A Japanese automaker has launched an electric van that uses rooftop solar panels to charge its battery.
The van called as Puzzle van is built by HW Electro. It is designed to be disaster resilient, capable of functioning during periods of prolonged power outages. The commercial sales of the Puzzle are expected to begin in 2025.
It is useful for daily use due to its small size and limited power output, thus making it suitable for everyday users as it can be used without ever needing to plug it in.
Dwelling on its features, the firm said that the pint-sized van comes with three photovoltaic panels, emergency outlets, an inbuilt first aid kit, Wi-Fi internet connectivity, and a crowbar.
HW Electro said the puzzle-inspired design allows its components to fit together in a cost-effective way, making it suitable for “emergencies and for daily convenience” alike.
“The Puzzle is a type of ‘kei car’, which are smaller and lighter than regular vehicles in order to attain tax and insurance benefits within Japanese regulations,” said the firm.
However, it may be noted that the firm first entered its domestic market with the ELEMO series, a line of next-generation multi-purpose commercial EVs. The ELEMO series, including ELEMO, ELEMO-K, and the LEMO-L mid-size van, was launched to reduce environmental burdens and enhance disaster resilience in the country.
The van has focused on disaster resilience is front and center in the PUZZLE electric van as well, which features onboard AC outlets, USB ports, wi-fi internet connectivity, and emergency tools. “Roof-mounted solar panels are included to ensure functionality even during prolonged power outages. There’s even a first-aid kit and a crowbar, just in case whatever disaster you’ve encountered can be helped by extra leverage,” said the firm. The said features are outward facing thus, they can be accessed from outside of the vehicle to help others.