Flowers in the Garden of the Teapot Cars




Swedish teapot cars.


Now these may look like Messerschmitts from back in the day, but apparently (when they finally get them going) you’ll be able to upload your own images which will be utterly brilliant because I’ll be able to put my face on them, to match my wallpaper.

Or maybe I’ll use the same design philosophy that I used for my custom swearbot from last year.


God I can’t wait for the future. It’s going to be so great that I’m going to have to spend the whole time having a nice quiet lie down to recover. I’ll have to wear shades.

Anyway, enough about that.

Someone, somewhere else has made a teapot car that looks a bit like those Dutch bike ones tow a solar trailer and a windmill, and they’re attempting to go round the world with it


… which is like taking the scenic route to staying exactly where you are. Waste of time… but not a waste of petrol.

I quite like this because although the solar thing on the back is pretty massive… it does keep the thing going (with some help with the windmill) all day. And most of us don’t drive all day… so it isn’t entirely inconceivable that with twice as many solar panels (the price of which are going through the floor) that we could drive about for free. Give or take a parking ticket or two (note that this design has been craftily tweaked to make it impossible to wheel-clamp)

True, the speed is probably about 2 miles an hour, and you’re practically sitting in the other guy’s pocket… but… in an urban context, the 2 miles an hour is how fast cars go anyway, and besides, maybe if cars were lighter and slower, they wouldn’t kill as many people. They’d also be a hell of a lot cheaper, which would mean you could afford them without an utterly unsustainable western cost of living.

Ok – last thing… which (again) looks suspiciously like a “concept” – a car chassis where you can built your own “rest of the car bit”


Which seems like a good idea – although the last time someone tried this, what they got was the opposite of a teapot car – in fact it did look a bit like the Ultimate Arsehole car.

The worry I have about this is that it looks like it’s built on the “one ton of glass and steel to transport an individual capable of spending $20,000” model. That ain’t where it at, I don’t think.

Part of the reason I like this,


although it IS a concept, and concepts annoy me, is that it looks like it’s made out of the same stuff that bike-frames are made out of… and it’s done in such a transparent way, that people can fix/adapt it themselves without having to spend a billion dollars on R&D.

If you took this one, tipped the props into the vertical so they became wheels, then put a shell over it like the Swedish car at the beginning, then you’d have the beginnings of a winner I think. You’d probably need a bigger power/pack and a hell of a lot more motor-gubbins, but you get the idea.

I’m not that interested in cars that are pitched at 20th Century markets. The imagination for that one has been stagnant for the last 30 years, and the whole thing has been an exercise in sustaining (the unsustainable) status-quo with incremental innovations. It’s all so Microsoft. What we need is Linux. We need to rewrite the kernal, starting with the business model.

2 Comments » for Flowers in the Garden of the Teapot Cars
  1. “It’s all so Microsoft. What we need is Linux. We need to rewrite the kernel, starting with the business model.”

    Brilliant. Again.

  2. Guillermo says:

    True, recent models seem so tacky because of it. The whole notion of a car as a living space is bullshit. I would like something that feels raw (and yeah, the helicopter thing feels that way). Actually, that’s one of the reasons why I, not only use but also, enjoy Linux.