Concept of the Day: Pininfarina Vectus PRT

June 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Pininfarina: styling studio responsible for many an exotic supercar, and now this, a Personal Rapid Transit concept for Korean/Swedish firm Vectus. It comprises lightweight driverless ‘pods’ operating on a network of interconnecting tracks, arriving on-demand and progressing on their route without stopping, if no-one wants to get in on the way. At the moment, it’s just a 1:18 scale model, to be displayed as part of the Pininfarina in London exhibition at the Italian Cultural Institute, Belgrave Square. This will open 22nd June-15th July and admission is free; it focuses on Pininfarina’s long history of product design as well as its cars. More on the PRT system at the Vectus website.

Other news today:

  • The Royal College of Art’s exhibition of concepts by Vehicle Design graduates opens tomorrow. The show includes the McLaren-sponsored Provere city car, designed by Peter Wilkin, which connects up to others to form a ‘train’, and a single-seat 600kg Honda EV with transparent body, by Chi Hwin Mwang. Gallery of pictures, more details at Autocar.
  • Suzuki is teaming up with battery-maker Eliiy Power Co to jointly develop lithium-ion batteries for EVs. The car company bought a $12million stake in Tokyo-based Eliiy earlier this year, reports The Nikkei. The new project will take place at Eliiy’s facility in Otsu, and Eliiy is building a second plant in Kawasaki to boost its annual production capacity sixfold to 1.2million cells (AutoTech Daily).
  • Researchers from Japan’s Tohoku University have developed a lithium-ion cell with a cathode made from organic materials and containing no rare earth metals, reports AutoTech Daily. The organic material, tetracyanoquinodimethane (TCNQ), is said to cost one-fifth of the usual rare earth metals used in batteries. It is used in a unique compressed pellet-shaped cell. Full tech bit at nature.com.
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