Chile’s first electric car to hit the city streets this year

The futuristic Lüfke car, both compact and environmentally friendly, aims to take over Chile’s urban streets this October.

 

Looking like something out of a science fiction flick, the Lüfke is hoping to be the hottest ride on Chile’s city streets by the end of the year. It would also be the country’s greenest ride — the one-man electric car produces very little air or noise pollution.

The innovative car was designed by Chilean industrial mechanic Daniel Pavez and the electromechanic company VoZE based in Santiago. Its low environmental impact, compact size, and exceptionally low fuel costs are designed to meet needs of the growing urban population in the Andean country.

“It doesn’t generate noise or emission pollution,” Pavez said, adding that it also is a fraction of the cost for drivers than conventional cars.

In addition to innovative mechanical engineering, the Lüfke is also a technological step forward for personal cars. The designers of the car have teamed up with Android, developing a new system of driver control that puts everything at his or her fingertips. The classic button system has been replaced with a touch screen that is connected to all the electrical systems in the car.

Pavez and VoZE have been working to make the project into a complete final product since 2012, collaborating with six other groups and with considerable support from the Innovation Center at the Universidad de Santiago.

Pre-orders for the electric single-person car are set to open this month, with each vehicle going for US$8,946 ($4,500,000 CLP). The customized electric cars will then be delivered and ready  to drive in October.

The engineers expect their biggest issue to be meeting the demand for the car, but expect secondary seed capital to make a second phase of production a success.

“If everything goes according to projections, international surveys should begin within the first quarter of 2014, achieving returns in about a year or so,” Pavez said.

Chile is becoming a hotbed for green innovation, from architecture to renewable energy projects. The Andean country has also been tapped to host the international Conference of Natural Resources and Development this coming November.