IT is designed to flit passengers across the city swiftly and efficiently while cutting down congestion and pollution from traffic fumes.

It also stacks together like a shopping trolley to save space, runs on electricity, and can be linked together to traverse the road like a train.

Researchers have unveiled what some have dubbed the future of city-centre transport in the form of the 'Esprit' mobility system, a leading project in the European Commission’s Green Vehicles scheme.

Designed partly by scientists at the University of Aberdeen, the a prototype of the vehicle was put through its paces in Glasgow to demonstrate how the concept would work.

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Each Esprit vehicles can hit a top speed of around 30mph and have a range of around 50 kilometres.

The purpose built, lightweight, ‘L’ category electrical vehicles are designed for short journeys in areas of high population.

Similar to some city bike schemes, users would pick them up at charging stations and drop them off at one near their destination, allowing the battery to recharge.

Tp save space, the cars can be stacked together like shopping trolleys to save space, or driven in a road train when multiple people are heading to the same location. 

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Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said:  “It’s exciting to see innovation in the area of sustainable transport from ESPRIT. To achieve the greener, smarter transformation in travel and transport that the Scottish Government will deliver, car sharing solutions have an important role to play.

“Alongside walking, cycling and public transport, developments in car, lift and bike sharing can only further sustainable travel options by providing viable alternatives to single occupancy car journeys across Scotland.”


Aberdeen University's Dr Richard Mounce, speaking on behalf of the ESPRIT consortium, added: “Transportation to and from city-centres and within suburban areas is increasingly unsatisfactory in terms of congestion, environmental and societal aspects.

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"Solutions to reduce this congestion and pollution must be explored seriously for the benefit of society now and in the future.  The ESPRIT concept would contribute to the solution to these problems.”

“It is anticipated that this concept will encourage citizens to use conventional public transport and car sharing solutions rather than their private vehicles, leading to seamless intermodal transport, reduced congestion and significant reduction of noise and air pollution.”