If you read last week’s Transportation Tuesday, you might be doing a double take – after all, we are featuring another ultra-thin, super cool looking, three wheel vehicle. Last week was the electric Smera. This week’s sleek ride is the distinguished CLEVER concept – a 3 feet wide vehicle that runs on compressed natural gas and is perfect for urban driving.

The CLEVER was designed by the Technical University of Berlin, which together with a number of partners, including BMW, wanted to develop a type of vehicle that would be suitable for urban use. The result was a low emissions, three wheeled, two person vehicle that can tilt around corners, and look quite stylish doing it.

The CLEVER, which stands for compact low emission vehicle for urban transport, is 3 meters long and 1 meter wide. It weighs less than 400kg, and combined with the fact that it is powered by natural gas, will give you around 60g/km (compared to 100 g/km for a small vehicle). The top speed is 100kph, and it has an acceleration of 0-60kph in about 7 seconds.

Unlike the Smera, the CLEVER is unlikely to go into production any time soon, as it was intended to be more of an exploratory model, rather than a full solution. We’re definitely hoping that some of the research in this design shows up in some form or another soon.

+ CLEVER Project


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  1. manujarch June 18, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Looks like Indian Auto rickshaws-but ergonomically and technically far ahead.

  2. Alex-in-France June 18, 2008 at 4:38 am

    Yet another delta trike oncept with sophisticated and expensive tilting mechanism – and yet another lost opportunity IMHO. Why? because it\\\’ll be too expensive.

    Lets look at the average car for a second, yes it might spend a lot of its time with only one user, BUT there will be times when it\\\’s got 3 or more people inside, or it\\\’s full of shopping, or luggage or whatever. Now lets\\\’ look at the average car owner, they buy a car they like and they\\\’ll pay a reasonable amout of money for it, they like the choice, the freedom and the ready availability of it sitting on their drive. The cars full of CDs, sweets, kids\\\’ stuff old junk etc.

    Now we all want to stop them using that for their commute maybe, for the time when there\\\’s just one person inside it, We\\\’d all like to see our cities full of single person low emission low space vehicles like this one, BUT if we charge them as much as a car to own one, they\\\’ll go and buy a car like the above mentioned Toyota or Honda or whatever. WHY? because it\\\’s more practical and better value for money. This vehicle like so many before it becomes a rich boy\\\’s plaything.

    If you really want to get people into glorified bubblecars you have to look at why they did it last time. BECAUSE THEY WERE CHEAP!!!

    So to steal a line for Pepsi – REDUCE TO THE MAX. Get rid of the tilt, make it a tadpole (two wheels at the front) trike for greater stability so it doesn\\\’t need to tilt. ditch the fancy and costly technology. The aim should be to build something that competes far more with those little 125cc scooters with a correspondinly low price point. I\\\’m sure if they can sell a Chinese built 125cc scooter in Europe for €1200 then they could build and sell a modern bubble car for under the €2000 price point. And then maybe you\\\’ll get people to actually buy one.

  3. Floyd Bogart June 17, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Love these posts about new and innovative vehicles.

  4. bluezephyr June 17, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Extremely cool. But like so many of these concept vehicles, like the Lumeneo Smera EV, unlikely IMHO to be widely purchased because they’re:

    1. Too expensive.
    2. Relatively unsafe. Would you feel comfortable if your child was driving 60 mph in this thing?
    3. Withou a track record. How about replacement parts? How about parts 5 years from now?

    I’m all for imagining and creating a new way to get around, see value in brainstorming such ideas, and believe that such ideas may lead to great changes WAY down the road. If that’s the goal here, that’s fine.

    But the endless parade of cool but impractical vehicles is starting to depress me because
    I don’t think it’s very helpful right now.

    We have things like the Honda Fit and the Toyota Yaris. IMHO it would be beneficial to focus some of our energy on adapting such “boring” vehicles into something electric. Then you’ve got a reputable name and a familiar product form that might actually have a chance at widespread acceptance.

  5. Chas June 17, 2008 at 10:57 am

    this car is a rip offf of the European Carver 3 wheeled tilt vehicle.
    The Carver company has an American counterpart which is developing a hybrid/electric vehicle called “Venture One”.

    I don’t believe that BMW to be in the business of stealing technology so I hope there is a deal behind the scenes with Carver

  6. BlueBerry June 17, 2008 at 10:51 am

    I wonder how many mpg this thing could get with a Prius type engine/battery.

  7. EHDorsey June 17, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Please, is a hard copy of venture one vehicles
    see it by yourself, what do you think?

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