In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, two Italian companies have teamed up to create a fully electric vehicle fitted with a professional audio speaker setup. The intention is to provide a solution for outdoor live music events. Professional audio expert K-array collaborated with electric vehicle specialist Simai to create the Cricket PE30 solution, which is to be launched officially in July 2020. There will be three pre-configured audio setups optimised for classical music, pop/rock music and clubbing music.
K-array’s products are designed to operate efficiently, requiring the minimum amount of electricity. They are also designed to offer weather resistance; high sound quality, even at low sound pressure levels; and maximum control of acoustic directivity. The latter is supported by features such as pure array technology and electronic beam steering.
The Cricket PE30 is a 100% electric vehicle that is 1.56m (5.1ft) wide, 3.8m (12.5ft) long and 1.9m (6.2ft) tall. It has a 3-tonne payload and 8-tonne towing capacity.
“We immediately accepted a role in this innovative project proposed by K-array, as it will allow the Simai brand to position itself within the niche of live entertainment and musical events in general,” said Massimiliano Bariola, managing director at Simai. “In K-array we have found a partner with our same enthusiasm and spirit of adaptation to difficulty despite the current situation. And this special project – precisely within the context of social distancing and proximity to urban areas which are the most difficult to reach – will provide maximum performance in terms of both mobility and sound.”
Simai Cricket PE30 vehicles will be marketed for short- and long-term rental by Toyota Material Handling Italia. Simai was acquired by Toyota Material Handling Europe in 2016.
“A distinctive feature of the Italian DNA is knowing how to reorganise, reinvent and have the ability to find the right formulas to overcome difficulty,” said Leonardo Salcerini, CEO of Toyota Material Handling Italia. “The initiative promoted by Simai and K-array is placed precisely in this context: Cricket is a simple, yet dynamic and complete solution that can be a valid solution for the world of entertainment, among the sectors most affected by the health emergency, and can subsequently meet challenges presented in other applications. Furthermore, the vehicles used are produced in Milan and are electric, strengthening our commitment in terms of sustainability and respect for the environment. Toyota Material Handling Italia contributes with commitment to the project, making its commercial network available for rental, vehicle assistance and operator training throughout the country.”
Stefano Zaccaria, vice president of sales and marketing at K-array, said initial industry feedback was very positive. “It is the first fully electric vehicle intended for this use,” he continued. “Right from the initial design stages, we wanted to design solutions capable of meeting the expectations of our customers, mainly small- and medium-sized rentals, who in turn support the events of supporting DJs and solo performers.”
Andrea Torelli, marketing communications manager at K-array, explained why the solution is called Cricket: “The sense of well-being that is observed sitting in an open field, especially after so many days of forced enclosure, is completed by the song of the crickets which, even more than before, takes on a meaning of freedom. Sound proves to be decisive for the quality of our lives, even more so if it also assumes a culturally important role. We then simply drew inspiration from Jiminy Cricket, the same one that speaks to Pinocchio, representing the voice of conscience, wisdom and common sense, but also the inner voice, the one that leads to deeper and more intimate reflections. Similarly, our modern Cricket transports music of all genres around cities, streets, streets and squares, to give hope, comfort, entertainment, relief, to overcome fear and uncertainty. Music is, but not only, a talking cricket that divulges culture.”