Firefly – Now Every Kid Can DriveAuto News
Firefly, not to be confused with the local airline company, is the world’s first electric car specifically developed for 5- to 10-year olds, fully designed and built in the U.K. by Young Driver Motor Cars Limited.
Young Driver Motor Cars Limited is a division of Young Driver, the U.K.’s largest provider of driving lessons for children aged 10-17. The idea for the Firefly car came about when Young Driver felt there was a need for a proper training vehicle for under-10-year-olds that wasn’t simply a toy.
But wait, an electric car for children aged five to ten… this is nothing new one might say. Here’s a list of what sets the Firefly apart from a ‘toy car’ one could buy at Toys”R”Us:
- Independent suspension
- Adjustable driver’s seat
- Fixed passenger seat
- Hydraulic disc brakes, accelerator and forward/reverse control
- Indicators and side repeaters
- LED headlights and tail lights
- Twin electric motors with up to 9-hour continual operation capability
- Twin 12v batteries with 240v charger
- Tablet based instruments including speedometer, clock and power reserve indicator
- Unique and patented safety system that brings the car to a halt before collision (in reverse or forward drive) whilst in Junior mode
- The ability to stop the car by remote control from 120 metres
- GRP or carbon fibre body
The Firefly is the brainchild from a team of UK automotive experts, led by veteran car designer Chris Johnson - previously with Jaguar, Ford and Volvo. A pre-production prototype was first unveiled in April of this year at Gadget Show Live, since then, continual tuning and development efforts aim to make the Firefly handle and drive like a full-sized car.
The Firefly’s electric drivetrain featured two drive modes, 'Junior', which limits top speed to 8km/h, and 'Experienced', which allows a top speed of 16km/h. The car is offered with an optional safety system that uses a network of sensors to halt the car when it detects obstacles – in forward or reverse directions.
The Firefly is also offered with a range of customisation options which include bespoke paint colours and combinations, individual badging and instruments, upholstered leather seats and steering wheel, wireless tyre pressure indicators and in-car audio.
The first Firefly cars are expected to go on sale (worldwide) in 2017 at an expected price of GBP5,750, or if you’re in the U.K., GBP19.95 buys a 20-minute session for your 5- to 10-year old.
GBP5,750, when converted, also gives you a wide range of choices on Carlist.my.