Move over, Tesla. One of the most innovative EVs appearing this year comes not from Silicon Valley, but from another renowned bastion of infallible automotive engineering: France.
After puzzling automotive journalists with a promise to build “yesterday’s future tomorrow” on a mysterious teaser page, the French startup Edison Destiny today revealed that tomorrow – and by logical inference yesterday – has arrived. The all-wheel drive ZZero1 promises to disrupt the disruptors with a unique mix of features never before seen suitable to put in a car.
The family-friendly CUV features a lounge-like interior with a panoramic glass floor, leather-sheathed batteries that double as seats, and a motion-based infotainment system developed jointly with worldwide gaming console leader Nintendo. To keep hackers out of its braking and power systems, which are always on, completely unencrypted, and connected to the Internet, the ZZero1 comes with a 90-day free trial of Norton AntiVirus.
“Like a drop of Champagne in a sea of still water, the Vehicle literally changes the chemistry of the world around it.”
“The Model ZZero1 is unlike any automobile in the world, because it’s the only one made by Edison Destiny,” company founder Arhan D. Watts told Digital Trends. “Like a drop of Champagne in a sea of still water, the Vehicle literally changes the chemistry of the world around it, harnessing the power of nature itself in pursuit of driving nirvana.”
Watts — a South African entrepreneur with experience in the fashion and artificial intelligence industries — shrugged off suggestions that the ZZero1 looks suspiciously similar to the Mercedes-Benz GLA, pointing out that Edison Destiny’s design language is “fluid, like patent interpretation” and “inspired by the DNA of its ancestors.”
Two versions of the seven-seat ZZero1 will be offered when the vehicle comes to market, including the flagship model shown above and an entry-level “VR” option to come later. This innovative budget model strips the interior completely bare in favor of handheld Google Cardboard units, which stream high-res interior images directly into the eyeballs of the occupants.
“It’s almost as good as the real thing,” Watts explained, “because it almost is.”
According to the brand, infotainment menus can be navigated with Wii-style motion controllers as well as touch and voice commands, but if your passengers are getting restless, an industry-first embedded gaming platform with Super Mario World and 14 different Pokémon simulators will help them Catch ’em all (TM) — all day long. A Pikachu-themed version of Wii Tennis is available as well, but for safety reasons, it can only be accessed at speeds below 65 mph.
“So long as the wind blows in France and the dolphins are singing, the ZZero1 will have power.”
While other EVs indiscriminately use electricity generated by coal or nuclear facilities, ZZero1 sources its watts selectively. Electric motors mounted in each of the EV’s 50-spoke wheels glean power from two renewable sources: an offshore wind farm in France, and a bank of beautiful purebred bottlenose dolphins, whose vocal projections are converted into useable energy by the automaker’s patented Destiny Intermix Generator. Watts from both sources are then wirelessly transmitted directly to the vehicle via a network of repurposed Soviet satellites.
“It’s like I always say — so long as the wind blows in France and the dolphins are singing, the ZZero1 will have power,” Watts exclaimed. “We use no fossil fuels in the Vehicle at all, not to help us, but to help heal the world. We’re trying to build a better home for our children. Yesterday, tomorrow, and soon, today.”
If you go out of satellite range, you can get a little help from man’s best friend. For an extra charge, a segment-first canine treadmill generator can be fastened to the back, trickling humanely produced energy back into the lithium-ion battery packs.
“Simply drop a small- or medium-sized dog — either four Corgis or one Basset Hound — on the treadmill, attach the leash to one of the rear grab handles, put your favorite dog food in a special container, and enjoy countless miles of emissions-free driving,” reads the press release. “The navigation system comes pre-programmed with directions to the nearest animal shelter when low on power.”
Pricing and other technical details for the ZZero1 will be revealed closer to the vehicle’s on-sale date … and if you haven’t figured it out by now, that is obviously never.