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back to article Fiat shows solar-panel wrapped 'Panda of the future'

Fiat's latest take on the electric car, the Phylla, has been revealed at the Turin Environment Park. A joint development by Fiat's R&D department - Centro Ricerche Fiat - and several local design and engineering companies, the prototype was shown at the Turin science park and driven around the block by local dignitaries. Fiat …

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quick charge time...

It'd only take 80 hours of maximum strength sunlight to get this car fully charged...

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Drives like a Panda?

If it's as fun to drive on Sicilian mountain roads as a Panda is, I want one!

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M7S
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Coat

Just wait for the first person to pull into a petrol station and say....

..."Phylla up, please."

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Eww

Please don't make it look like that.

I want a car not a lego toy

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Anonymous Coward

Units

Love how the range is in kilometers, but the speed is expressed in terms of miles.

I'll let someone else have a go at the... novel color scheme.

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Great

I want one, albeit possibly not in green and white - except during Wimbledon.

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Needs a longer bonnet.

Then it can put new meaning to the phrase:

Phyllic Symbol

Mine's the long coat with a huge bulge

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I was...

...going to ask for a Playmobil reconstruction, but it seems Fiat have beaten El Reg to it. This looks just like the Playmobil police car I'm sure ;-)

0-30 in 6 seconds.. what happens when you show it a hill?

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I'll take one!

I gotta admit i like the look of this, just get rid of the ghastly green tyres!

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oooooohhhh toy

Is Fiat italian for Fisher Price?

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well.....

Firstly, to the smurf's idea that it will take "80 hours of maximum strength sunlight" to charge the vehicle, as previous solar cars have demonstrated normal days of ambient light provide a faster charging rate than the cloudless scorchios that you may think would be best for solar energy production.

Anyway, moving on to this latest pile of scrap. The Phylla looks as if it makes a decent contribution to the concept of electric-powered cars, although there seems to be no thought gone into having a switchable power pack and the drive could be more imaginitive. It's a platform though, and the main weight is way down low so at least they got that right if nothing else.

So why - dear Lord WHY - did they let loose some mincing munter of a stylist onto what was a promising vehicle base and turn this into a concept as gay as a Christmas tree?

The Long-John Silver front treatment is just contrived. I'll avoid the Jolly Roger (ahem) jokes for now. So is the diagonal slit in the roof, containing no value beyond a bit of poncing about with a marker pen. The flanks have no definition, rendering the whole as a rather grotesque blob with no feature points or detail to trap the eye. It's, well, very poor, unfinished in a rather rejected way.

What is worse than the frankly rather cretinous doodling that this vehicle has been subjected to is the avoidance of even a pretence of thinking about productionising the thing. Why have solar panels on the doors, right where they'll get damaged and cost a fortune to replace? Why have monoside panels when this vehicle will have to live in urban environments and suffer dings, scrapes and dents? Why no attempt to make sure the poor thing offers some sort of protection against daily life, but take the time to stick on the inside of the door a plastic shopping bag so camp no-one this side of Graham Norton would venture out with it?

The whole point of a Panda was a car that was easy and very cheap to build. This takes the legacy of Guigiaro's little bit of brilliance and sctatches its eyes out before playing YMCA turned up to 11.

I expect the French to produce a piss-poor effort like this because they continually bore us all that they are the best at design and - as with their cooking - they're not, far from it in fact. But the real contender for that title - the Italians - come up with a lumpy turd and scupper their chance to be taken seriously.

I'm waiting for the British entrant in the leccy shopping trolley ideas next. Normally it would be just that bit shoddy and half-baked. Compared to this Phil thing it might be worthwhile looking at.

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Erm, solar panels?

"covered in solar panels which are said to generate up to 340W. The electric motor ........ has an average power output of 27kW and a peak output of 54kW."

So what was the point of the solar panels again?

