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Car of the future from German firm reassembles like Lego

German engineers are working on the electric vehicle of the future that lets buyers switch the design themselves when they get it home, just like Lego bricks.

The eBussy EV, from German company Electric Brands, comes in 10 different body types, from a convertible, station wagon, pick-up or van, camping bus or even an off-roader for rugged terrain.

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eBussy has digital exterior mirrors, an app-controlled communication system and a slideable steering wheel that lets drivers control the vehicle from either the left or right front seat – perfect for cross-country trips. 

The four-wheel drive reaches a maximum range with a full battery’s worth of charge of more than 300 miles (600km) and the easy to access batteries pull out from the side of the car like a drawer.  

Although just concept drawings for now, eBussy is due to launch in the UK next year with a starting price of around £14,000. 

 

The eBussy has been developed according to the ‘Lego principle’, meaning consumers can choose to rebuild to get a new design

‘The eBussy has been developed according to the “Lego principle”,’ Electric Brands – which has previously designed scooters – says on its website.

‘Detached from the chosen chassis variant, you can adapt your eBussy to your usage needs easily and quickly and as often as you like. 

‘You don’t need any special tools, you don’t have to have worked at NASA, just need some help sometimes to remove a module and put another one back on.’    

The eBussy offers two styles of chassis – one for driving on the road and another suited to rough terrain – both of which feature 10 different styles to build on top for the consumer to pick and choose. 

Both chassis options have a row of back seats that can be folded down, depending on which of the 10 designs the customer wants. 

Firstly, the ‘Bus’ option features a rear cabin and trunk module as per a standard minibus, ideal for road-based trips for multiple people.  

Bus option, which appears as a minibus. Bus' option features a rear cabin and trunk module as per a standard minibus, ideal for road-based trips for multiple people

Bus option, which appears as a minibus. Bus’ option features a rear cabin and trunk module as per a standard minibus, ideal for road-based trips for multiple people

The Box option, which may suit a new era of white van deliveries when it's released in the UK next year - for at least £14,000

The Box option, which may suit a new era of white van deliveries when it’s released in the UK next year – for at least £14,000

The Bus option would be ideal for holiday-makers or, in a professional setting, an airport shuttle vehicle. 

‘Box’, meanwhile, would suit small deliveries with its expansive storage unit out the back, accessible through a set of tall doors at the rear. 

‘Pick-up’ has an open rear cabin for equipment, luggage or for the family pets to catch some fresh air, and comes with the option of added interior back passenger seats.

While ‘Camper’ resembles a traditional VW campervan, complete with interior couch, fridge, TV, hob, fresh water tank and sink for those retro 1970s holiday trips. 

Both chassis options - on-road and off-road - have a row of back seats that can be folded down, depending on which design the customer wants

Both chassis options – on-road and off-road – have a row of back seats that can be folded down, depending on which design the customer wants

'Camper' resembles a traditional VW campervan, complete with interior couch, fridge, TV, hob, fresh water tank and sink.

‘Camper’ resembles a traditional VW campervan, complete with interior couch, fridge, TV, hob, fresh water tank and sink.

Each of these configurations has a price attached to them – however, even after purchasing any one of the modular designs, consumers aren’t stuck with it permanently and can change it themselves. 

The exact details of this are to be confirmed, meaning Electric Brands may be selling some components for any of the 10 design options separately.  

Slideable steering wheel lets drivers control the vehicle from either the left front seat or the right ¿ perfect for cross-country trips

Slideable steering wheel lets drivers control the vehicle from either the left front seat or the right – perfect for cross-country trips

eBussy’s empty weight without batteries, load and superstructure is only up to 1,300 pounds, but it can still carry up to 2,200 pounds of load. 

eBussy is also equipped with integrated solar panels on the roof to achieve an additional daily range of up to 125 miles, to bolster the range provided by battery power. 

‘No matter if you want to recharge your eBussy at the household socket, at high voltage or just by the Sun, everything is possible,’ the designers say.

‘Alternatively you can exchange your empty batteries for full ones at our battery exchange stations.’  

As well as running on environmentally friendly battery power rather than engine fuel, about 98 per cent of the vehicle is ‘almost completely recyclable’. 

Consumers will start to see eBussy’s battery exchange stations in many places when the vehicle gets a release, which is scheduled to be in 2021 in the UK, as well as other markets. 

‘Our goal is clearly defined – the eBussy will be the best and most innovative electric light vehicle in the world,’ the firm says. 

‘No other vehicle combines technology, usability, design and fun like an eBussy.’ 

The eBussy EV, from German company Electric Brands, comes in 10 different body types, from a convertible, station wagon, pick-up or van, camping bus or even an off-roader for rugged terrain

The eBussy EV, from German company Electric Brands, comes in 10 different body types, from a convertible, station wagon, pick-up or van, camping bus or even an off-roader for rugged terrain

The four-wheel drive reaches a maximum range with a full battery's worth of charge of more than 300 miles (600km) and the easy to access batteries pull out from the side of the car like a drawer

The four-wheel drive reaches a maximum range with a full battery’s worth of charge of more than 300 miles (600km) and the easy to access batteries pull out from the side of the car like a drawer

HOW TO CHARGE ELECTRIC CARS SAFELY

 Never use a domestic multi socket extension lead when charging your electric vehicle. If you do need to use an extension lead only ever use one that is suitable for outdoor use such as a reel cable.

Never ‘daisy-chain’ extension leads. The method of plugging more than one extension lead into another in order to reach a greater distance increases the risk of an electrical fire as well as electric shock.

Always buy your charging cable from a reputable retailer or directly from the manufacturer who will put such products through rigorous tests to ensure they meet UK safety standards.

Ensure you frequently check your charging cable for wear and tear and replace it if any damage is evident.

If you are charging from a 13A mains socket in your home, ensure the wiring in your property has been checked prior to doing so. Old wiring may not be able to cope with the demand from charging your vehicle overnight and risk a fire in your property.

The safest and most convenient way to charge your vehicle at home is through a dedicated wall box charging point. Ensure this is installed by a qualified, registered and competent electrician only. Use our ‘find an electrician’ page to locate one near you.

Take advantage of the on-going Government schemes aimed at relieving consumers of some of the cost linked to the installation of a home charging point.

Source: Electrical Safety First 

 

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