Smart’s car of the future

Australia doesn’t have a whole lot of electric cars, but with energy efficiency clearly the target of the automotive industry, that could change soon. If Daimler and Smart have their way, our cars will use solar technology and plastic components, as seen in the Forvision concept car.

Set to be unveiled at Germany’s Frankfurt Motor Show next week, the Smart Forvision takes a Smart car design and brings it truly into the next generation, with new technology designed to make the car more efficient.

While few details are known about the Forvision, Smart has let us know that the roof is a transparent-solar panel, sucking in the warmth of the sun and harnessing the energy to keep the air conditioning going even when the car has stopped. The solar energy assists power needs, halting the drain of the electric car when you switch the AC on.

Interior lamps have been replaced with organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), useful for cutting back on energy usage as well as being able to see through them when they’re switched off.

The inside of the car is completely different too, with the design reminding us of something from a futuristic video game. Smart plans to project the typical dashboard onto a transparent surface with a touchscreen being used to switch between information.

You can probably tell from this that the Smart Forvision isn’t your average car, and even the wheels have changed. Here, Smart worked with automotive-parts supplier BASF and came up with a plastic wheel with reinforced fibres that weighs three kilos per wheel.

We’d love the Smart Forvision to have a future in Australia, and look forward to learning more about its prospects locally when further information is released next week.