The concept

The Odysée is an electric ‘SubCar’ that can transform into a personal submarine. It’s equipped with dual oscillating wings on each side for propulsion instead of propellers.  The car is based on a Tesla Model S platform, and it would be able to reach a depth of 100 feet.

The background

Last September, Elon Musk purchased the Lotus-inspired submarine car from the 007 classic “The Spy Who Loved Me”. Musk plans to take the movie prop and turn it into an actual car that transforms into a submarine (view the CNN article). When I read this article, it gave me an idea about how to create the Odysée submarine car concept. I wanted to use a different system to propel the car, so I decided to integrate a new  propulsion concept presented to me by a inventor named Maxime Lambert Bolduc, who agreed to work with me on the Odysée.

How it works

The Tesla Model S is a well-built electric car with a good aerodynamic shape, so I decided to use this platform to create the Odysée. In the trunk of the car, an electric motor would be installed to drive both oscillating wings. These wings would be mounted on each side of the rear frame, and they would slide out of the body when the Odyssée is in the water. These wings would then oscillate like a fish tail, and they would propel the vehicle forward. (see the eolo video).

The vehicle would need to be sealed properly, including pressurized rubbers around the doors. The wheels are equipped with electric covers that deploy downward on each side in order to reduce drag. The Odysée would use ballast tanks and pressurized bladders to control its buoyancy. Horizontal fins would deploy on each side of the ‘SubCar’ to move up or down, and a rudder mounted in the rear would help steer the Odyssée left or right.

What it’s used for

The Odysée could be used to explore the sea and drive back home after a dive. One main hurdle will be the battery capacity, because water is much harder to displace than air, so it might be a good option to consider a hybrid fuel cell system. Since not much sun gets through 100 feet of water, I would try to limit the car to this depth, which will also make it less difficult to engineer (of course, 50 feet would be even easier). LED lights should also be added on the side to get a better view of the surroundings.

The designer

The Odyssée’s image were created by Jan Metelka, who is based in the Czech Republic. Jan studied at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. Jan also created the images for the FireQuad concept.