Solo: A Multi Hybrid Car
Solo, a hybrid car combining the use of renewable and alternative energy on a high efficiency level was created by Antro, a Hungarian non-profit organisation developing alternative vehicle and resource concepts. The design work has started in close cooperation with Hungarian universities, making progress by using regional, national and EU funds and own resources. After 7 years of work the first operational concept car of Antro, Solo was rolled out in the spring of 2008. The introduction of the prototype at the Transportation Museum brought unexpected degree of success both at home and abroad.
Solo is a multi hybrid car with two modes of functioning: moving in the city using electric engines, solar energy or even human power thanks to mechanic pedals attached to a generator - for traffic jams. For longer trips it uses a modern engine running on not only traditional but also bio fuels and ethanol. Solo is a three-seat car fitting the needs of 1 or 2 passengers. In case a larger car is needed, two Solos can be connected giving Duo, a six–seat family car, and can be disconnected once again at any time.
The glass roof is entirely covered with high-performance solar panels, enabling the vehicle to cover 15-25 kilometres on solar energy alone. For longer trips, four small electric engines are also hidden behind each wheel. The solar cells can charge the batteries while the car is running or parking. The energy loss is decreased by the regenerative braking system and the shock absorber that transforms the oscillation’s kinetics energy. The driver can use only the electric motor plus the pedal drive at low speed, within residential areas. The Solo+Duo prototype was created in 2010. Antro is hoping to begin mass production in 2012. Antro also developed and matured the design of a foldable light weight hybrid scooter with pedals.
History of the company
Antro has started its operation in 2002 with general research in the topic of alternative vehicles, creating concepts. These initial activities were followed by market research and participation at exhibitions, design and crash simulations. In 2006 the company headquarter was constructed in Õriszentpéter in Western Hungary.
Key to efficient energy management are the lowered air resistance and the light weight. The car frame and body are made of a carbon fibre composite making the vehicle ultra-light, weighing only 270 kilograms. The round shape of the car significantly lowers air resistance. The vehicle uses a combination of alternative energy sources, electric energy, solar energy, bio fuel and human power.
Solo is expected to cost about €12,000, the usual price for a small city vehicle of this kind, but its carbon-dioxide emissions are only a quarter of that released by its non-hybrid rivals and its fuel consumption can be kept below 2 litres per 100 kilometres.
- Excessive risks
- Lack of sufficient funds
- Increasing need for cleaner vehicles with low fuel consumption
- Profits from commercialisation