Applus Idiada iShare Concept EV

Like the Volar-E and E-Born3 concepts before it, the new iShare EV from Applus IDIADA makes you stop and look twice. Looking like the strange child of a Smart Fortwo and a flat-nose semi tractor, the iShare is a purpose-designed little car (technically, a heavy quadricycle) that Applus has prepped for carsharing duty in European cities. There are no key holes in the doors, but the designers didn't forget them. Instead, they rethought how a car like this should be locked and unlocked.

"All keys to the car are virtual."

On display at the SAE World Congress in Detroit this week, the iShare is an example of a vehicle with all aspects reconsidered to function perfectly for carsharing duty, said Applus' Ricardo Satué. That's why the doors unlock with a scanner that reads a barcode on your smart phone and the car fires up with a PIN code. "All keys to the car are virtual," Satué said.

The concept was designed for Europe, where it would be classified as a heavy quadricycle. That means that it has a 15-kW motor (the largest allowed) with a peak torque rating of 140 nM as well as a 7-kWh lithium-ion battery. It weighs just 530 kilograms (1,168 pounds). The combination is good for an estimated 100 kilometers (62 miles) of range and a top speed of 80 kilometers per hour (50 miles per hour). Based on carsharing use in the city, 62 miles should be enough for seven or eight drivers between trips to a charging station, Satué said. When it does need more juice, the onboard 6-kW charger and Euro-spec Mennekes connector will fill up the pack in about 70 minutes.

Carsharing is also why the iShare was designed to be a maximum of 2.00 meters long, since one of the requirements was that it can park perpendicular to the road (just like Fortwos can). It's also why the interior is plastic, to keep it clean even when a lot of different people use it. The plastic parts can also be easily replaced when necessary, Satué said. Satué estimated that the iShare would cost carsharing companies between $8,000 and $12,000 to buy. You can see the car in action in the video below.