Range-anxiety. It’s the kind of thing that you either “have” or “don’t have”. If you have it, but you still want to cut back on emissions and live the electric life, you can buy a plug-in hybrid like the Chevy Volt or Ford Fusion Energi. If you don’t have it, you already have your Leaf or your Brammo and we’re all done here. That said, what if you’re not sure if you have range-anxiety or not? What then? If that sounds a bit like you, and you live in a big city, the Birò might be the tiny electric city car for you.
The Birò uses a removable battery to help ease commuters’ range fears. Unlike battery-swap programs proposed by Tesla and Project Better Place, however, instead of an expensive “swap station”, the Birò driver simply disconnects the battery from the rear of the NEV-sized 2-seater, extends the handle, and takes it into their office like a carry-on. If the Birò is being used as a company car in a dense, urban environment, one could easily image a row of pre-charged batteries lined up along the wall in case an employee has to run out on a sudden errand.
If this all seems like a concept that will never go anywhere, look again: though the Birò is unheard-of here, the tiny range-anxiety fighter has, apparently, been selling in Europe countries for several years now, for a “not terribly obscene” 15,000-ish dollars (after the conversion, of course). For that, owners get a 30 mph two-seater (with “speed boost” button for merging/passing) that can get them just about anywhere they need to get in the old countries’ narrow streets.
Would it sell here in the states? Probably not … but it’s still pretty neat.
Source | Photos: Birò, via Gizmag.