Sometimes good things come in small packages. Today that is especially true, as the package isn’t square, its “Squad, World’s First Solar City Car.” Wordplay aside, Squad Mobility is a startup in the Netherlands whose product might actually be the ultimate solution to the first/last-mile transportation issue. In our opinion, if successful, it could change the world.
What they have created is a small, affordable, low-speed car that dwarfs even a Smart car, yet can still seat 2 people and store maybe a grocery bag or two. At all times, this vehicle is charged by the solar panel that it’s roof is composed of, and when that doesn’t cut it and the juice runs low, the battery can just be swapped out. In some ways, we have seen similar strategies from electric scooter manufacturers like Gogoro which can be either purchased by individual consumers or shared by smart mobility networks. However, thus far we have not yet seen a successful implementation of this in a vehicle that has a roof.
There are so many applications for this in cities, towns, and even villages worldwide. For private owners seeking to do some basic grocery shopping, even the 20km of range that the solar panel can generate per day will suffice. For a shared network, giving a car that already gets 100km of range from its battery an additional 20km of range per day without having to burden the electrical grid or worry about the logistics of charging shared cars is actually quite significant. As Robert Hoevers, CEO of Squad Mobility, put it: “cities love solar charging, as this is a sustainable energy source. It decreases the load on the local charging infrastructure and energy demand. Cities are looking for zero emission mobility solutions with a small space footprint. We have achieved both. A per capita energy consumption lower than public transport and a space footprint comparable to a bicycle. And all this, while offering the flexibility of personal transport and the comfort of a car.”
At a starting price of just €5750, this car costs half as much as the cheapest A-segment car and one-fourth the cost of the two cheapest electric vehicles on the market, the Smart or VW e-up! We have seen electric scooters that were sold for this price, so it is very impressive. For those not interested in an outright purchase, lease and subscription options will also be made available for 100 euros per month. Pre-orders are now available on Squad’s website.
With a footprint of just 2 square meters, 3 or even 4 Squad solar cars can fit in just a single parking spot, making implementation in city infrastructure much easier. The vehicle itself will initially be limited to 45 km/h (28 mph) and a more powerful version that can reach 70 km/h (43 mph) will be launched at a later date. However, that isn’t the only improvement Squad Mobility has in store for its product. The vehicle will already be equipped with smart sensors and cameras that can monitor everything from cabin cleanliness to how a car is parked. Fleet operators will even be able to remotely control the car in case it is improperly parked or blocking an exit. They hope that once self-driving technology will be more commonplace, they will be able to add that to their product as well. In the words of the creators, “In the longer term, we envision the use of autonomous technology to control the fleet in the city — for example, to move vehicles back to places with high demand or more sunshine for charging.”
While autonomy might still be a ways off, production should start in the last quarter of 2022 in the EU, especially since in March they finished up an investment agreement with Bloomit Ventures. Once made, the product will likely sell like hot cakes, as this is a product category that does not yet exist, yet offers functionality that is very much in demand and does so for unbelievably low prices. Years ago when electric cars were not all that great, as an insult they have sometimes been called glorified golf carts. It is ironic that this product in some ways has taken that insult and turned it into a price advantage. This might not be a serious electric car alternative for consumers, instead it may be the best solution to city mobility and how most people will choose to travel the first/last leg of regular trips. While we can’t say too much, you can expect an even more serious milestone before the end of this year, so keep an eye out for Squad Mobility.
Note: We also wrote about Squad’s plans in December 2019: Squad Mobility Redefines Affordable With Its $6,300 Solar-Powered Urban Electric Vehicle.
Africa’s waste industry just got a whole lot cleaner with its first electric garbage truck
Africa received its first heavy-duty commercial electric truck this past week, a Volvo Trucks FE Electric garbage truck (waste collector). The electric garbage truck will be the first fully electric heavy-duty truck from a global manufacturer to begin operation in Africa, marking a significant milestone as we move closer toward a sustainable transportation industry globally.
Volvo Trucks is leading the charge toward a cleaner future with a broad lineup of zero-emission heavy-duty electric vehicles.
Founded in Sweden in 1927, Volvo Trucks has a rich history in the truck-making business. The company’s first truck rolled off the line in 1928, and Volvo has been leading the industry to new heights ever since with innovations, such as the three-point safety harness, the first fully integrated sleeper compartment, and unique designs to increase efficiency.
Seeing the progression to fully electric vehicles sooner than many of its counterparts, Volvo Trucks moved the industry forward again, releasing its first electric commercial truck, the FL Electric, in 2019.
Volvo followed it up, unveiling the Volvo VNR Electric featuring a larger battery designed to extend range.
