“We’re not going to be a high-volume, mass car manufacturer,” said Parson. “We can’t compete in that world. We decided to become a niche car manufacturer with 3000 cars a year tops. We knew we were going to build some exciting, futuristic, concept-looking cars that we will actually bring to the market.”
Soventem’s concepts showcase advanced levels of technology, including a new incar assistant called Lucy, which has been designed in-house.
“As you walk up to the car, Lucy will scan you and remember you. As you get close to the car, she will actually greet you in your native language. As you get in, the door closes and Lucy will engage you in a conversation to refresh you of the features she can provide,” Parson said. “We like to think that Lucy will be connected to everything.”
Parson claimed the assistant is able to detect contacts of the driver in nearby locations, such as cafes, and will request to ‘ping’ their phone to make them aware of your presence.
Soventem says its cars will be equipped with other technologies found on modern vehicles, including LED matrix lighting, a sentry mode and a degree of autonomous driving.
It also hopes to launch a new ‘tri-power’ system in 2029. Parson said this will reduce road users’ reliance on chargers and hydrogen stations by enabling the extraction of hydrogen from polluted air and converting it into electricity through a fuel-cell stack.
Parson claimed Soventem’s cars will be affordable and is confident there will be demand, adding: “Potential owners I’ve been talking to like the fact that it’s off-the-wall thinking. They like that it’s totally different to anything that’s coming to the market.” Parson expects to make a loss at the beginning of production, both in private ownership and the rental sector, but remains optimistic.
“I would say within the next five years, car-sharing sites in cities around the world will be 100% electric,” he said. “These companies will have to rethink their strategy and where they’re going to get their stock from.”
To date, investment in Soventem has come solely from Parson and his family. Crowdfunding measures are being considered, and Parson is looking to obtain capital investment within two to five years, when Soventem expects to be ready for Euro-standard vehicle production.