Automotive start-up Page-Roberts has patented a design concept for an electric vehicle reportedly capable of travelling up to 30 per cent further than current EVs.
The new design positions the battery between the front row seats and a second row of rear-facing seats, disrupting the traditional ‘skateboard’ arrangement with EV batteries placed under the floor. Drawbacks of this can include added height, increased weight, structural complexities, and an extended wheelbase.
According to Page-Roberts, its arrangement will result in a lower, lighter and more aerodynamic vehicle with a standard wheelbase. Range could be extended or a smaller battery could be used to achieve a similar range to current EVs on the market, the start-up said, with potential for manufacturing costs to be cut by ‘up to 36 per cent’.
“Rear-facing seats are widely used in taxis and camper vans and may even become the norm for automated vehicles,” said CEO Freddy Page-Roberts. “Aside from the obvious benefits of increased design flexibility, they provide excellent outward visibility — a key factor for boosting occupant comfort. Their position ahead of the rear wheels also offers enhanced passenger protection — reduced whiplash, for example, in the case of frontal impact.”
Page-Roberts added that there is a strong demand for small EVs that are ideal for urban environments, despite many manufacturers focusing on larger SUVs. The absence of batteries under the floor could offer potential for lower-height designs and more sporty four-seat vehicles.
Mark Simon, CTO, added: “Challenges around battery cost and energy density along with range and charging infrastructure continue to stall progress with EVs, despite both car brands and tech leaders racing to put their stamp on the market.”
Pressure on charging points could be reduced thanks to the new design’s range capabilities, Simon said, as well as allowing for a lower carbon footprint through easier recycling and production of smaller batteries.