German auto manufacturer Opel has designed a vehicle with an unlikely target market: Not just urban denizens seeking more mobility, but also "Youngsters from 15 years of age." Those teens with Germany's AM license--essentially a scooter license--can legally drive the Opel Rocks-e, which they're billing as an SUM (Sustainable Urban Mobility) vehicle.
They also appear to be targeting those who might commute by bike, pointing out the SUM will keep you out of wind and rain, while supporting "the mobility needs of young people, especially for the way to school or place of study," the company writes. "The new Opel Rocks-e is perfectly suited for this job."
This SUM is diminutive; the company describes it as "2.41 meters short" (less than 8 feet) and 1.39 meters wide (4.6 feet). The battery-powered two-seater tops out at 45 km/h (28 MPH) and has a range of 75 km (47 miles). It takes 3.5 hours to charge on a standard household socket.
Strangely, the driver's and passenger's doors are not mirror images of each other, but are identical. This means that the passenger door is hinged on the right and opens in the conventional manner. The driver's door is also hinged on the right, and thus opens in the "suicide" configuration.
I can only imagine that was done to save on cost; Opel says the Rocks-e is a vehicle "nearly any driver can afford, from young beginners to urban commuters. The entry-level price for the new Opel Rocks-e in Germany will be clearly less than for a small car and the monthly leasing cost will be similar to that of a ticket for local public transportation."
The price hasn't yet been announced, but ought to be soon; the Rocks-e is scheduled to launch in Europe this Fall.