The Designboom website is hosting a concept competition with French automaker Renault called “Renault 4 Ever” where contestants submit their ideas for updated versions of the manufacturer’s R4 model, which first debuted in 1961. According to the blog, over 3,000 designs were submitted, but only 50 have been shortlisted for the final round of competition.
Once of the finalist designs, called the Renault 4Lectric from French designer Charlie Nghiem, is particularly eye-catching with its combination of solar power and a dual battery system that works with a driver’s home and work space to cycle energy.
Solar films on the windows on the roof of the car, seen in the image above, power two batteries inside the car, one of which is used primarily to propel the electric vehicle, while the second is used as a socially shared battery that connects to electrical systems installed at homes and places of work via the smart grid.
The cyclical energy idea is novel, and the car’s upgraded yet traditional look is sharp, but it will still be a few more days before Nghiem will know if he’s a winner of one of the three prizes from the competition. The top prize is a Renault R4 that was driven in the 2011 Monte Carlo Rally, a car that can apparently be sold for around $20,000.