There was a time not so long ago when ‘microcars’ where often viewed as the future of city transport. Small, practical and environmentally friendly, they seemed to represent all the values necessary for 21st century city living. Perhaps the best known microcar was the Renault Twizy. Launched back in 2012 to critical acclaim, many expected Twizys to soon populate every street corner in Europe. However, despite its affordable price from a sales perspective the Twizy never really took off. Many consumers viewed it as too light and fragile, as well as uncomfortable. Also, try taking a Twizy out in the rain and you’ll soon know all about it – to say it isn’t watertight is an understatement.
But before the Twizy there was the Carver One. Launched almost twenty years back, unlike the Twizy it was not electric but instead powered by a small 65 bhp motorbike engine. The One was well received by journalists, like the Twizy, but didn’t perform strongly from a sales perspective, also like the Twizy. But now Carver are back, and this time they’re all-electric.
The new fully electric three-wheeler is simply dubbed the Carver. Fully Charged presenter Jack Scarlett immediately noted the Carver’s main selling point, DVC (Dynamic Vehicle Control). A patented technology, it keeps the car stable and enables motorbike-like turning. With room for two (just), the Carver is available in a number of colors and even comes with a spoiler as standard.
Despite its top speed of around 30 mph, Jack still had immense fun driving the Carver – largely thanks to the car’s DVC cornering ability. And the extreme low weight of the Carver means it needs just a 5.4kWh battery, which costs only around £0.25 ($0.35) to fully charge at home on UK night rates. It also has a 60 mile range, which is more than adequate for city driving. Parking in the Carver is an ease, meanwhile visibility is fantastic. The interior is basic, but has all you’ll ever need. Jack concluded that the Carver was a fantastic way to get around a city, and infinitely more fun than a Renault Twizy.
Pricing for the Carver starts at €9,980 ($11,806) in its native Netherlands. However, there are multiple versions available: the Carver Comfort (which comes with floor maths, Bluetooth and a phone holder), the Carver Sport (black alloys and better acceleration) and finally the Carver Cargo (you guessed it, it’s a van variant). Will the Carver revolutionize city transport as its makers intend? Probably not, but for the select few city dwellers aware of it the Carver could make a fantastic second car.