There’s nothing more frustrating than driving around in circles in a busy city, searching for a large enough space to park your car. Nevertheless, a new vehicle is coming to the market that promises to solve this very issue. It drives like a car, maneuvers like a motorcycle and shrinks to fit in the tightest of spaces.
The City Transformer, also known as the CT-1, is an all-electric two-seat microcar. It’s turning heads across the automotive industry – and for good reason. The CT-1’s proprietary retractable chassis technology allows the vehicle to “fold” from its full size 1.4-meter width down to a compact 1-meter wide, and it can do all that while in motion.
This new mobility concept is the brainchild of the eponymous Israeli mobility startup City Transformer, which set out to create a solution for tackling congestion, limited parking spaces and pollution.
“City Transformer brings all the comfort and convenience of a car with the added benefit of being able to ride and park like a motorcycle,” explained Asaf Formoza, CEO of City Transformer. “The vehicle we’ve developed today brings to life the vision of what smart urban mobility could – and should – be like. Out on the road, it drives like a car and then when you enter an urban area, it transforms into city mode, driving at a limited speed and shrinking to just one meter wide.”
City Transformer hopes its concept will help to change urban life as we know it for the better and open the door for greener, cleaner and less congested cities. The CT-1 brings additional value to potential owners as well. Despite its small battery pack, which weighs around 75% lighter than regular electric vehicle batteries, the CT-1 has a 180-kilometer range and can recharge to 80% in 30 minutes. With 50% fewer parts than a standard electric vehicle (EV), it’s more efficient to run and more affordable to buy.
“We’re targeting the CT-1 at multiple users that would benefit from a compact EV, covering everyone from first responders to delivery drivers and commuters,” Formoza said.
City Transformer has set its sights on launching the vehicle to the European market. As it ramps up product development, the company needed a powerful product lifecycle management platform to streamline its processes and enable seamless collaboration between all its disciplines as well as its growing partner network. City Transformer’s long-term technology partner Systematics understood its needs and demonstrated how the 3DEXPERIENCE Cloud platform could help.
Launching an innovative product such as the CT-1 is no easy task, especially for a young startup. Having industry-leading technology like the 3DEXPERIENCE Cloud platform gives us the rich functionality we need.
City Transformer’s decision to use the 3DEXPERIENCE platform was a natural choice. Its first prototype was fully designed and manufactured by a German subcontractor in CATIA V5. As the company develops its own in-house engineering expertise, it needed a powerful design tool and strong collaboration capabilities. The technology also needed to be able to scale with the business. Today, the 3DEXPERIENCE Cloud platform sits at the heart of City Transformer’s product development strategy.
“We’re a startup and we recognize that if we’re to succeed, we need the right people and technology behind us,” Formoza said. “Systematics has become a very close partner and is here to support us every step of the way. Working with them, we’re beginning to use the 3DEXPERIENCE Cloud platform to support all our processes. The cloud is definitely the best fit for us as we don’t have to worry about maintaining a server infrastructure and we can securely connect to the platform from wherever. As our requirements grow, we know we have on-demand access to all the tools we’ll need.”
The company works with an extensive partner network that will support City Transformer in all aspects of design and engineering in preparation of full market launch.
“With the 3DEXPERIENCE Cloud platform and CATIA, we’re speaking the same language as the larger industry players that will help us to bring the vehicle to market,” Formoza said. “As a startup, it’s a great differentiator to be able to choose any supplier around the world because of the multi-CAD integrations with the platform. We know that we can all work together within a common environment.”
The CT-1’s unique modular skateboard architecture is what allows the vehicle’s wheels and chassis to shrink down to just one-meter wide. This pioneering concept has been brought to life by a global team of engineers.
“Launching an innovative product such as the CT-1 is no easy task, especially for a young startup like us,” Formoza said. “But having industry-leading technology like CATIA on the 3DEXPERIENCE Cloud platform gives us the rich functionality we need to design electrical, mechanical and software parts, and collaborate with different engineers in different locations with access to a complete history of all design changes. It enables to work with the best talent in the industry.”
City Transformer’s first iteration of the CT-1 was designed in CATIA V5. The company has now transferred all design data to the 3DEXPERIENCE Cloud platform to develop its model on the latest version.
As it progresses towards the production stage, City Transformer takes advantage of SIMULIA to see how the vehicle will operate and iron out any design issues. The company will then use DELMIA to virtually plan and optimize its production and assembly lines.
“When you’re planning an assembly line, it makes so much more sense to do it all virtually first,” Formoza said. “That way, we can reconfigure and test it as many times as we need to determine the best approach. It will save us time, energy and money.”
Work is now underway on refining and optimizing the CT-1 so it’s ready for series production in 2024. For Formoza, it’s essential to have the 3DEXPERIENCE Cloud platform in place as the backbone for its rapidly expanding and increasingly complex operations and to successfully manage the process from design to engineering to production.
As City Transformer continues to tap into the 3DEXPERIENCE platform’s full potential, Formoza looks forward to seeing how much more the company can achieve.
“Ultimately, this is all about empowering people,” Formoza said. “We’re doing this magic which will change the way we commute, but we need the people to drive that change and a platform that facilitates us to work as effectively together as possible. That’s what the 3DEXPERIENCE Cloud platform delivers.”
Founded in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2014, City Transformer is a unique auto-tech company that designs, develops and produces innovative foldable smart electric vehicles for big international cities. The company’s first product – the CT-1 – is a pioneering all-electric emission-free microcar that dramatically reduces traffic chaos in metropolitan areas. ‘Mobility as a service’ is the ethos that underpins City Transformer. It is this vision that will start the revolution in intelligent, clean and efficient mobility, offering road users a new sense of sustainable freedom.
Systematics is a technology company that delivers and integrates solutions for digital transformation in the areas of science, engineering and manufacturing. The company serves over 3,500 customers from all sectors of the Israeli economy. Technologies marketed, distributed and supported by Systematics include: Geographic information systems (GIS), computer-aided design and product lifecycle management systems (3D CAD/PLM), tools for technical and scientific computing (MATLAB & Simulink) and three-dimensional (3D) printing technologies.