This one was new to me when I saw it in August of 2019 at the Danish Museum of Science and Technology, but it does fit the mold of all the other attempts at car production in Denmark since the seventies.
This car does, of course, have electric power. This car does, of course, look odd. This car did, of course, never succeed in much of anything. This car is, of course, very interesting and alluring to us at CC.
See, in the late nineties when this car was introduced, our friends at Toyota had successfully developed the Prius – the poster child hybrid. The Prius is significant because it was a green car that you could live with and this was made possible by combining the greenness of the electric engine with the range of the petrol engine. Toyota realized that an electric car was simply not on the table. Back then, they were all too slow, had too little range and were simply just too weird as well. This once again got Danish engineers thinking. This time at the company Toria.
Toria basically took the Prius concept in a much more low tech version and added solar panels. Driving an electric car requires a ridiculous amount of solar power, so this was all about maximizing surface area. So where previous attempts were ridiculously small, this one is ridiculously big. It seats three in the front (and only) row – comfortably. Some sources claim it was a six-seater and perhaps it was intended as such.
It has lots of storage area in the back though actually utilizing this space would likely turn the shade of green relatively dark relatively quickly.
In another instance of Danish optimism the development of this car received funding from several public agencies.
The information available at the museum was limited, but this car relied on a biodiesel-powered engine rather than a petrol engine. Below 30 mph, the Connector 2001 would move under solar power and then when needed the biodiesel would power up and take the sun-yellow three-seater all the way to 80 mph. 0 to 60 would be over in less than 15 seconds and solar power range was actually not bad. It would be enough for 6 to 18 miles on most Danish days.
I am not sure this car was intended to make it to mass production, but surely a wider application of the technology would be the goal of an R&D project of this scale. Just looking at it, though, you can see why the proposition of carrying the equivalent of a sunflower field on the roof would just never make sense.
Danish Delights #1: 1950 Sommer S1