Squad Launch Summary
Netherlands based Squad Mobility launched their Squad urban mobility vehicle last week. The electric powered Squad features solar cells on the roof, seating for two and a small, rear cargo area. The name Squad is short for solar quadricycle. The vehicle is designed for the European market and falls under the L6e or light quadricycle category. These vehicles are similar to low speed vehicles in the US. They can’t exceed 28 mph or have a battery pack larger than 4 kWh. The L7e category includes heavier vehicles with a top speed up to 50 mph and a 15 kWh battery pack limit. The vehicles have proven to be popular with teenagers and older drivers.
The Squad is 2000mm long, 1600mm high and 1000mm wide. It has room for two passengers and two children (where legal) if a rear bench seat is used. The vehicle features two in wheel rear wheel drive motors, regenerative braking, 4-wheel independent suspension and two portable lithium-ion batteries. The battery only range is 100 km and the solar cells can add 20-30 km per day. Other features include a tubular roll cage, 4-wheel disc brakes, a lighting package, and seat belts. A cargo version with an enclosed cargo area is available as well.
The company is clearly targeting the daily urban mobility market and offering the vehicle as a safer, more weatherproof alternative to scooters and electric bikes. Other advantages include avoiding road taxes and congestion pricing, easier to park and maneuver in urban environments, emission free and sustainable and more comfortable for longer commutes. The lack of doors provides easy and quick access. The base model can be pre-ordered for an estimated price of 5,750 euros ($6,365 US) or 6,500 euros ($7,195 US) for one of the first 1,000 Signature models.
This vehicle makes more sense for the European market than the US, although it could find some traction in gated communities and vacation locations in the US. The tighter quarters of European urban centers are ideal for the smaller size and lower speed. One question is how will they distribute the vehicles. It will be interesting to see how many pre-orders they receive and what their distribution strategy is after those initial orders.
Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com