If I've done my sums correctly, for every hour you leave it in the middle of the desert at noon (probably when you get near to "up to 340W"), you get 45 seconds of drive time at average power output. Wow!

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Design looks a lot like a Smart car

Or is it just me?

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Smart_car.jpg

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery... If I was the designer of the Smart, I'd feel really flattered right now.

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Inspiration

Judging by the colour scheme, I know where they got their inspiration. Do you think they might run a buy one, give one program?

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OLPC?

Reminds me of the OLPC laptop colour scheme.

That said, apart from the horrid styling: WANT! Range and top speed are just right for an "about town" car. Won't get me from Glasgow to Tunbridge Wells (should I ever need to do such a thing), but it'll get me to the shops and back, repeatedly.

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Hmmm

Nice wheel trims. White interior? It's going to get dirtier than a dutch brothel!

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Wall recharging in 3 to 4 hours... bah!

This is going to be just like those network bandwidth numbers all over again.

You'll be able to recharge in 3 to 4 hours so long as you're the only one on the block doing it. The grid won't be able to cope with everyone getting home between 6 and 8pm and plugging them in. Like water heating, these will have to be powered through some grid controlled mechanism to only charge a few at a time. Result: 10+ hours of charging and sometimes a black out which will leave you stranded.

As for the 1kW fuel cell... yeah right! That's not enough as a primary power source. Like the 340W PV panel it is there for show rather than as a practical measure.

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Does it...

...leave green skid marks??

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Oh god..

Do they want to kill EVs with hideous designs?

THEY. DON'T. HAVE. TO. LOOK. DIFFERENT.

Less money spent on flair, more on ACTUALLY MAKING THEM AVAILABLE.

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Paris Hilton

Typical electric car then

Slow, ugly and short range. Recharge is still WAY too slow to be used seriously for anything involving distance.

When will manufacturers make electric cars that don't suck?

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@Typical Electric car then AC

Slow? 0-60 in 6 seconds isn't "slow" by the standards of most modern family cars, and a top speed of 80 means that you can drive along motorways and quite happily exceed the speed limit, overtake lorries, etc.

Take the Ford Focus 2litre, 2008 model- a modern family car. That's got a higher top speed, but a slower 0-60 time. A 90 mile range will last a long time going around town- and small cars like this shouldn't be used for long journeys anyway. You should take the train if you've got a small car- especially one like this.

But you're right about one thing- good lord, it is hideous.

And those solar panels are useless unless it's going to be sat in a garden for 99% of the time.

If you're after a good electric car, the limit is in the batteries and lack of infrastructure to recharge them. But they do exist- the Tesla Roadster has an estimated range of 220 miles on a charge, looks gorgeous, takes 3.5 hours to charge, has a 125mph top speed and a sub-4-second 0-60. So definately not slow, certainly not ugly, and not horrendous to keep charged.

Keep your eyes open for Ultracapacitors- when they're available, more electricity will be stored in less space (more range) and be more available for use (more powwwwweerrrrrrr). Plus it'll become viable for fuel stations to charge their own capacitor banks from whatever sources are available, allowing a really quick recharge of your own car- the actual energy accumulation time gets displaced onto the conveniently static, mains-connected, no-problems-with-weight-or-aerodynamics filling station.

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I like it.

It's a bit garish, but I like the idea. From an automotive POV, the low weight is a very good idea and... I dunno, I always thought small FIATs were *supposed* to look quirky.

It looks like it has personality, isn't too much slower than a cinquecento and shows that EVs can be fun.

Where do I sign up?

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@Clive Mitchell

Yes, it probably will leave green skid marks, if you shove it by hand. (It's not going to do it under power !)

If you look closely at the second photo you can see that the green colour is just a poor spray coating over normal black tyres, and is coming off already.

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@Anonymous Coward

0-60 in 6 seconds? Where did you read that? I read 0 to 30mph in the same 6 seconds, which is reasonable for a city car. I say well done Fiat, for a good show car. Now get something for the real world...

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