nFrontier 3D Printed Hybrid EV Requires No Drivers License
Yes, the EV zeitgeist is taking us in some unexpected directions. In that vein, nFrontier’s insane-looking UILA hybrid is just one such example. It uses an electric motor, but the source generating the power is you. That’s because it is pedal-powered, so that also means it is technically a bike. So you don’t need a driver’s license.
Stratasys uses its technology chops for prototype development as well as incorporating 3D printing into the production of the commuter. “UILA is our response to some of the most pressing challenges of our time such as climate change and the current energy crisis,” nFrontier CEO Daniel Buening told Designboom. “UILA is not only radically changing the way we are commuting, but also provides a truly sustainable, game-changing mobility solution. At the same time, it delivers a feature set of digital functions and assets far exceeding current bicycle industry standards.
“We are proud to unveil UILA together with our partner Stratasys. Their technologies have been at the core of our prototype development and will be a key part of our production process.”
How fast is the UILA EV?
But don’t let the pedal power turn you off. nFrontier says the EV can easily reach speeds of 45 mph with its chainless drivetrain. It can carry over 500 lbs of payload, too. So it will work perfectly with those last-mile deliveries. It can handle two passengers and runs on four wheels, in case those odd spats confused you.
The advantages of a bicycle are more than just protection from the elements. It features a modern infotainment system with BYOD smartphone compatibility. Drivers can also control their functions through their smartphones to have them meet or follow the driver autonomously. So it takes simple commands like “come to me” or “follow me.”
Why is UILA 3D printed?
Because much of its relatively flat body sections are 3D printed, they are available on demand. This cuts down storing and shipping responsibilities, and adds to its sustainability virtues. There is no supply chain and no transportation emissions.
“UILA is a perfect example of the innovation we seek to nurture, leveraging additive manufacturing across the entire product development process from design to production to bring a disruptive and more sustainable product to market,” Stratasys president Andreas Langfield says. “It’s great to see how nFrontier has been utilizing our FDM technology to its full potential while also designing UILA to take full advantage of production-scale 3D printing as they move to commercialization.’
Everything and anything is possible right now with technology on numerous fronts ramping up. While UILA is a bit shocking to look at, you can see its potential and the boxes it checks off. It is currently being developed in Berlin and is set for production and German registration by 2024.