back to article Electric car powers across land, ice and water

Many drivers baulk at the thought of driving during the MET Office’s warnings of treacherous road conditions. So a team of designers has dreamt up a concept leccy car able to power its way across pretty much any surface, including water. amphibious_hybrid_01 The Amphibious Hybrid would work just as well on water as it would …


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  1. D@v3
    Thumb Up

    Id have one.

    Especially if 'water' includes rivers. would cut down on some of my journeys, looks fairly cool too.

  2. Chimpofdoom!


    This would cut my commuting time down a LOT.. come out of work, drive down to the local beach, proceed across the beach and into the estuary and pop out the other side.. avoiding hours of rush hour.

  3. Steven Jones

    Financial fantasy stuff...

    More fantasy land stuff I guess. So let's imagine this thing could be rented out for 250 days per year, that's £1,000 per year. Keep it in the fleet for 5 years and that's a gross amounf of £5,000 income before you've paid an admin costs, maintenance and all those other little things. You can't even hire a bicycle in the UK for that price for a single day, let alone an amphibous electric car of somewhat unproven technology.

  4. Simon Riley

    Crap drivers on ice

    I like the icy wheel idea except... Tilting the panels one way is good to get it moving but how about turning? And stopping?

    It's more pie in the sky nonsense. It's fun but how about covering these leccy cars when they're in/near production, rather than the glut of GCSE Design and Technology level stuff we've seen lately?

  5. Ru

    Ooh, so close...

    next thing, we'll all have snowcrash-style smartwheels for some proper all terrain driving, too.

  6. It'sa Mea... Mario

    Great if they ever put recharge stations in the Channel..

    but I still want one...

  7. Eddy Ito

    Get an early start!

    "... would work just as well on water as it would on tarmac"

    It's all just a bit too easy, isn't it.

    Now, please bring my car 'round, it's one with half a dead fish stuck in the paddle.

  8. Jacqui

    Art and Design - no techology!

    Hmm in my day you were tought how to detemine stress loads etc.

    Somehow a lot of the content in this article seems well "content free"/unbelievable - especially the price estimates.

    As someone already mentioned - types open up for ice to get forward traction but stopping is usually the more urgent issue in ice and snow!

    Jacqui "OND in technology (engineering)" Caren

  9. Al fazed

    Wot no

    Seven seater ?

    Missing a wonderful opportunity if you ask me.

    I could be nipping over to France at the weekend with the kids and returning loaded to the gunnels with top quality booze.

    Selling them in France however, especially at these prices may have a bearing on the numbers of of visitors without passports arriving on our shores, stuffed to the gunnels with symtex no doubt.


  10. Steve Evans


    Form over function, welcome to the iEverything generation!

    I wonder what the ride/noise is like with what are in effect solid tyres... I'm sure Mr Dunlop would be turning in his grave...

  11. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Pirates to the rescue

    Better pack some flares for the maiden voyage where it well be discovered that paddle wheels don't work when they're completely under water.

  12. Robert Hill

    And I am SURE...

    that all of the car's electrics and hardware will be MARINE GRADE, and protected from water, salt, condensation, high-voltage shocks (most of those electric vehicles need more than 12V for their motors!!!)...and of course have positive bouyancy even with a full load of batteries on board and useful payloads.

    Uh huh.

    What, did they have a team of monkey's working on this all night long? First, I suggest they learn a leeeeetle about boat building, and THEN design ambitious amphibious a few re-runs of Top Gear's attempts to build amphibious cars to get the picture at least....

  13. TeeCee Gold badge

    What the tyres could be made of.

    I'd have thought that a segmented version of the proven Michelin "Tweel" concept would be a damned good place to start from if you were in the business of developing these.

    See here:

    I suppose that one day we'll be seeing these on the school run, being driven by people who look at you strangely when you ask if they've ever driven on ice or crossed the channel in it. Still, it'll allow those Range Rover drivers who once parked on a grass verge to feel smug.

  14. BOBSta


    Ignore this wheel based rubbish - James bond had an amphibious car in 1980. Where's my ground-repulsion hover-car thingummy (R)? Didn't the Americans test one of these in the Tunisian desert in the 70's? Should be mature enough tech for consumption by the general public by now...

  15. Tom Chiverton 1


    "ground-repulsion hover-car thingummy " ? Do you mean 'ground effect' ?

  16. James Micallef Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I LIKE!!!

    Yes, it needs some design tweaks to work well on ice / water. Yes, it will cost a hell of a lot. So what? Concepts are always impractical and expensive, and as they get produced and refined they get better and cheaper. Well odne to the design team, take teh criticisms on board and come back with something even better!

    @Bobsta "Where's my ground-repulsion hover-car thingummy (R)? Didn't the Americans test one of these in the Tunisian desert in the 70's?" Would that be something from the 'Star Wars' set? :)

  17. Pete James

    Well I like it

    It's a bit of a fun idea to present new solutions in the future, published during the silly season. Button yer hawking.

    Thinking for a second, if the recycled rubber idea from the previous story was mixed with this then they could have a one-piece sealed monocoque that would be better suited to withstanding the corrosive elements of seawater and winger roads covered in grit. Also, the controls could be connected via a wireless link to reduce the number of holes on the passenger cell to just frame links and door seals. And, you could have the fuel cell contained in a detacahable pod to speed up the recharge process. Lock and load, so to speak, which makes me wonder on the military uses of such a vehicle. Quiet, multi terrain and robust. Range would be a major hindrance though, but that will get better in time.

    The suspension looks like it could be a challenge though. The varying behaviour of the tyres panels will mean some adjustment would be required, and the tuning will be very different. Now if they were really clever then they could utilise the wheel spokes as part of the suspension. But you knwo what the big problem will be? Having adjustable huggers over each wheel. I'd have one though. In matt black for stealth to avoid customs when zipping back from France with a questionable quantity of rum. Ho me hearties!

    Oh, and AL fazed, it's gunwales, not gunnels.

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