Campervans have never exactly been considered the most stylish of vehicles. But that’s all set to change with the Ecco from Swiss design firm Nau, a 4.5 metre campervan that’s both eco-friendly and insanely futuristic in design.
According to News.com.au, the Ecco is set to go on sale in 2014. Capable of sleeping five through its swiss-army knife like opening design, and featuring a rooftop of solar panels to help achieve carbon neutral running efficiency.
Passengers enter via a rear staircase that folds out from underneath the fan-like roof, while the fold-down seats offer extra room when parked in the Ecco’s living mode. The all electric vehicle can reportedly hit speeds of up to 145kph, and be charged at a standard 240 charging station.
Nau describes the Ecco on its own site:
Since their introduction, automobiles have been a source of passion and meanings as individual as their drivers. Today they are often associated with luxury, performance or safety, but the Ecco aims to remind us they can still be about freedom. Following on the heels of design classics like the Airstream or VW camper van, this concept vehicle gets passengers to their destination, and becomes a temporary home when they get there. Compact, stylish and aerodynamic while on the road, when it is parked, the Ecco expands to provide a level space and comfort than its fore bearers could only dream of.
As an all-electric vehicle, the Ecco has no emissions of its own, and can be quickly charged at a standard 240V station. But when used for extended living purposes, even where no electricity is available, its built-in photovoltaic panels and solar sail roof mean that it can cut out the middle man, and charge directly from the sun. The exterior is a harmonious blend of precision aluminum and glass. Its direct and sculptural form cheats the wind while pleasing the eye. While a bit wider than its Volkswagen predecessor, the Ecco’s form is more aerodynamic, and the vehicle rides closer to the ground. The result is vastly improved interior volume, wonderful sight-lines for all passengers, and less wind resistance to boot.
There’s obviously no price, or guarantee that it will launch in Australia (or anywhere else in the world), but if it does actually become a real product, expect to see more than one on the roads through country Australia…