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Two More Quirky, Cool EVs We Won’t Get Here Are Headed to Production

  • The compact and light XBus, slated to be offered in a number of configurations including a pickup truck, will offer up to 124 miles of range, with battery packs ranging in size from 15 kWh to 45 kWh.
  • The Evetta is an Isetta-style bubble car powered by a 16.2 kWh, and will be aimed at urbanites.
  • German EV startup ElectricBrands reveals Dutch contract manufacturer VDL Nedcar will produce the two planned electric models.

    Vanlife enthusiasts in Europe (who also happen to be EV fans) will soon be able to buy something made just for them: the XBus electric camper. And enthusiasts of the original Isetta will also have something to look forward to in 2024, as a retro-styled bubble car called Evetta will be produced alongside it.

    The two concepts were first shown in the metal in 2022, with the XBus offering a solar roof, kitchen, refrigerator, hotplate, and a sleeping area for two people. Powered by relatively small and expandable batteries, ranging in size from 15 kWh to 45 kWh, the XBus has an empty weight between 1100 and 1760 lbs. The company says this allows the van to squeeze up to 124 miles out of its battery, along with a top speed of 62 mph. The camper itself is four-wheel drive, with a nominal output of 20 hp that can be boosted up to 75 hp for short periods of time.

    If you’re wondering by now just how the UAZ 452-style camper van can can pass crash tests in Europe and elsewhere, the answer is that due to its small size, it’s classified as a quadricycle, and is thus exempt from a number of vehicle safety requirements.

    The Evetta, meanwhile, boasts an even smaller battery pack, with its 16.2-kWh unit capable of giving it an identical range of 124 miles along with a top speed of 56 mph. And it’s by no means the only Isetta-style EV in the works at the moment.

    ElectricBrands, the startup behind the unlikely EV duo, has revealed that the Xbus and the Evetta are slated to enter production next year at VDL Nedcar in Born, Netherlands. The contract manufacturer is perhaps best known in the West for producing smaller Volvo models like the S40 and V40 in the 1990s and had been the passenger car factory of Dutch automaker DAF prior, dating back to the 1960s. More recently, Nedcar has been producing Mini models and the BMW X1.

    “We are happy to have found in VDL Nedcar not only a production location, but also a financially stable, healthy and innovative company that will build our vehicles,” said Ralf Haller, CEO and founder of ElectricBrands. “VDL Nedcar will support us in the further development of our fleet competently and with a great deal of experience. This will ultimately benefit our customers who order or have ordered one of our vehicles.”

    The EV duo—along with a number of variants including truck versions of both models—are aimed at sales in Europe, with European urban distances certainly bound to help the real-world usability of both models. ElectricBrands isn’t contemplating sales stateside just yet, though the delivery versions of the XBus and the Evetta look like they could be popular with small businesses.

    Could one or both of these EVs interest vehicle buyers in the US, or are both vehicles’ ranges too modest? Let us know your thoughts.


    Jay Ramey grew up around very strange European cars, and instead of seeking out something reliable and comfortable for his own personal use he has been drawn to the more adventurous side of the dependability spectrum.

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