Innovation That Matters

The Höga IKEA mobility concept | Photo source Ryan Schlotthauer

An electric car you assemble at home

Mobility & Transport

A design student has developed a kit car based on IKEA’s design philosophy

Spotted: For his Bachelor’s thesis, California design student Ryan Schlotthauer has designed a concept vehicle, the Höga (meaning ‘tall’ in Swedish), which is based on an imaginary collaboration between Ikea and Renault. The result is a kit car that keeps waste to a minimum. 

Schlotthauer designed the Höga using Renault’s advanced mobility platform and IKEA’s philosophy of “production, packaging, and practical use”. The electric vehicle can be assembled by one person in a few hours, thanks to the use of frame elements that slot together. There are only 114 individual parts, out of 374 in total. The A-frame design comes complete with a roll cage to improve the safety of the tiny, plastic vehicle. 

Although just 1.8 metres high and 2.3 metres long, the Höga has seats for two adults, and the interior can be customised to make room for extra luggage or even a stroller. The front and rear windscreens open out completely, eliminating the need for side doors, with their extra parts. To drive home his point, Schlotthauer has given the car the colours of IKEA – bright yellow and blue, and designed promotional materials in the same style as the those of the Swedish retail giant. 

He also emphasises that the car is designed for circularity, connecting the Höga to Renault’s new brand Mobilise, which seeks to develop transportation solutions based on sustainable open ecosystems and the circular economy. His work states that the car is, “Just a single piece of the puzzle … Höga is much more than just a vehicle, but it a part of a much bigger picture. With Renault’s connection to Mobilise, the addition of mass transit connects all the dots.” 

Schlotthauer joins a host of other designers and innovators who are developing unique versions of electric vehicles. Some of the recent developments in this space include an electric school bus that can double as a generator, a charging station that doubles as a drive-in and a three-wheeled solar-powered car

Written By: Lisa Magloff

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