Sorry campers, the Ecocapsule is the energy independent mobile home of the moment. And it looks like a fancy space age egg.
“The shape, that's our favorite part,” Slovak Ecocapsule founder Sona Pohlova tells Forbes.
"It's elementary, it's not complicated, it's smooth and without unnecessary ugly details," he explains.
It's not just the design of the Ecocapsule that grabs the world's imagination, but the ability to take it to remote and exciting places where you can truly find peace of mind.
Fancy being on a secluded beach or on a mountain headland? No problem.
The Ecocapsule can collect energy from the sun and wind and collect and process rainwater to be fully self-sufficient.
Live without a footprint
Pohlova started Ecocapsula with co-founder Tomás Zacek in 2014, after entering a stationary egg-shaped house concept in a design competition with his studio: Nice Architects (now Nice & Wise), based in Bratislava.
Although he didn't win, fans of his unusual idea started asking for an Echocapsule of their own.
The founder set out to raise € 750,000 ($ 870,000) on the Slovak crowdfunding platform Crowdberry, turning his initial concept into a smart green home on wheels, complete with his own connected app.
“Many people who have asked for it have a large plot of land and want a small accommodation where it is not possible or cannot be built,” Pohlova recalls.
"With Ecocapsula you are living in contact with nature, but you do not cement and you do not leave a mark".
If the idea of standing on top of a mountain or overlooking a remote beach appeals to you, today you will have to pay a little less than € 80,000 (about $ 90,000).
"You can live almost anywhere," Pohlova explains. "If you live in Australia and you have a lot of sun but not a lot of wind, just the sun will be enough, while, on the other hand, somewhere like Holland there is a lot of wind and less sun."
"Above all we want you to feel connected with the beauty that surrounds you."
Take ecocapsules to the roads.
This January an Ecocapsule was shipped to buyers in Toyko, Japan, the first in a limited line of 50 that have been previously ordered and will ship this year.
Pohlova says most of the buyers have been from Australia and the United States, with Germany and Scandinavia leading the way in Europe.
So far other customers have included design geeks and free-spirited explorers who love to get around but don't want to stop for basic amenities.
A number of undisclosed corporate clients, including oil companies, governments and hotels, have also inquired about purchasing units to use as office spaces or guest rooms, Pohlova adds.
"The good thing about Ecocapsula is that it can not only be used in nature, but also in cities, where the density of life and income is high," says the founder.
"You can put them on the roof of existing buildings since you don't need a large space for it.
Your own chicken coop?
Today, Pohlova is focused on closing a € 2 million ($ 2.5 million) investment round to increase production - this could cause the price of each Ecocapsule to drop closer to that of a high-end caravan, wait (a new VW California starts at around € 50,000, or $ 58,000).
The founder has also spent months trying Ecocapsulas, but because of her growing family she has never lived in one. This may change soon, as Pohlova is considering developing new improved spaces specifically for offices and families.
"It would be nice to live in my own creation," she says.
And beyond that? Pohlova wants to create a range of “extreme” capsules capable of withstanding even the coldest and most frozen climates of Antarctica or the desert.
Original article (in English)
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