A new concept vehicle by Smart challenges the perception that pickup vehicles should always have cowboy-like appearance and they can’t be cute, small and eco friendly. Put on display during the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit this month, the Smart for-us urban pickup concept has many remarkable specs. It promises innovation, freedom from petrol pumps and a smart way of traveling. The total length of this completely electric two-seater is well under 140-inch. The smaller size can actually fit on the truck of any existing pickup van.
Apart from the stylish look and new features, eco credentials of this new vehicle need proper description. An all-electric drive system like the Smart for-us concept will allow the users to be free from their dependence on petrol pumps. It features a 55 KW magneto electric-motor which is supported by a 17.6 kWh-capacity lithium-ion battery pack. The powertrain allows the engine to produce 95.88 ft lbs of torque and achieve the top speed of 120 miles per hour.
According to designers, the battery will require eight hours of recharge. Other features include a smartphone holder which works along with a rear view video camera and a retracting tailboard. Moreover, the spacious truck has been designed to board two Smart e-bikes and also features a docking station for recharging these e-bikes. According to the company, the two-e-bikes would serve as range-extenders for the new vehicle.
Like all other smart vehicles, this one is also 85 percent recyclable. In fact, the entire body has been made from 100 percent recyclable materials. This will ensure that the vehicle parts are never dumped into landfills. Most of the parts can be reused in other vehicles and the users will also have an option of customizing the exteriors according to their tastes.
Here, questions over the usefulness of a mini pick-up car would be apt and reasonable. One may claim that the specs appear more of a fancy than reality if the little popularity of electric cars are taken into account. They posses severe mobility constraints even though they are marketed as a mobility solution for the congested urban spaces. As it is always troublesome to recharge the batteries regularly and such vehicles cannot be used for long distance journeys.
However, the company has different ideas to justify the usefulness of a new eco conscious mini pickup vehicle. It says, not all American pick-up owners travel with a fully-loaded truck. Also, the small vehicle will acquire less traveling space and require less fuel for powering itself. True that this goes against the popular American perception which claims bigger is better. But, the small size may hold the key to all problems of environment and mobility for the young and mobile generation of present times. The company has not provided details about the price and the date by which for-us concept would be available in the market.