In the modern era, cars are meant to do much more than just travel from point A to point B. Consumers want comfort, efficiency and sustainable design. Heatherwick Studio’s concept electric car, Airo, covers all three. Designed for car brand IM Motors, Airo was revealed at the recent Shanghai Motor Show and is a concept that offers an all-electric design, resulting in zero emissions. Taking it one step further, Airo is equipped with advanced HEPA filter technology that actually filters air as it runs beneath the car.
Thomas Heatherwick, founder of Heatherwick Studio said, “Airo isn’t simply another electric car that doesn’t pollute the air. Instead, using the latest HEPA-filter technology, it goes further by also vacuuming-up pollutants from other cars as it drives along.”
In addition to cleaning pollutants from the air, Airo pushes the boundaries of how a car is equipped by providing a customizable interior design. Small yet luxurious, this car caters to a life on the road. The front seats rotate to face the rear, and a collapsible table for dining or playing games can connect the spaces. Even without the table, this area can be used as a lounge. There’s also the option to play games on the foldaway screen or convert the contoured seats into a double bed. Privacy isn’t an issue with the latest technology in glass that allows the fully glazed roof to turn opaque on command.
Airo isn’t the first vehicle designed by Heatherwick Studio, which has previously developed a London city bus and a tourist boat. However, this is the first car the team has put together, and it’s set to hit the production line in 2023.
In addition to the Airo, which offers autonomous or driver-controlled options, Heatherwick Studio designed a charging station that could soon be seen throughout cities. The charging ports are designed to last, being built from durable industrial materials and incorporating a retractable wire for tidy storage.
“Transportation and mobility are not only going through a technological revolution but also a social one,” Stuart Wood, partner and group leader at Heatherwick Studio, said. “There’s a new ethically conscious generation who expect a car to do so much more than just offer transportation from one place to another; they want a device that fulfils and expands upon their functional needs and meets their values. Until now, the functionality of a car has been narrowly defined as a fuel and space guzzling luxury that none of us can afford to continue. We conceived Airo to re-imagine the lifestyle-car-environment balance.”
Images via Heatherwick Studio