Meet Ben, The Electric Vehicle That’s All in The Family

Toyota may have a campaign going right now to show the world how much you love your Civic, but Rob Thornham, a Masters in Design student, thinks the real key to long-term car love (and less waste in the world’s junkyards) is making it a member of your family–right down to the surname.

Meet Ben, the little electric concept car (which comes to us via Tuvie). He’s not a fashion statement that’s meant to express your changing mood or station in life; he’s the car you keep and care for until the end of his natural life, or perhaps pass on to family members. When you “adopt” Ben, you give him your surname. Assuming, as the designer does, that the names we give the objects in our lives affect our relationship to them, including our sense of attachment.


image via Tuvie

Of course, there’s plenty of cute little eco-car goodness to get attached to, as well. Ben is a smaller sized vehicle than a Fiat 500, holds space for four adults and was designed for an urban environment. It also sports a 300V lithium-ion battery responsible for powering two Michelin active-wheel hub motors creating a combined engine with 81 horsepower.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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