What brought you to the unique proportions of your car?
“It$0027s all about efficiency. The great distance to the floor and the low ceiling cut off the front area of the car, which is one of the keys to efficiency. We wanted a car with good ground clearance, and you get that with big wheels. They have low rolling resistance, are better in snow and wet, you can have bigger brakes but you still get a big footprint.
Your patents relate to hydrogen and hybrid power, as well as battery propulsion. Will this car only have a battery? And will it use solid-state batteries?
“Yes, it will run on batteries. As for the battery type, we haven$0027t revealed it yet. But we are currently investigating two different types of solid-state batteries in four locations: the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and Singapore.
How important is a long range battery?
“I think the public wants electric cars to go as far as possible. You$0027ve seen our plans: the car has a great battery. But aerodynamics and the front area are also key to having a good range. People don$0027t want to fill their cars with electricity to discover that they are inefficient. Having efficient engines means that in addition to needing less electricity to propel themselves, regeneration is more effective.
You seem very interested in comfort, and the ground clearance of your car and the big wheels suggest that you travel a lot. Will you use air suspension, height and adjustable travel rates?
“Comfort is very important to us, and something we definitely want to offer. It$0027s something else you get from the big wheels. The things you mention are offered to us. I don$0027t want to reveal what we$0027re doing, but suspension is a very important area. The tone is a good example: if you have a long wheelbase, it becomes more controllable. We$0027re having fun with all this. It$0027s an interesting area.
You$0027ve referred a lot to keeping the weight of your car low. I don$0027t suppose you$0027ll make this steel car?
“No, we$0027re not in that kind of production numbers. But we also want to be able to produce in a reasonable volume. We don$0027t believe that carbon fiber is ready for our type of operation. It$0027s an interesting experiment, and it$0027s fine for very small volume specialty cars. That only leaves one thing, really. I don$0027t think we have to be too revolutionary in the way we make the chassis. I can confirm that the car will have an aluminium body, but that$0027s all I want to say.
What is your weight goal?
“Everyone knows that a battery is heavy, much heavier than an internal combustion engine. But if you do it our way, you get a very low centre of gravity, much lower than that of an internal combustion car. There is certainly a weight penalty with batteries, but it mitigates as much as you can, and in any case, helps regeneration.
Once this car is for sale, can you imagine launching cheaper models to attract more people?
“I think that$0027s going to depend a lot on the progress of technology. If we$0027re successful with solid-state batteries, that could be a possible moment…”
When will you reveal more about your car?
“When we throw it. We are only talking about it now because our patents are going to be made public. We don$0027t normally talk about products until we launch them. We are a private company that does its own business.