EV capable of shrinking and driving sideways developed

11 May 2015

Shrinking electric vehicle the EO Smart Connecting Car 2

To cater for the increasing hustle and bustle of the modern city, a team of German engineers has created an electric vehicle (EV) that can shrink itself and drive sideways if necessary.

The shrinking electric vehicle, called the EO Smart Connecting Car 2, has been developed by the team from the DFKI Robotics Innovation Centre in Bremen, Germany over the last three years and it is the second iteration of the concept EV.

According to CNN, the car is not exactly designed for speed junkies given it can’t go more than 65km/h and has a limited range of between 50km and 70km; it takes a total of four hours to charge.

But despite these limitations, the car can raise on its back wheels to reduce its size by 80cm to a length of just 1.5m, allowing it to fit into the smallest of city spaces.

Still a long way from being road legal

Likewise, to fit into the tiny car park spaces, the car can turn all of its wheels at an angle of 90 degrees, allowing it to slide itself sideways into a spot, ending the need for the ever-troublesome parallel parking manoeuvre.

It even allows for the driver, if they so choose, to pull a 360 degree spin for no reason other than they can.

Compared with the first prototype developed by the German team, the team’s project manager Timo Birnschein says that this version offers something much closer to an actual road legal version of the car, but is still some way off.

“The second version is much more reliable and almost road legal,” Birnschein said to CNN. “It’s not really, but it’s almost there and we are trying to bring this car to the road – but it’s a big hassle to be honest because we have so many new technologies in the car that the technical advisory guys are sceptical.”


Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic