Old tractors in Moldova can be replaced by modern all-terrain vehicles. Oleg Chargu and Maxime Konopline have created an electric vehicle for working in the fields and moving off-road. The car not only has good clearance and cargo capacity, but also a modern design. This is a real technical breakthrough for Moldova since the republic does not have its own automobile industry.
It is the first fully electric all-terrain vehicle made in Moldova. It bears the name of Hi-Duk, a reference to the haiduc, a hero of Moldovan folklore, a sort of national Robin Hood who did not care about difficulties and defended the poor. Its 80 horsepower electric motor and batteries allow it a range of 100 kilometers.
“It is a small, manoeuvrable vehicle that can carry up to 600 kg. It will be useful in farms or for example vineyards. In addition, he is beautiful and can be brought to other functions,” said Oleg Chargu.
Its creators worked for two years. Oleg Chargu was in charge of the technical part and Maxime Konopline of the design. Both have experience developing electric vehicles in the US and UK. Oleg Chargu worked for 12 years in the field of marine mechanics and logistics and Maxime Konopline worked as a designer for one of the main European car manufacturers. The Hi-Duk startup was launched with the support of the Technical University of Moldova.
“Here we have the batteries and the components needed for charging. There are two electric motors, one on each axle, so the axles are always driven. Full charge only takes 5-6 hours. Absolutely all visible parts, including the headlights, come from mass production cars. Around 90% of the components are already certified worldwide,” adds Oleg Chargu.
There is a 470 kg lead-acid battery under the seats. In the future, the developers plan to replace it with a more modern lithium-ion battery. The car will then be lighter and will gain in autonomy.
“Some parts were made using special technologies. It was necessary to calculate the location for the batteries, driver and passenger. Oleg and I made a metal frame but when we switch to lithium battery it will be possible to do it in aluminum. We have simplified the rear part as much as possible. We simply cut the metal with a laser and obtained this shape,” explains designer and project manager Maxime Konopline.
This all-terrain vehicle is not only ergonomic, but also economical. A full charge requires only 12 kilowatts of electricity. It will cost around 1.5 euro. Then you can use it for a whole day.
So far the Hi-Duk is only a one-piece prototype, but its creators plan to find investors to start serial production. They therefore plan to sell it on the Asian market as well.