Volteis by STARCK - Geneva Motor Show 2012

STARCK says, “I wanted to offer an alternative. A different solution making it possible to return to the minimalist definition of a vehicle. A really simple vehicle that is almost child’s play, with four wheels, a steering wheel, and electricity.” – Philippe Starck.

Spec Sheet: Starck’s focus is very much on what is necessary, and cars have their own specific role that is dictated by necessity. As a result, the Volteis has a top speed of just 65kph and a range of 60km. The consequent charge time is 6 hours.

Nicknamed V+, this resemblance to a golf-buggy is a collaboration between Volteis, a French electric vehicle manufacturer owned by the Electric Car Company, and Philippe Starck, designer and architect. Starck has successfully tried his hand at a number of disciplines, and is famous for his yachts (“A”) and furniture amongst others. Now he has added a car to his illustrious portfolio.

Born out of recognition of the inappropriate use of vehicles, the Volteis is conceived very much as an alternative. STARCK describes it as a “light, desirable, minimalist answer for those who are looking to travel aptly, differently”. Designed with warmer climates in mind, the Volteis features a panoramic windscreen, a plaited front basked and a cast aluminium frame that keeps the weight at 736kg.

Starck’s view is that designers are creating electric cars that fit the mould of high performance internal combustion engined cars. Seeing as electric cars neither travel at the same high speeds or long distances that ICE cars do, then why should they be face the same design constraints? Hence the Volteis is fairly unconventional. Or does it demonstrate what the convention should be? The Volteis will retail at around $40,000. Not cheap, but with very few moving parts at least maintenance bills are likely to be minimal.