‘A game changer’: Israel-based firm’s foldable electric car to hit roads in July

City Transformer’s $17,400 CT-2 aims to transform urban travel; constructed from sustainable materials, running on a smaller battery, innovative vehicle leaves a minimal footprint

Michael Horovitz is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel

City Transformer's foldable electric vehicle (City Trasnformer)
City Transformer's foldable electric vehicle (City Trasnformer)

Israel-based startup City Transformer’s foldable electric vehicle will be released to the public in July, as the company hopes to revolutionize the urban commute, the company announced.

City Transformer, founded in 2014 and based in the central Israel moshav of Kfar Netter, sought to ease traffic jams by creating a car with a patent-registered folding mechanism that can contract the wheelbase down to just one meter (39 inches) wide for easy parking or maneuvering through traffic. Inside, there is room for a driver and another adult, sitting in tandem. Alternatively, the passenger seat can take two children. The cabin does not shrink or change shape as the wheelbase narrows.

Its second version, the CT-2, can hit a top speed of 40 kilometers per hour (24 miles per hour) in the smallest mode and can expand to 1.4 meters (4.6 feet), in which it can reach 90 km/h (55 mph), making it suitable for traversing tightly packed cities, but less applicable to long-haul travel.

It can reach 50 km/h in five seconds, and travel at a range of 120-180 kilometers (75-112 miles) before requiring a recharge.

The vehicle is available for pre-order worldwide with a deposit of 150 euros ($160), while the purchase price stands at 16,000 euros ($17,400).

“In the bustling realm of urban mobility, CityTransformer emerges as a pioneer, challenging conventions and reshaping the way we perceive cars and their impact on the world. At the core of this transformative journey lies a passionate commitment to integrating sustainable materials into their innovative designs,” the company said on its website Monday.

According to the website, the firm is focused on providing a sustainable alternative to cars, utilizing environmentally friendly materials, and aiming to “leave a gentler footprint on the planet.” The vehicle is twice as energy efficient as a conventional car, with a battery 70 percent lighter than other electric vehicles.

“CityTransformer explores the marvels of natural fibers, recycled elements, and eco-friendly composites, harnessing nature’s ingenious solutions to create vehicles that are as efficient as they are environmentally conscious,” it said.

The CT-2, a foldable electric vehicle by Israel-based firm City Transformer. (City Transformer)

“In this challenging process, I have brought with me not only the inspirational experience I had in companies like IDEO, Volvo and Skoda, but also the love and passion for the art of miniaturization. Especially in its most clanging and extrema condition,” the firm’s Chief Design Officer Eyal Cremer said.

“These unconventional proportions were driven by the need for efficient packaging. We faced the question of how to reduce the dimensions of a vehicle by 75% without compromising driver comfort and usability. Meticulous design became the answer. Each component has been thoughtfully positioned to maximize ergonomics and ensure efficient use of space,” he added.

“CT-2 will be a game changer, not only in mobility, but also in all aspects of urban community life. It will free our time, free our minds and free our cities, reclaiming their public space back to people.”

In 2021, the company announced a partnership with the emergency medical response organization United Hatzalah to incorporate their vehicles into the organization’s fleet.

According to the deal, a total of 1,000 City Transformer CT-1 units will be placed in various cities in Israel and will allow United Hatzalah’s network of volunteers to quickly locate one of the cars and use it to respond to medical emergencies in their vicinity.

Ricky Ben-David contributed to this report.

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