Design Concepts of the Day: Motorexpo EV competition winners

June 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

The London Motorexpo opened yesterday at Canary Wharf, and students from the Vehicle Design course at the Royal College of Art were invited to submit their concepts for an electric vehicle of 2032 in a competition to run alongside the displays of new production cars. The only guidelines given were that the car had to accomodate four adults plus luggage; the winning design is the creation of first-year student Michal Vlcek, whose concept features in-wheel motors, a hinged opening canopy at its nose in place of doors, and rear lights mounted on aerodynamic, stability-enhancing vanes. The highly-commended submission is the ‘Autobianchi’ of Nir Siegel (below), whose cabin seats the passengers in a diamond-style configuration.

In other news today:

  • BMW is to build the three-cylinder petrol engine for the i8 plug-in hybrid at its UK facility, Hams Hall. The engine’s a turbocharged 1.5-litre giving 349hp/300Nm, and said to deliver 0-62mph in less than five seconds and around 78mpg. All-electric mode is about 20 miles.
  • New video of Toyota’s electric Pikes Peak contender, the TMG EV P002, is up on YouTube. This development from last year’s P001 again has a Radical chassis plus a pair of Evo Electric motors, but power is up to 350kW (469hp) and torque to 900Nm (664lb ft). Top speed is said to be about 149mph, and it has been specifically geared for the Peak.
  • There are spy shots of something purported to be a plug-in hybrid Honda Accord at Autoblog Green. Extra ‘fuel filler’ opening in the bumper masks the socket; styling gives some clues as to that of the mainstream next-gen Accord as well.
  • The Chevy Volt’s to get a minor update already in the USA: an extra 0.5kWhr of battery capacity to bump up the all-electric range by three milesĀ  to 38, plus a new power information display, a ‘hold’ (‘eco’) mode for the transmission (as the Euro-market Ampera) and some tiny styling tweaks. The mpge rating (US test-cycle) is now 98. More info here and here.
  • The Hydro-Quebec research lab is working on a lithium-ion fast-charging solution which could enable a full zap-up for an EV in five minutes. More at Wheels.ca.
  • Renault is to start trials of a Twizy-share in the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines area this month in advance of a full launch of a scheme called Twizy Way in September. 50 of the two-seat EVs will be sited in public car parks for short-term loans to members, with booking via a smart-phone app or QR codes on the car at point-of-use. Some 200 people will take part in the intial trial.
  • What’s happening with hydrogen and fuel cell tech? Detailed look into the state of play (or lack thereof, in the UK) at the Telegraph. Good mention of the use of excess off-peak electricity for the extraction of hydrogen, in parallel with hydro-power.

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