Amphibious Compact EV Comes With No Foot Pedal

Feb 20, 2014
Susumu Tajima, Nikkei Technology Online
The "FOMM Concept One" measures 2,495 (L) x 1,295 (W) x 1,550mm (H).
The "FOMM Concept One" measures 2,495 (L) x 1,295 (W) x 1,550mm (H).
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]
The EV has no foot pedal. Its steering is the same as that of a motorbike.
The EV has no foot pedal. Its steering is the same as that of a motorbike.
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]

FOMM Corp announced a compact electric vehicle (EV) concept targeted at emerging countries such as in Southeast Asia Feb 19, 2014.

FOMM is a company that designs and develops compact EVs and is based in Kawasaki City, Japan. It is developing the EV, "FOMM Concept One," in cooperation with parts makers, etc that participated in the project including Daido Kogyo Co Ltd and Ngk Spark Plug Co Ltd. The company plans to start volume production in the autumn of 2015.

FOMM aims to provide a low-priced, high-performance EV to emerging countries in Southeast Asia, where motorization is rapidly progressing. Specifically, the company is paying attention to the Thai market and seeking for local investors and manufacturing partners. So, it will exhibit the EV concept at Bankok International Motor Show in March 2014.

The EV measures 2,495 (L) x 1,295 (W) x 1,550mm (H). Its length and width are about 2/3 those of Japanese kei cars. But it still has space for four adults. FOMM eliminated the need for space equivalent to an engine room by using directly-driven in-wheel motors for the front wheels.

Also, the EV is driven with both hands like a motorbike, eliminating foot pedals such as for acceleration and braking. As a result, it became possible to freely place seats, enabling to move the driver's seat closer to the front side of the vehicle.

The EV is equipped with three battery cartridges, each of which contains two 1kWh 48V batteries connected in series. Therefore, the total capacity is 6kWh. When fully charged, the EV can travel about 100km. Each cartridge is removable and can be charged at home. Also, it is possible to directly charge the EV. In that case, it takes about three hours with a 220-240V power source.

Furthermore, the EV can travel on water. The lower half of its body has a structure that prevents water from coming inside. So, the EV can float on water for about 24 hours in theory. Its electric system is also waterproof, and the front wheels rotate even when the vehicle is floating on water.

The front wheel has a structure that takes in water from the outside. Water passes through the wheel and is ejected backwards. Though the speed of the EV is as slow as a walking person, it can reach the other shore when there is no current.

For volume production, FOMM aims to realize a price much lower than ¥1 million (approx US$9,805) excluding the battery unit, President Hideo Tsurumaki said. The company plans to make the battery accessible by, for example, leasing it.