Norwegian start-up Fresco Motors has given its closest look yet at the all-electric XL POD it claims will seat eight people, run 1,000 km on a single charge, and offer “unadulterated power.”
The Norwegian start-up announced in mid-January that its new all-electric vehicle would be unveiled in February, emphasizing that the model would feature a “minimalistic and Norwegian design”, one that is “highly futuristic”. Such has certainly proven the case, with the XL a stark contrast to its previous concept, a five-seater limousine.
Founded in 2017, and named in honour of American futurist Jacque Fresco who passed away the same year, Fresco Motors unveiled the ‘Reverie’ sedan concept in 2019. The luxury, though still affordable, sedan featured an aggressive design inspired by the Vikings, wireless charging panels on the underside of the vehicle – a concept that draws parallels with the “charging robot” Continental Tires plans to put into production in 2024 – and a reserve power bank intriguingly called the ‘electric jerrycan’. Interest was apparently high enough for Fresco to confirm in January 2020 that 3,000 reserve orders had been placed.
The Reverie though now appears to have been scrapped, with Fresco citing the Covid-19 pandemic as a contributory factor and suggesting its new direction, one that focuses more on aerodynamic design and efficiency rather than tradition and luxury, will be “a breath of fresh air.”
“After a long and uncertain period because of the global pandemic, people from all over the world have experienced quite trying times that have been filled with negativity,” Fresco CEO Espen Kvalvik explains in an official statement. “As things are moving back to normal, we are happy to announce that we have chosen to unveil our extraordinary EV and our positive vision for the company’s future.”
“Using broad strokes, we have a grandiose vision of creating a sustainable future for all,” COO Adrian Kristofer Locklindh continues. “We are working on achieving that through selling environmentally friendly solutions, and we are starting by offering an extra-large electric POD. It’s such an exciting time for us, and we have the utmost confidence that consumers will absolutely love this vehicle.”
Notable elements of the pod-like design from Kvalvik include an elongated panoramic roof and full-width lightbars at the front and rear. “Aerodynamic rims” are also set to be included.
Few technical or performance details have been provided so far – the Reverie’s purported 300 km/h top speed also appears to have been abandoned – but Fresco has confirmed that the XL will feature enough space for eight passengers and an electric motor on both axles delivering all-wheel drive, potentially making the behemoth “off-road capable” as well.
The structural battery cells meanwhile – the size of which, again, is unconfirmed – will be sufficient enough to produce “a driving range of approximately 1,000 km per charge” and even act as a back-up energy supplier or temporary portable home.
“In case you need some additional energy, hook up your Fresco XL to your house or cabin,” Locklindh continues. “Due to its rather large battery pack, it would essentially work as a backup unit, and as the Fresco XL is such an extra-large vehicle, you can quite easily use it for camping and road trips. All you need to do is pull down the seats to create a flat surface, put in your bedding and use it as a camper.”
Having opted against internal development to save both time and money, Fresco states that the technical componentry at the heart of the XL will be provided by “well-known suppliers.”