Danish startup Spiri decided to build a battery electric car specific to carpooling with an on-demand service dedicated to carpoolers.
The idea was formulated by former engineers from Tesla, Aston Martin, BMW, DriveNow, Rimac, and other electric car and tech firms.
The current Spiri EV is a prototype to test real world use before making a final decision on what the vehicle will look like, which could be entirely different, before it hits the streets.
Former Tesla vice-president and Spiri board member Peter Carlsson called it “basically a lab on wheels.”
To use an old description, it’s a stripper, with only the necessary equipment to make it driveable — it’s made of just 700 parts rather than the thousands found in conventional cars.
The body is unpainted carbon fiber, inside and out, which gives the car a weight of just 992 pounds, roughly a third of what a new Volkswagen Beetle tips the scales at.
Inside, the focus is on passengers, not just the driver, with seats that are large enough for passengers to share a comfortable ride without sharing personal space.
Spiri said the 36.5-kilowatt-hour battery is good for a 200-mile driving range, and has the ability to recharge in as little as 40 minutes.
As for the two front wheels that are close together, it gives the somewhat strange looking EV the same stability as a four-wheel car.
The on-demand carpooling service is sort of a mix of UberPOOL, car2go and Lyft.
Spiri owns and provides the cars for free to drivers that are willing to pick up passengers along the way who are headed in the same direction, and who are automatically matched with the driver via a Spiri app.
Passengers foot the cost of operation paying a fee that is similar to a bus fare.
Spiri says on its website that it intends to launch the service in 2017 in a city in one of five countries, which include Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the UK.