10 May 2021
A Q&A with the XEV Designers – Part 1
XEV is an electric car maker focused on creating innovative and sustainable solutions for modern urban life. The YOYO is the first car from XEV and offers a unique approach to sustainable and individual mobility. Its all-electric drivetrain provides a range of 150km on a single charge with a top speed of 80kmh. It also allows for multiple charging options from simple plug-in charging to XEV’s innovative Battery Swapping System. This unique solution allows for a fresh set of fully charged batteries to be installed in a matter of minutes and gives you unparalleled freedom and flexibility.
The YOYO also takes a modern approach to comfort and convenience with air conditioning, a panoramic roof and keyless entry as standard. There is also a dedicated YOYO app that gives you the ability to keep track and interact with the vehicle from wherever you are.
But innovation and technical ability only tell half the story. A large part of the YOYOs appeal lies in its striking design, so for the launch we asked our designers, Ian Gray and Adva Yogev, to share their personal insights into the creation and development of the YOYO to better understand what makes it so unique.
How did the Yoyo project start?
IG: The Yoyo began with just a few people in our Turin studio. We started with the idea of creating a vehicle that could be highly adaptable to individual tastes whilst being cheaper to produce and buy than traditional cars. We also felt that because of the global shift towards city living and the subsequent increase in congestion and pollution, that making a vehicle specifically designed to address and improve those issues would be the right thing to do.
AY: Placing people at the centre of our thinking and giving them the power to choose, really was core to how we approached the idea of what the Yoyo might be and how we might achieve it. We identified 3 main targets of environment, convenience and individuality and worked on refining the ideas.
What were the design objectives with the Yoyo?
IG: The first goal was to make something distinctive and immediately recognizable. Beyond that we also wanted to create something that reflected the technology and placed a strong focus on the individual as that was a huge part of the Yoyos concept. In fact, that’s how we came up with the large octagonal of the side window and many of the details. This approach is also the reason for the Yoyos characterful shape as with no engine and associated parts, we were free to push the volumes and create a new identity.
AY: With the interior we wanted to maximise the space and create an inviting and light environment that lightens your mood. We made the dashboard quite minimal and designed it to ‘float’ above the floor, opening up the cabin and boosting the perception of space. This was possible thanks to the car being electric and not having a central tunnel taking up space so just like the exterior, the interior has benefitted and made the most from the technology.
What was your process when designing the yoyo?
IG: Despite our modern approach and technology, the process was largely quite traditional! We started with sketches and renderings and developed them with both digital and physical models. The unique aspect of our development came thanks the use of 3d printing which allowed use to be freer and more creative from an early stage.
AY: Not being confined to the established technologies gave us the opportunity to approach the design from a more open-minded perspective and thanks to this we were able to find solutions that gave us new directions for the Yoyo.
Did you have a target customer in mind when designing the yoyo?
IG: Not exactly, we never sat down and thought ‘lets go for this demographic’. This was mainly because we were creating a flexible design system that could be tailored to suit a much wider audience. Just going after one group would have gone against the ethos of the project.
AY: We were always intent on giving the car a youthful feeling but in a way that doesn’t exclude or alienate people. We just wanted to appeal to people who wanted a modern, individual product in their everyday lives.