Mindset - Perpetual Motion?

Switzerland-based holding company Spirit Avert first announced plans to build an alternative vehicle through mindset AG at the start of 2008, and since then precious little usable, practical information has trickled out.
mindset ev

by Ross Bonander

Specs:

  • Type: Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) and serial-hybrid
  • Class: 2+2 Coupé
  • Manufacturer: mindset AG (Switzerland)
  • Propulsion system: 70 kw Hybrid-Synchron-Engine
  • Top Speed: 140 km/h
  • 0-100 km/h: About 7 seconds
  • Vehicle range: Electro mode: 100 km (62 miles). Range Extender (ICE): 800 km (500 miles)
  • Fuel(s): Electricity, conventional gasoline, solar power
  • Battery system: Lithium-ion
  • Battery charge time: 2 hours
  • Tailpipe emissions: None in electro mode. Plenty in hybrid mode.

The manufacturer says...

“The automobile under development at mindset is based on the zero-emission-vehicle principle and will set itself apart from the more widely-known experiments in the area of electric cars, as well as from the traditional hybrid car models.”

The critics say...

“The car... can be recharged from three different sources: the power grid, solar panels built into its roof and from a 24 hp gasoline-fueled engine. And therein lies the source of a huge amount of confusion on the part of a vast number of blogs about this car.” --EV World

Overview

Switzerland-based holding company Spirit Avert first announced plans to build an alternative vehicle through mindset AG at the start of 2008, and since then precious little usable, practical information has trickled out. They have expressed a desire to manufacture 10,000 of these aluminum-spaceframed vehicles per year at around €50,000 ($64,000 or so as of Fall 2008), and a prototype was introduced at the Geneva Show last spring.

What we like...

The CEO. Murat Günak was VP and director of design at Volkswagen, among other industry experience. Alternative vehicle start-ups need more of these people, and fewer internet billionaires.

The roof-mounted solar panels. If they’re still part of the plan, we like them. Why the hell not.

What we don’t...

The front seats. Bench seats belong to Clark Griswold and the family-truckster, but mindset AG says “A bench seat for driver and front-passenger defines an interior profile that is continued through a customizable rear compartment.”

The design. They’re adding gull wing doors—why not add an 8ball of coke and call it a stubby DeLorean?

The specs. Ho-hum … what else you got?

The consequences of these basic dislikes. Murat Günak is the car’s designer. We just praised him for his background. If this makes us look confused, good. That’s the point.

Conclusions

A Swiss car maker? Well why not, they’re pretty good at other things, like precision watches and staying out of wars. That historic neutrality is likely the result of diplomatic savvy—in the auto industry it has other names, like BS and hype, so we aren’t surprised to find some diplomatic maneuvering on their web page regarding the Mindset. But we found a lot more than we thought we might, like this gem: “But the Mindset isn’t just an electro car. Through its built-in range Extender it becomes the hybrid automobile of the plug-in generation. An optional generator continually charges the battery.”

The Mindset, it seems, might be a perpetual motion machine. At this point nothing about the mindset would surprise us.

Video

Related Articles

"In career change, VW's former design chief goes green" -- Automotive News

Additional Resources

Official Press Release from Spirit Avert

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