Israel’s incredible shrinking car heads to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange

City Transformer’s shape-shifting CT-1 car can narrow its wheelbase for parking; company hopes to gain European certification

An illustration of a City Transformer vehicle (Courtesy)
An illustration of a City Transformer vehicle (Courtesy)

City Transformer, the Israeli company behind a car that can shrink in size to squeeze into parking spots, announced Sunday that it is heading to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange at the beginning of March.

An initial public offering is scheduled for the beginning of the second quarter of 2021, with a company value of NIS 450-600 million ($137-183 million), it said in a statement.

The company said that so far it has raised NIS 35 million ($10 million) in funding, including grants from the Energy Ministry and the Israel Innovation Authority, a government body that stimulates industrial research and development.

Its CT-1 electric car is 2.49 meters long (8.2 feet) and 1.4 meters wide but can contract its wheelbase down to just one meter 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.

City Transformer said it hopes to gain European certification for the CT-1 by the end of the year and that the first examples of the size-changing car will be on the Israeli roads in 2022. Israel follows European certification standards for vehicles and the CT-1 is seeking qualification as a quadricycle, “a category that eases the company’s quick entry into the European market,” company CEO Asaf Formoza said in a statement.

The vehicle runs up to 45 kilometers an hour (28 mph) in its narrow mode and up to 90 kph when wide. It remains a static length, and can go 100-150 kilometers (62-93 miles) on a single charge.

City Transformer claims four of its CT-1s can fit into the parking space of a regular vehicle.

Screen capture from video of Asaf Formoza, CEO of City Transformer. (YouTube)

“Billions of people living and working in the city will be given a new alternative of effective and green mobility: one that combines the safety and comfort benefits of driving a car, with the benefits of parking, maneuvering and the savings of using a motorcycle,” Formoza said. “This, without the existing shortcomings of the car and motorcycle.”

The first vehicles produced will be made by Germany’s Roding Automobile. Most of the future production will also be done by a third party.

The CT-1 was named in the 2020 annual list of TIME magazine’s 100 Best Inventions “that are changing the way we live, work, play and think about what’s possible.”

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