A Flat Pack Car from Sweden – Like Ikea, But for the Road
We have become used to flat pack furniture from Sweden—affordable space-saving and stylish, yet at down-to-earth prices. The only downside is you have to assemble it yourself. Now, a new manufacturer is vying to apply a similar mode of business to the automotive world. A new start-up company based in Stockholm, Sweden called Luvly has unveiled a new car that will be transported to the customer in a flat-pack.
Oh, isn’t it cute…
The car in question is called the Luvly-O and described by the company as an adorable 450-kilogram two-seater EV ‘Micro-Car’ with a range of about 100 kilometres and a top speed of about 90 kph. So, you are not going very far nor very fast, but then average commute distance in Europe is less than 30 kilometres at speeds below 50kph.
Don’t go rushing down to your local IKEA just yet though as they are not selling them. In fact and whilst the Luvly-O can be put in to the back of a pick-up truck the vehicle still needs to be assembled by a car manufacturer before delivery largely due to all of the safety regulations. So, what is the point then? The good thing is that you won’t be fretting over a complicated instruction manual.
Not much happening inside either……..
Luvly claims that IKEA was hugely influential in the development of the car. The CEO, Hakan Lutz, said that the start-up wants to do for the car industry what IKEA did for furniture and that is offer good-enough quality and nice design, cheaply and efficiently for everyone. When the car goes on sale next year, it will be priced at around the USD10,500 mark which I am not sure is really that affordable.
As usual, for a Swedish car passenger, safety has been a key concern, something that is always difficult to build into small cars. The frame is aluminium with plastic foam padding designed to absorb the force of any collision, and the battery pack is swappable, giving the owner greater flexibility when it comes to recharging options.
Lutz is quoted in a recent interview as saying, “For light vehicles to compete with cars, and hopefully out-compete cars, they must be safe. People will not accept that you switch from driving an SUV to driving what is essentially a scooter with a shell.” I think he may have a point there.