The History of the Carver
are only occupied by one or two people.
An enthusiastic group of engineers teams up with Anton van den Brink and found Eco-Car BV.
Eco-Car develops a single passenger enclosed ‘motorcycle’ with controllable support wheels to balance the vehicle at slow speeds and to allow it to stop. This first prototype, however, requires considerable driving skills.
In December 1993, the prototype is demonstrated at the exhibition ‘The Compact Car, History with a Future’. Market analysis indicates a large potential for narrow vehicles that could transport one or two people and that would not require special driving skills.
Eco-Car concludes that its prototype is an interesting concept but not a commercially or technically viable solution. Whilst for decades several serious attempts have been made by established companies to develop a man wide vehicle that automatically tilts in corners (see footnote), patent investigations indicate that a truly user-friendly technology has not yet been developed.
Based on a thorough review of known designs and technologies, the engineers are convinced that the lack of practical man wide vehicles is largely due to the lack of a reliable technology that would automatically ensure the balance of the vehicle in corners, provide comfort and safety at varying speeds and road conditions while requiring no special driving skills.
Banking is the only natural way to take corners. Bringing the centre of gravity towards the centre of the curve ensures stability. For a vehicle to be user-friendly, the banking should be done automatically rather than being set by the driver.
In May, the prototype is approved for road use by the Dutch National Road Authority.
In June, Brink Dynamics is awarded the prestigious Dutch Innovation Centre award (ID NL) ‘Best invention of 1997’.
CNN World Report features the Brink Dynamics prototype and the future potential of narrow vehicles.
Vandenbrink BV, sister company of Brink Dynamics, is established to manufacture and market the Carver.
The Carver features in various renowned magazines and television programmes, amongst them BBC Top Gear.
From 1 February 2006, Carver Europe head offices - now Carver Europe BV - are relocated to
Dordrecht, near Rotterdam (NL).
For the production, Carver teams up with Prodrive, one of the world’s leading motor sport and vehicle technology providers. Together they set up an entirely new production process. During the preparations for the new process, every single one of the 1200 components of the Carver One is under scrutiny. The total number of components is reduced to improve production efficiency and maintainability. About half of the original components are fully re-engineered resulting in a more reliable vehicle clients will be able to enjoy to the fullest for many years to come.
The global sales and service network is being rolled out and preparations for the production of the first batch of a limited edition of 500 hand-crafted vehicles are underway.
The Carver One features in several international television programmes, including Discovery Channel and Beyond Tomorrow and is exhibited at various international motor shows.
The problem – as often is the case when innovative technology first hits the market – was the Carver's high price. According to Carver Europe director Willem Verheul:
"Too few people wanted to buy the ingenious sports car at 50,000 euros. We had [planned for] about 300 vehicles sold per year, but in two years, only 200 were purchased."