Electric propulsion brings tremendous creative and innovative opportunities in terms of design, architecture and style. The expression “Light Mobilty” in design studios, concerns individual mobility: from skateboards to cars. The new uses have contributed to seeing new vehicles on our roads, some resolutely recreational, others strictly utilitarian. A collection of two, three or four-wheeled vehicles, some of them commercialized, others straight out of the overflowing imagination of design school students.
Presented at the Brussels Motor Show last January, the Abarth 500 is Abarth’s very first electric car. If the architecture, closely derived from the FIAT 500, remains classic, the exterior and interior design are specific. A new styling DNA has been developed that combines sportiness and electric propulsion and a specific sound has even been designed in collaboration with its community. The electrification of the brand with sporting genes represents new challenges for designers at all sensory levels.
Citroën Ami “100% Electric
By offering open mobility to a wider range of users, the Ami is perhaps the Ford T of the 21st century. The little two-seater that does not require a driver’s license is undoubtedly Citroën’s biggest revolution since the presentation of the DS in 1955. While not the most desirable car, it is a great example of design optimization with standardization of body elements such as doors that are identical on the right and left. Many of the innovations come directly from the Ami One concept unveiled in 2019. The creativity of the designers has really been put to good use in such a demanding specification.
BMW CE 04
BMW has been manufacturing two-wheelers since 1923. A little more than twenty years after the launch of the famous C1 windscreen scooter, which can be driven without a helmet, it is marketing the CE 04, an electric maxi scooter. Very faithful to the concept bike “Concept Link” of 2017, it marks the spirits with a sharp style of great originality and an exceptional quality of stylistic resolution. The BMW CE 04 is innovative in its architecture with a new arrangement of technical elements, engine and batteries offering new formal and practical freedoms. Connectivity and interaction between the driver and the machine have been particularly well thought out, demonstrating that the teams in charge of development have systematically taken into account new uses. The electrification of two-wheelers represents a great opportunity for BMW to deploy its “Urban Mobilty” range.
Can-Am Pulse / Can Am Origin
The iconic snowmobile manufacturer, BRP “Bombardier Recreational Product” will soon market a brand new line of electric motorcycles: the Can-Am Pulse and the Can-Am Origin. Known for its Skidoo snowmobiles, BRP also manufactures and distributes three- and four-wheelers. Both the Can Am Pulse and Origin electric motorcycles mark the 50th anniversary of the manufacturer’s very first race bike.
The electrification of the range also represents a great opportunity to create new silhouettes with a specific stylistic DNA that is both strong and faithful to the brand’s values. BRP’s broad diversification undoubtedly opens up new avenues for the team of designers working in Valcourt, Quebec and, for the past few months, in a brand new design studio located in Sophia Antipolis in the Alpes Maritimes.
Ligier Pulse 3
The Ligier company founded in 1969 by Guy Ligier, first known for the manufacture of racing cars is also specialized in the small car without license since 1980. In its “Ligier Professional” range, the manufacturer markets two vehicles, including a three-wheeler, the Pulse, used in particular by the Post Office. The Pulse 3 has an ingenious pendulum system. This innovation allows the rear cargo area to remain stable while offering the maneuverability required for urban use. Its unique architecture perfectly illustrates the need to have products that are in line with new uses.
Air4, the flying 4L
If it is only a concept presented in 2021, the Air4 has marked the spirits by reinterpreting sixty after the famous Renault 4 “4L”. The machine is presented in the form of a drone with four propellers whose body accommodates a single person. Although no marketing plans have been announced, this concept nevertheless opens up incredible new avenues for air mobility. Today, drones are used for a large number of utility missions, and it seems obvious that versions with passengers will soon appear, as demand, particularly in China, is high. The Air4 demonstrates that it is possible to imagine an infinite number of new flying concepts based on drone technology, which is by definition remotely controlled. The answer to flexible and autonomous mobility may be through the air, without the need for an original formal resolution, without constraints.
Breathe Concept, Guillaume Boué-Raguet Strate École de Design
Within the framework of the 36e edition of the International Automobile Festival, the Young Designers Awards competition has named the “Breathe” project as the winner of the exterior design topic in 2021. Students from design schools were asked to imagine a fun and essential vehicle for the post-COVID era: “Life’s Simple Pleasures”. The “Breathe Concept” project by Guillaume Boué-Raguet, at the time a student at Strate, École de Design, is a vision of a vehicle for pure pleasure. The electric single-seater is fun, agile, free and without constraint, as evidenced by its puncture-proof tires.
METRA, Erik Veelmaa Heiki Joona Pussinen, Strate École de Design
Here in the 37e edition of the International Automobile Festival, the Young Designers Awards competition proposed “Reset All” as an exterior design subject, or to imagine a new mode of transportation in a world where the car would never have existed… The METRA project of Erik and Joona, respectively Estonian and Finnish, is an original system of urban mobility on a wired network. The consideration of uses is central and the formal interpretation remarkably creative. The modularity of the passenger capsules was also a key point, taking into account a variety of usage scenarios. A beautiful example of a great imagination in a poetic interpretation of a new, simple, flexible and ecological mobility.
DECATHLON B’Twin “Magic Bike
For several decades now, Decathlon has been focusing on design to develop more beautiful, but above all more practical and functional products. In 1999, the famous sporting goods chain marketed a brand new bike, the B’Twin, hybrid in its conception, halfway between a mountain bike and a city bike. The commercial success of the company led to the development of the name B’Twin into a brand, which is now the group’s bicycle brand. Barely a year ago, Decathlon presented a new concept of electrically assisted bicycle (EAB): the Magic Bike.
Designed by Decathlon’s designers, this elegant two-wheeler integrates several innovations directly related to the uses: lighting, the stand which has an anti-theft function and above all a recognition of its owner.an unprecedented interactivity in this type of bike is completed by a particularly well integrated screen providing a number of useful information to its user.