Dutch Carver is back: electric and affordable
Ten years after its failed introduction, the Dutch three-wheeler Carver is back, now in an electric version for the city. And it should be affordable with a price tag five times lower than the one on the initial ICE version: 8.990 euros. But for now, it is only for sale in the Netherlands. China and the rest of Europe are next, in 2020.
The reborn Caver is fully electric, has a 2 x 2 kW electromotor and a 5.4 kW Lithium Iron Phosphate battery. The top speed of 45 km/hour is far less than the first 185 km/hour of the predecessor with a gasoline engine, but this one is merely meant for city traffic. It has a range of 100 km and can recharge in 4,2 hours to 80%; to 100% in about six and a half hours.
Looking for an alternative
“People are looking for an alternative for the car,” Carver director, Anton Rosier, says. “They can choose an electric scooter or a bike, or an electric car that costs at least 28.000 euros.” Carver jumped in that ‘gap’ in-between, just like the Renault Twizy, the Canta or the Biro.
Carver combines the ease of use and agility of a scooter with the comfort of a car. It has a complete bodywork like a car, with a part of the roof as soft-top, that can be opened to become a convertible. The new Carver is 2,89 m long, 0,88 m wide and 1,49 m high, and weighs 330 kg. It has room for a driver and a passenger sitting behind him and a 75-liter luggage compartment.
Patented tilting system
The Carver three-wheeler, with its patented tilting system called Dynamic Vehicle Control (DVC ™), was born out of the idea of developing a vehicle for two persons, smaller and more agile than a car. Research in the nineties had shown that most cars were occupied only by one or two passengers.
Two Dutchmen, Chris van den Brink and Harry Kroonen, founded Brink Technologies Group in 1994 that was to become Carver Europe later. By 1997, the Carver One got its homologation for the road from the Dutch authorities. Ten years later, the first Carver Ones were delivered to clients.
‘Killed’ by Toyota
The Carver One was longer and wider than the current e-version and weighed nearly double: 640 kg. It used a small Daihatsu combustion engine and could reach speeds up to 185 km/hour. That appeared to be the Carver’s Achilles heel when Toyota took over Daihatsu and stopped the delivery of engines.
After less than 300 Carver Ones produced, the company had to file for bankruptcy, and in 2010, the company started up again as ‘Carver Technologies’ to market its DVC technology. It was used by several companies, like for the development of the ‘flying Carver’, PAL-V Liberty.
In 2015, Carver decided to pick up the concept of the three-wheeler again and convert it to an electric version. Development took three years, and a new factory was built in Leeuwarden, where the company is headquartered now.
Pre-sales opened in 2018 for the Netherlands, but it took until now to be market-ready. For now, the Carver is only for sale in the Netherlands, but the company aims at starting to expand to China and the rest of Europe from next year on. Besides the 45 km/hour city version, Carver is thinking about a van-like version for last-mile deliveries in the city too and – why not – a speedier ‘highway’ version in the future.