The image above itself speaks more than 1000 words. A Switzerland based design studio has created this concept caravan 'Ecco'. This concept was developed with inspirations from Volkswagen's camper van and a few other camper designs. This concept will create a revolution in the world of automobiles if it is produced in the market. 'Ecco' utilizes 100 percent electric energy for its propulsion.
Its compact design could provide sufficient space to change this vehicle into a temporary home. The innovative idea in this concept model is that when the car is parked, it flips open to become a double decked van. The size of the vehicle also becomes doubled at this position. This three wheeled vehicle could accommodate up to five people with all the comforts of a home.
The vehicle looks like an engine's cam lobe from its sides. The concept boosts of a 100 percent electric energy drive which means zero emissions. This green car withholds few electric motors to suit their various purposes accordingly. Together, these electric motors have a capacity of about 127 hp. This concept is well spaced because of its broad design. It is around 2.55 meters broad, 4.62 meters long and 1.97 meters high. This vehicle's roof panel is completely equipped with solar panels so as to generate electricity by utilizing the solar light. The roof panel flips open vertically for about 90 degrees thus forming the shape of a Swiss army knife. The driver's cabin has a round shaped glass windows on either side. The air intake vents were designed to stay behind these glass windows on both the sides. The front part of the vehicle has two wheels while the the rear part has only one wheel. To mention, the rear wheel would be the steering wheel in this extra-ordinary machine.
The design of this concept is very simple yet stupendous. The ability of this vehicle to be used as a luxurious home is its highlight. The vehicle encloses a bathroom, a tiny kitchen, living area and an additional bed inside it. The use of solar panels helps in utilizing the available energy as much as possible. This hundred percent electric concept results in zero emissions which is also one of its best advantages. The concept has a good exterior design from the aerodynamic point of view. The curves of this concept minimizes drag forces efficiently. The flow of air over the vehicle would be attached and so the aerodynamic efficiency would be higher which would result in more mileage. The air vents are rightly placed so as to allow necessary air required inside the passenger cabin. The batteries of this concept car could be recharged in any conventional domestic outlets which eliminates the need for a special charging station.
What's not so good?
The time required to recharge the concept's batteries are expected to take around 8 hours which are quite lengthy. Information about this vehicle's suspension system are not known yet. Since the concept has not been produced yet, it is quite early to speak about its disadvantages and limitations.
A shower facility is included in the toilet. There will be a small tank for storing water. A separate sleeping loft is available. A small staircase pops out at the rear for the entry inside the vehicle. The side doors would lift above for entry into the driver's seat and the other seat in the front row. The photovoltaic cells which are equipped over the roof is an innovative feature to extract energy from the available sunlight. The charging port is present at the rear of the vehicle.
Things to watch out for
The concept is designed with all sorts of luxury. However, there is no information available about the safety features that would be equipped in this vehicle. The elongated aerodynamic design has many advantages but it is uncertain that the design would be comfortable for driving in extreme road conditions. Owning such cars requires high maintenance and service standards. The availability of these requirements in frequent locations is highly recommended.
Price and availability
'Ecco' is just a concept car right now. So, the price of this car is not yet finalized. Once the production of this car begins, we will know about its price. The concept needs to be tested under a lot of real world situations before actually mass producing them. Some sources say that this concept car is expected to be available in the market by 2014.
This concept could be simply described as 'Freedom with luxury'. The idea of incorporating the comforts of a home in a green car would be definitely acclaimed and highly welcomed by the automotive society and the people.