A concept car, built upon the call for designing innovative transport solutions with a sustainable concern. The Alfa@ is a four seat gas-electric hybrid prototype made partly out of carbon fibber. The material choice allows lowering the weight of the vehicle that makes it possible to accomplish unusual fuel efficiency. The idea is to rent these electric cars to tourists in Algarve (Allgarve), as a safe, convenient, and environmentally friendly way to see the towns. This concept is focus on an important sector to the region, tourism.
In order to make best use of the efficiency of the vehicle, there are solar panels on the roof. These solar panels accumulate energy in the car batteries which can be used for short trips. If there hasn’t been enough sun to power the batteries, each passenger’s seat comes equipped with pedals that can power the vehicles generator. If there is only one passenger, or everybody is exhausted, the car can change to its small combustion engine that is capable of running on petrol or ethanol.
Each Alfa@ car comes with a touch-screen computer system mounted in the dash. Through a USB port, you can plug in a flash drive containing information on Algarve in Portuguese, Spanish, English or French. By using GPS technology, the computer keeps track of exactly where you are in the city. When you pass a certain landmark, the computer then knows to display the appropriate text, audio and video information about that landmark on the screen. The computer system is based on open source software. As with any open source software, anyone can improve and change Alfa@ 's code, as long as those improvements and changes are shared with others and correspond to an improve. There are no doors on the car; Algarve is a region of senses. There are streets where it truly smells like sea and nature and the climate is great there, in a closed car, you couldn't experience any of that. Alfa@ is an environmentally friendly transportation that positively impacts our quality of life, and health.