iCar? The iChange electric iPhone-controlled car that changes size depending on how many passengers you got.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Feb 27, 2009
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iChange electric car

Electric Cars, we’ve heard about, and blogged about…but mostly we just look forward to seeing ’em in everyday use. And we’ve blogged our dream elemobile for our traveling talk show, great for bands and other eco roadtrippers. But an electric car…controlled by an iPhone? Now that’s some iPhone app. 

But that’s not all…this car changes size depending on whether you got one or three passengers (ala Transformers?). Love it. Why didn’t I think of that? For a bunch of photos, click here.

Of course, it’s concept only: 

…send e-mails, play video, access the Web and snap pictures, but control a car? Swiss automobile design house Rinspeed will unveil a concept electric car controlled by an iPhone at next week’s Geneva Motor Show.

The iChange ditches car keys in favor of an iPhone, which clips into a holder on the dashboard to the right or left of the steering wheel. Once connected a green “start” button appears on the iPhone’s display and one push brings the iChange automobile to life. When you’re driving the car the iPhone can also be used for other control functions, such as switching on and off the headlights…

…Most cars are designed to carry a fixed number of passengers in a fixed number of seats and the entire vehicle is based around this. Even if you usually travel alone, the vehicle’s space never changes. The aerodynamics of the vehicle, and therefore its fuel consumption, are constantly tied to this fixed number of passengers.

But not the iChange. In its basic configuration the pod-shaped sports car is a single seater but at the push of a button the rear of the roof pops up to provide room for an extra two passengers.

The adaptive body concept is perhaps the biggest innovation in the car but there are others. It’s an all-electric car powered by Lithium Ion batteries and there are two configurations: one with fewer batteries for less weight and shorter driving and another heavier configuration for longer distances. The 150 kilowatt Siemens-built electric motor provides enough power to take the car from zero to 100 kph (kilometers per hour) in 4.2 seconds, said Rinspeed.

The Harman/Kardon audio system is based on a low-power Intel processor so it uses less energy and weighs less than standard systems and the car navigation won’t just calculate the quickest way to get to your destination but the most eco-friendly route to get there in the car.

Designer Frank Rinderknecht, who came up with the iChange, is well-known in his native Switzerland for creating interesting concept cars. Last year it was the “sQuba,” a sports car that can drive underwater…for the rest, click here.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


One Response to “iCar? The iChange electric iPhone-controlled car that changes size depending on how many passengers you got.”

  1. Chuck Linden says:

    It´s good so many people are looking at so many possibilities. At some point and sometime (hopefully soon) something will gel and we´ll have aproduct for the masses.