Car video reviews:
Volkswagen Artisan is a Mobility Device to Conquer Our Streets
Imagine for a moment that you work in New York, maybe you do. If you don’t know what New York is like, imagine that you work in L.A. or Tokyo or even Venice or Amsterdam, basically any city with tightly cramped and crowded streets. If you can't imagine that, imagine a marketplace or a mall parking lot. Just imagine. Ok, now throw one of these VW concepts into the mix.

Volkswagen Artisan is a Mobility Device to Conquer Our Streets

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What you have been looking at in the gallery is not a tank, although some of its functions could lead to that if a kooky enough person got their hands on one, but rather a complete redesign to meet a very utilitarian need.

This concept is less a car for personal transport and more a workhorse. It was designed by Mattias Granlund, an industrial design student at Umea Institute of Design, with a plumbing case study in mind. This is to say that this EV is more a toolbox or one of those golf carts that maintenance workers drive around in. No joke, this is really what she’s meant to do.

Now you must understand that carrying pipes, tools, and workers through tightly cramped alleyways like New York's Little Italy or Chinatown is quite a challenge. One solution in Stockholm has been to move plumbing services onto e-bikes, just to help workers carry necessary tools and equipment to work sites. But a bicycle can only carry so much.

Because the Artisan is designed specifically for a plumbing job, it has everything a plumber could want to cover more than one job at a time. A lot of info on the functionality of the design isn’t offered, so we’re gonna do it old-school, with our eyes.

We can tell right off the bat that she is only designed for one occupant. It’s this small size that allows her to fit through most alleyways of any tight packed city. The design is similar to other EVs we’ve seen, with a large side base for stability and narrow top. To get inside a gull-wing door is utilized and available only on one side of the car.

Underneath the door we can see an orange opening. These orange spaces throughout the vehicle signal design functionality made for one purpose or another. This one is designed for a toolbox or other small equipment. But if we look to the front of the Artisan, we can see another opening that travels the entire length of the chassis and is exposed at the rear too. This space is specifically designed to carry pipes and other long equipment.

But it’s at the rear where this V-Dub concept shines. Here we can see an entire trunk space outlined in orange, and if we look closely, we find another set of wheels. What we are looking at is a completely detachable trunk that also functions as a dolly, with more than enough room to fit all the tools you’ll ever need for any job.

Personally, I feel that the designer didn’t really go that deep into the possible applications of such a device. I could very well see this on airport strips, golf courts, or any other area where a large number of heavy equipment is used or carried. I'm a music guy myself, so I'd probably end up fitting it with some huge amps and jamming out in some parking lot. Being an EV, it leaves no emissions behind to pollute the air.


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