If you ever wondered what it was like being a consumer during the era of the first generation of motorized vehicles, the age when society was moving from horse drawn carriages to cars, it’s quite possible to experience a similar feeling today with the emergence of new electric vehicle concepts. With that, we present to you the Cargobox by Estonian-based designer Meelis Lillemets.
Much like the early days of internal combustion engines – an era when the likes of Henry Ford, Walter Chrysler, Ransom Olds, and Karl Benz were showcasing the first models of their cars to the buying public – we are at a pivot point of motorized vehicles. It seems new electric vehicle concepts are released faster than you can say Autobahn and new takes on previous ICE concepts are emerging.
It may sound like we’re throwing shade on Lillemets’s design of his Cargobox, let us reassure you we are quite the opposite. We are blissfully excited about the design and intent of the Cargobox’s design.
It is a time of both excitement and perplexity as new EV cars, trucks, and semi-tractor trailer concepts emerge on the scene. Tesla shook things up, back in 2019, with their release of the CyberTruck concept that quite literally threw an ax right in the middle of the ho-hum EV concept party being hosted by the Big Three Automakers, and a few European and Japanese car makers.
For children of the 1970’s and 80’s, who championed the joystick of their first Atari gaming system or played Oregon Trail on their school’s TRS-80 computer, they will appreciate the aesthetics and simplicity of the Cargobox EV truck design. Where functional cargo van meets the design styling of an old Xerox 1075 copying machine.
The Cargobox is an urban dwelling EV designed to meet maximum functionality and near-zero aerodynamic wind tunnel performance since it is intended and designed to operate at slow, city mover speeds. “This study explores the extreme possibilities of design with little considerations for aerodynamics and lots of considerations for simplicity, cost, practicality, modularity.” – Meelis Lillemets
With its boxy form factor, the Cargobox is perfect for transporting or delivering goods around urban areas without the need for diesel guzzling ICE trucks or vans. Gone is the design and shape that nearly every car maker arrives at, since they all seeming use the same wind tunnel results to drive their new EV designs. The Cargobox will operate at slow speeds, so the concern for a low drag coefficient is moot.
The interior styling is simple, functional, and minimal in its design aesthetics and is designed for only a driver and one additional passenger. Function over form; durability over dazzle, and capability over creature comfort describe the interior that perfectly correlates to the exterior design motif.
Built on an EV ‘skateboard’ type platform – think Tesla’s EV platform – the sharp corners and boxy design of the Cargobox spring upward. Utilizing the skateboard platform and perpendicular geometry of the side panels and roof, frees up the interior cargo space, thus maximizing its cargo carrying abilities. With a low center of gravity, it is quite understandable filling the cargo bay to the brim would not be a challenge for the Cargobox.
Meelis Lillemets has delivered an EV truck concept that is worth showcasing since it is specifically designed for a unique, urban purpose rather than an EV truck platform that needs to meet a host of requirements or an all-in-one solution to serve the masses offered by larger cargo and truck manufacturers. We can see the potential of the Cargobox’s design for other purposes, but we will leave that design genius up Lillemets for future iterations.