An electric car with solar for the developing world

car-plus1Electric vehicles, even those at the more affordable end of the spectrum, are too pricey for most citizens of developing countries, countries whose emissions are increasing every day.

A new low-cost solar-powered electric vehicle has the potential to allow growth and consumerism in the developing world, at the same time cutting carbon outputs.

The electric vehicle, called the CAR +, was announced at the Greener Gadgets Conference in New York on Feb. 25. The vehicle has a solar panel on the roof, and is configured with identically-molded sections on the front and back to be manufactured easily.

The CAR+ is designed modularly, so the windshield and rear windows, and front and rear bumper, are interchangeable.

It was designed to be customized into many different configurations, including a car, truck, van, emergency vehicle and delivery truck. The car’s convertibility is termed “hackable” by its designer Yves Behar, founder of the San Francisco design company Fuse Project.

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According to a story, Behar’s rationale behind creating the vehicle was to create a beautifully-formed object that was also eco-friendly. He wanted to create an inexpensive product to meet demand in poor nations that is still attractive to wealthier consumers.

Auto companies are stuck in a design rut, said Behar in an interview with the Mother Nature Network website.

“They need original design briefs and 21st century business models,” he said.

The vehicle is still in the conceptual stage, and plans have not been announced to manufacturer it, or at what price it would be sold.

Behar is known for creating the $100 laptop for children in developing countries in a partnership with Nicholas Negroponte of the MIT Media Lab.

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