In September, Volvo added three massive 44-ton heavy-duty EV trucks to its portfolio, bringing its total lineup to six, the most extensive in the industry, as it continues to add zero-emission options in different commercial categories.
The company’s trucks are helping companies go electric to reduce emissions and promote a zero-emission global transportation industry across the globe.
Volvo’s most recent electric truck was delivered to Africa. Volvo delivered its first heavy-duty truck to Morocco, a Volvo FE electric garbage truck, which is a big step for both the truck maker and Africa as they move closer to achieving their climate goals.
Volvo delivers first heavy electric garbage truck to Africa
In a press release, Volvo said it had delivered a series-produced zero-exhaust emission garbage truck to the city of Rabat in Morocco. Martin Nilsson, managing director of Volvo Trucks Morocco, said:
This clearly shows that zero-emissions trucks have a role to play in many parts of the world.
Volvo’s extensive heavy-duty EV lineup makes electrifying in all parts of the world possible. Arma, a Moroccan waste management company, will use the zero-emission truck to, well, collect waste, of course.
By replacing the existing diesel fleet with a Volvo FE electric during typical routes, Volvo says over 20 tons of CO2 could be saved annually.
The addition is part of Morocco’s unconditional climate goal of reducing emissions by 18.3% by 2030. Volvo is also aiming for 50% of all new vehicle sales to be electric by 2030.
Tesla expands its virtual sales presence with remote test drives
Tesla is expanding its new sales strategy of using virtual sales advisers with remote test drive locations to Europe.
In the summer of 2021, Electrek exclusively reported that Tesla was implementing a new sales strategy. At the time, we reported that the main changes were that the automaker was moving away from high-rent locations in malls and shopping districts in favor of delivery centers and remote test drives.
The strategy is again focused on online sales, but Tesla has recognized that physical presence is still necessary to enable test drives.
When someone used to place an order for a Tesla vehicle online in North America, the customer was assigned a “Tesla Advisor” at their local store to help manage the process leading up to the delivery.
Instead, Tesla started to assign orders to “virtual sales advisors” not assigned to any specific stores, and customers could go to cheap remote test drive locations with Tesla vehicles in parking lots.
The company has been gradually implementing this new strategy in North America. Tesla has now expanded its strategy to Europe with its first remote test drive hub location in Sweden:
Tesla explains the simple process of using the location:
Book an appointment at http://tesla.com → call us when you’ve arrived → we remotely unlock the vehicle for you & walk you through the basics → test drive for 30 mins → drop off vehicle at the same location.
This enables Tesla to operate these locations with very few staff. The company simply needs to make sure those vehicles stay clean and charged.
When we first reported on the new strategy in 2021, sources told Electrek that Tesla was already seeing some success with the first few locations in the US.
Now that the company is expanding this strategy in Europe, we have to assume that the automaker is happy with it and has decided to implement it in new markets.
Use CRAFTSMAN’s cordless electric pole saw to trim your trees as spring arrives at $129 in New Green Deals
As today is the first official day of spring, you’ll want to get ready to trim your yard up and get it ready for warmer weather with spring and summer parties on the horizon. That’s where CRAFTSMAN’s 14-foot cordless pole saw comes to play. It’s on sale for $129 right now, which is the first major price drop that we’ve seen since last summer when the same deal came around back in May. With no gas or motor oil, this electric pole saw can reach up to 14 feet and take care of branches that need to come down from your tree. We also have a wide selection of Tesla and e-bike discounts in today’s New Green Deals, so you won’t want to miss that either.
Head below for other New Green Deals that we’ve found today and of course Electrek’s best EV buying and leasing deals. Also, check out the new Electrek Tesla Shop for the best deals on Tesla accessories.
Trim your yard up as we head into spring
Amazon is offering the CRAFTSMAN 20V Cordless 14-foot Pole Chainsaw for $129 shipped. Down from $169, today’s deal marks the first major price drop that we’ve seen since last summer. In fact, it marks the second-best price that we’ve seen since it hit $98 back in July of 2021. Perfect for getting your yard ready for spring, this pole trimmer will get your trees in tip-top shape as the weather warms up. There’s up to 14 feet of reach with the extension pole and you’ll find the angled head and blade allow for reaching where straight trimmers just can’t get to.
The included 4Ah battery pack allows for extended runtime compared to smaller models and there’s a charger included as well so you can always be ready to go. Of course, being battery-powered means no motor oil or gas will be required, and maintenance is minimal. Not sure what you’d need a trimmer like this for? Well, often there are low-hanging branches on trees that can get in the way of proper airflow through the leaves or possibly are hanging off of a branch below precariously. This allows you to trim things up without having to hire a professional service, saving you both time and money this spring.
