Israeli ‘foldable’ electric cars to debut as emergency response vehicles
City Transformer, the Israeli car company behind an electric car that can shrink to fit into parking spaces, has announced a new partnership with emergency medical response organization United Hatzalah to incorporate “foldable” urban vehicles. Of the startup in the organization’s fleet.
The deal would make United Hatzalah, which operates a network of volunteers trained with specially equipped motorcycle ambulances, a major customer of City Transformer.
Founded in 2014, the company developed the CT-1 electric car, a 2.49 meters long (8.2 feet) and 1.4 meters wide vehicle with a patented folding mechanism that can reduce the wheelbase. up to one meter (39 inches). wide to facilitate parking or maneuvering in traffic. Inside there is room for a driver and another adult, seated in tandem. Alternatively, the passenger seat can accommodate two children. The cab does not shrink or change shape as the wheelbase shrinks.
The vehicle travels up to 45 km / h (28 mph) in narrow mode and up to 90 km / h in wide mode. It remains a static length and can travel 100 to 150 kilometers (62 to 93 miles) on a single charge.
The company hoped to build a “tough, comfortable and durable” solution for city dwellers and those looking to forgo the inconveniences of full-size cars, especially in dense cities.
City Transformer claims that four of its CT-1s can fit into the parking space of a regular vehicle, which solves a notable problem – parking – in urban areas.
Last year, the CT-1 was named in TIME magazine’s 2020 annual list of the 100 best inventions “that are changing the way we live, work, play and think about what’s possible.”
United Hatzalah vice president of operations Dov Maisel told The Times of Israel that the organization is closely following developments with City Transformer as the startup works on its innovative vehicles.
“We approached this from two angles. First, the safety of our volunteers and riders. And second, the innovation component. We invented the motorcycle ambulance, and the reason is clear – they can easily cross traffic, for example – but that limits us because not all volunteers have a motorcycle license or want to be on a motorcycle, ”he said. Maisel said.
Having the option of a compact car that can also move more easily in traffic and doesn’t need a lot of parking space, which is rare in big cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, “we leads to the next step, ”he added.
Maisel said one of the most important aspects of the deal was the co-sharing vehicle fleet format. According to the agreement, a total of 1,000 City Transformer CT-1 units will be placed in various cities in Israel and will allow United Hatzalah’s volunteer network to quickly locate one of the cars and use it to respond to emergencies. medical nearby.
“It can make it easier for volunteers to get around faster… They can just locate a City Transformer car and go. “
The location, unlocking and operation of the vehicle will be done through the application on the volunteer device, and the address of the emergency will be pre-entered in the vehicle’s navigation software, which will be linked to the center of distribution, explained Maisel.
United Hatzalah answers about 2,000 calls a day across the country, according to the organization.
The deal with City Transformer is valued at $ 22 million, according to the announcement.
Maisel said the five-year deal will come in stages, starting in the coming year, with several trials along the way.
City Transformer said in January that it hoped to achieve European certification for the CT-1 by the end of the year and that the first examples of the size-change car would be on Israeli roads in 2022-2023. Israel follows European certification standards for vehicles and the CT-1 is seeking quadricycle qualification, “a category that facilitates the company’s rapid entry into the European market,” the company’s CEO said. Asaf Formoza in a press release at the time.
“Billions of people living and working in cities will benefit from a new efficient and green mobility alternative: one that combines the safety and comfort advantages of driving a car, with the advantages of parking, maneuvering and driving. savings from using a motorcycle, ”Formoza said. “This, without the existing flaws of the car and the motorcycle.”
The first vehicles produced will be manufactured by the German Roding Automobile. Most of the future production will also be carried out by a third party.
“When they hit the market, we’ll be the first customers to get the cars,” Maisel said.
City Transformer cars are available in white, gray, blue and red, with a pre-order price of € 12,500 ($ 14,500).