Europe continues to test the waters of shared vehicle ownership models, and the Amber One is a car designed to help eliminate the huge amount of time our own vehicles currently spend idle. The all-electric concept has a 250-mile range on a single charge, a top speed of over 93 mph, and a 0 to 60 time of a respectable 7 seconds. But you can’t buy one – to gain access, you subscribe to a service at a cost of €33 (around $37 U.S.) per week, which will let you use any available Amber One nearby.
The car itself looks similar to another vehicle recently unveiled designed for shared use – Spiri’s first EV prototype, designed specifically to maximize value for its on-demand carpooling service. There’s a reason for the similarity, as both service models will benefit from having a lightweight, energy-efficient all-electric car that can manage frequent trips but also fit in easily on crowded European roadways.
Amber Mobility says the Amber One is also designed to be modular, so that it can be upgraded throughout its life, which should be prolonged because it doesn’t need to be scrapped entirely when new tech or improvements come along. It’s also designed as a connected car from the ground up, with tight integration across software and hardware, according to the company, which will help reduce overall operating costs. Plus, eventually, the plan is to build in semi- and full autonomous driving capabilities, which Amber says will reduce costs associated with accidents and damage.
Car ownership basically sucks for all involved, and as Lyft co-founder John Zimmer recently pointed out, individually owned cars sit idle up to 96 percent of the time, which is massively wasteful in terms of allocated space, infrastructure, expense and eventual waste generated. Amber Mobility’s model hopes to address that, while retaining the convenience factor with a “guarantee” that an Amber One will be available “within walking distance at any time” to users of its service.
The Amber One is set to enter production in 2018, with prototypes hitting the road next year. Service will initially kick off for corporate partners in limited pilots at the end of this year, but consumer rollout of the service is expected in 2018, beginning in Amber’s home turf of Eindhoven, the Netherlands.