EGO Power+ 21-inch electric lawn mower now $100 off before spring at $399, more from $228
Amazon is now offering the EGO Power+ 21-inch 56V Cordless Electric Lawn Mower for $349 shipped. Normally fetching $499, you’re looking at the best discount to date thanks to the $150 savings applied today. This clocks in at $50 under our previous mention and is the lowest we’ve seen this year. Powered by a 5Ah battery and rapid charger that are included in the box, this EGO Power+ mower arrives with a cordless design that can tackle medium-sized yards with a 45-minute runtime. Alongside a 21-inch cutting deck, there’s also 3-in-1 bagging features for bagging, mulching, and side discharging cut grass. Spring is right around the corner, making today’s discount a great chance to start off the new season on the right foot with a chance to ditch gas and oil from your lawn care routine while saving some cash along the way.
Also seeing a discount today courtesy of Amazon, the EGO Power+ 18-inch 56V cordless chainsaw is also marked down for one of the very first times. Dropping down to $315.61, this electric offering is now matching the all-time low from the usual $379 price tag. It’s one of the first chances to save since launching last summer, and delivers much of the same integration with the EGO Power+ 56V ecosystem. Perfect for getting all of those suspicious tree branches taken care of as you begin cleaning up the yard from winter this electric chainsaw is also ideal for chopping up the rest of that fire wood that lasted through the past few months, too. Plus, the 14-inch model is also on sale right now for $227.99 with the on-page coupon, down from $299 and marking a new all-time low.
Don’t let the lights go out when the grid goes down
The official ALLPOWERS Amazon storefront is offering its S1500 Portable Power Station for $499 shipped once you clip the on-page coupon. Originally $999, this portable power station fell to $899 in February before hitting $799 earlier this month. Today’s deal marks a new all-time low at $500 off and saves 50% from its normal going rate at Amazon. This portable power station has a lot to offer, with a constant output of up to 1,500W and the ability to peak at 3,000W. There’s four total AC outlets, three 2.4A USB-A ports, and even 100W USB-C PD output. All of this combines to power up to eight devices at one time through traditional plugs, while you’ll also find a 10A cat plug for an additional output option. When it comes time to recharge the ALLPOWERS S1500, it can be plugged into the wall, connected to solar panels, plugged in through USB-C, or even your car’s 12V/24V outlet.
Now that you know what all the ALLPOWERS S1500 has the ability to do, what all could it help you with? Well, a power station like this is great to have around for many reasons. As we head toward summer, and into hurricane season later in the year, there’s a good chance your power might go out. There have already been a number of bad storms across the US so far this year, with many losing power for hours or days. A power station like this that can output up to 1,500W concurrent or 3,000W peak means you can run a refrigerator, freezer, and even your TV and networking gear all without having to use a single drop of gas or oil at home. Plus, this power station can be recharged with solar panels like we mentioned, so when the power is out for an extended period of time, you can still enjoy at least some creature comforts at home.
New Tesla deals
After checking out the CRAFTSMAN 20V cordless 14-foot pole saw on sale above, if you keep read, you’ll find a selection of new green deals that will make your Tesla experience better in multiple areas. From storage to keep recordings on to phone mounts, car chargers, and anything else we can find, it’ll be listed below. Each day we’ll do our best to find new and exciting deals and ways for you to save on fun accessories for your Tesla, making each trip unique. For more gift ideas and deals, check out the best Tesla shop. Keep reading on for e-bike, Greenworks, and other great deals.
New e-bike deals + electric scooter discounts
If you’re looking to get out and enjoy the sunshine still after using your new electric mower, than we recommend you experience it than on another e-bike or electric scooter you just got at a fantastic price through one of our deals and sale below. You can use it for fun, exercise, or even transportation to and from work or the coffee shop. We have several people here that will regularly commute to coffee shops or offices on their e-bike, as it cuts down on fossil fuel usage as well as allows them to enjoy some time outdoors on nice sunny days. Below, you’ll find a wide selection of new e-bike deals and electric scooter deal in all price ranges, so give it a look if that’s something you’d be interested in picking up. As always, the newest e-bike deal and electric scooter discounts and sales will be at the top, so shop quick as the discounts are bound to go away soon.
Additional New Green Deals
After shopping the CRAFTSMAN 20V cordless 14-foot pole saw on sale above, be sure to check out the other discounts we found today. These new green deals are wide-ranging from outdoor lawn equipment to anything else we find that could save you money in various ways, be that cutting gas and oil out of your life or just enjoying other amenities that energy-saving gear can bring. As always, the newest deals will be at the top, so shop quick as the discounts are bound to go away soon.
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