The Nobe is 99% nostalgia, 1% practical motoring.
There are many different ways to judge technology. In looking at the Nobe’s electric design, it successfully plays on the strings of nostalgia. Of course it is a technologically advanced three-wheel drive battery electric vehicle. Designed and made in Tallinn, Estonia.
In their mission statement, Nobe writes that they want to change people´s perceptions as well as their driving habits to finally make the electric car cool. They want to cross-wire rational analysis with emotions.
Their three-fold goal is to make the Nobe upgradeable, recyclable and sustainable, ending the disposable car. First, they want to make it easy for customers to upgrade their batteries, motor and electronics. Second, they want exterior panels to be swapable and recyclable. Third, they will never take/ send a Nobe to a scrapyard.
The Nobe features all-wheel drive. It is designed to grip the road and accelerate. Some versions are equipped with an optional M (muscle car) switch for increased power. The Nobe is equipped with dual batteries. The main battery puts power into each of the three powered wheels. A separate battery provides power for the supporting systems such as light, heat and entertainment.
When I first saw a Nobe, I found it an attractive vehicle. Since then, any thrill in the design has faded away. Of course the values expressed in the mission statement are admirable. Would I buy a Nobe? I don’t think so. Three wheels are only suitable for flatlands, Estonia or Michigan, not Norway or British Columbia.
When I look back at the 1960s, and at the height of my interest in cars, I was most interested in a white, second choice red, Triumph TR-4A. It was a road machine, suitable for the moutainous yet paved highways of British Columbia.
These days, a road machine has only limited appeal, if only because of its harsh yet functional suspension. In terms of sports cars, I am more attracted to a yellow or green Sunbeam Alpine that offered a softer ride, and more especially the 1964-5 Series IV, that featured a new rear styling, with more modest tailfins. It is pure nostalgia, a reminder that my first car was also made by Rootes Group, a Hillman Minx convertible.
I don’t have to buy a Nobe, a Triumph or an Alpine. In my dreams, I can drive any car I want, and it costs me nothing. Even the insurance, the fuel and any repairs are free. A bargain.
The Nobe 100 has the following specifications:
Vehicle class: L5e – powered trike
Chassis: Steel tubing
Suspension: GAZ Gold Pro, custom
Body: Nextene, soundproof
Main battery: 21 kwh Li-On- or 25 kwh Li-On (GT)
Mobile battery: 4 kwh Li-On- or 5 kw Li-On (GT)
Range: 260 km combined: 210 on main 21 kwh battery, 50 km on additional, portable suitcase battery, or 310 km combined: 260 km main battery + 50 km on portable with 25 kwh battery.
Top Speed: 130 km/h
Engine: Three in-wheel electric motors, combined max power 76 kw
Drive: three-wheeled drive
Weight: 590 kg
Acceleration: 0–100 km/h 5,9 sec
Nobe has two doors, three seats and on the GT version, a removable Targa hardtop. The interior has Belize veneer details and brushed steel.
Hood ornament: the Foxy Lady.