigy via a single door to the left

Andrea Mocellin

The compact vehicle’s 12-kW motor peaks at 21 kilowatts and produces a maximum torque of 135 Nm (99.5 lb.ft). The top speed is reported to be 77 km/h (48 mph), which will likely keep it within its urban/city home turf, while battery range is around 160 km (100 miles) per charge.

As mentioned earlier, the vehicle is designed to seat one person only, who will access via a single door. The renders show what looks like moto-style handlebar control, though the given specs list a steering wheel – no doubt such things will resolve themselves at the prototype stage.

We’ve no word on production plans at this early stage, but the product of the pair’s first collaboration has since seen release, so there is a chance that Zigy will hit the streets of Europe as a L7e vehicle (or LSV in the US) at some point in the future.

Source: Andrea Mocellin

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