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Luvly 0
Courtesy of Luvly


Luvly 0 Electric Car From Sweden Is Basic Transportation. Very Basic

The Luvly 0 is a low cost basic urban car from Sweden that focuses on safety, simplicity, recyclability, and modular construction.

Is there a place in the world for an electric city car that is simple, efficient, and low cost? Sweden’s Håkan Lutz thinks so. He has started Luvly, a company that will make a car so basic that it will have only one function — transporting up to two people in a 4-wheel weatherproof cocoon from place to place within a crowded urban environment. There’s no pretense that it can tow a boat or travel long distances.

The Luvly 0 is diminutive. It is 2.7 meters (106.3 inches) long, 1.5 meters (60.2 inches) wide, and 1.4 meters (56.7 inches) tall. With a curb weight of just 380 kg (837 lb), it has a maximum range of 100 kilometers (62 miles) from its 6.4 kWh battery pack and a top speed of 90 km/h (55 mph). Since charging can be a challenge for apartment dwellers, the battery is split into two packs that weigh 15 kg each. Slide one out and take it home with you. Plug it into a wall outlet and then bring it back to the car the next day when you need to go somewhere. No EVSE to install, no electrician to call. Simple, easy, and convenient.

Simplicity & The Luvly 0

Lutz may be the anti-Musk. Where Elon focuses on cars that are computers on wheels, Lutz prefers simplicity. Many of the basic functions of the Luvly 0 are controlled by an app on the driver’s smartphone, which is held in place by a bungee cord. There is a basic display in front of the driver for essential information. Over-the-air updates are included, of course.

The Luvly is designed to comply with European quadricycle regulations, but Lutz has thought long and hard about safety. In such a small car, sharing the road with massive SUVs and hulking delivery vans can be daunting. On its website, the company says, “We take safety seriously. That’s why we’ve created a technical solution that’s light on weight but heavy on protection. We call it ‘slow formula racing tech,’ and it’s the key to giving our Luvly O best in class safety.”

The Lovly 0 features a strong, lightweight safety cell that uses sandwich composites. It also has added Energy Absorption Zones to the outside to protect passengers despite the low weight of the car. The result, the company says, is passive safety comparable to a small car. The theory should be familiar to anyone who has watched modern Formula One racing. In the event of a crash, various pieces of the car may get destroyed, but the driver sits within a monocoque structure that is as strong as a bank vault.

Pedestrian safety is also a consideration. “We’re not just looking out for number one. We’re looking out for everyone on the road. And with Luvly O, you can feel good about driving a car that’s designed with the safety of others in mind. So buckle up and feel confident knowing that you’re driving the safest lightweight vehicle on the road, for you and for others,” the company says.

Sustainability & The Luvly 0

Lutz has lots of creative ideas for how to manufacture the Luvly 0. He expects the cars to be made in a central factory (which does not presently exist, so far as we know) and then transported in knocked-down form in flat packs to local micro-factories where the cars will be assembled. As many as 20 flat packs can fit inside one shipping container, reducing the cost of transporting the cars to customers.

Astute readers will recognize this as the model for building modular homes that are constructed in factories then shipped to the building sites where they are assembled. Arrival has a similar plan for making larger electric vehicles and Local Motors once envisioned making 3D-printed cars near to where their customers were located.

Lutz says he wants to organize production in a way that is environmentally friendly and conserves resources. Having local micro-factories complete the assembly of the cars will help meet those goals. He claims making vehicles this way uses 80% less energy during production compared to conventional full size cars.

“Sustainability is not just a buzzword, it’s a promise,” the company says. “We are aware that consumption pretty much always will contribute to emissions and pollution. The products we develop will not be revolutionary in this respect. We’ve made sure that every aspect of the Luvly 0, from its materials to its production process, is geared towards minimizing its environmental impact.

“We’ve also tackled one of the biggest sustainability concerns in electric vehicles — battery size. By keeping our vehicle lightweight, we’ve been able to minimize the size of the battery, one of the more problematic parts of electric vehicles. And when it comes to recycling our products, we’ve made sure that it’s straightforward and easy. The body is made from a single lightweight material that needs no surface treatment and goes straight to recycling.”


1976 Citicar. Credit: Wikipedia

Luvly is a gentle play on the concept of a “light utility vehicle” and the English word “Lovely.” [It has nothing whatsoever to do with the former Chevy LUV, which was a small pickup truck based on an Isuzu design.]

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but as my old Irish grandmother would say, the Lovely 0 has a face only a mother could love. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The original Volkswagen Beetle was no beauty queen, but it went on to become one of the bestselling cars of all time. The Luvly 0 resembles the Smart ForTwo in some respects, but its design is reminiscent of the Citicar produced in Sebring, Florida, in the 1970s. In fact, the two cars are quite similar not only in appearance, but in length, width, and height. The styling of the Lovely 0 is not quite as outré as the Citroen Oli, but it’s close.

The Takeaway

The company says it has plans for other models, including a sporty trike and a small van with the same production and logistics concepts. But first, it has to get the Luvly 0 into production. Certification in Europe is pending.

There is one piece of information we haven’t mentioned yet — the price. Lutz says the Luvly 0 will cost €10,000 ($11,000) when and if it ever goes into production. That brings to mind another small electric car introduced recently, the BYD Seagull, which starts at under $11,000 in China. No doubt that car would cost more in Europe, but is a “real” car with significantly more power and range.

The great unanswered question is, how much of a market is there for a bare bones electric car that is suitable for driving in congested urban environments, but little else?

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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."


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