Design Concept of the Day: AUV

December 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

AUV conceptHere’s some specific market-targeting: an SUV for ski/wintersports tourist car-shares. The AUV (Alpine Utility Vehicle) concept is a minimalist EV, with four in-wheel hub motors hence all-wheel drive, capable of carrying three plus their equipment. It’s by Hans N. Steen of the Braunschweig University of Art, Lower Saxony, which runs Transportation Design BA and MA courses. (Via carbodydesign.com).

  • And further to the above: is car-sharing: altruistic or practical? It’s more about the latter than any nice romantic vision or community spirit, according to a study of Zipcar users by Bardhi & Eckhardt, published in the Journal of Consumer Research, which points to convenience and cost as the motivating factors for usage, and which identifies the need for car-share providers to offer clean, up-to-date and well-maintained vehicles. Users also feel “no psychological sense of ownership” towards the vehicle, and no particular engagement with the brand beyond its role as a service provider. NB: In this context, “car-share” refers to what we Brits usually call “car clubs”, not a peer-to-peer lending or lift-share arrangement. More on car-shares (UK) linked here from work at UWE, Bristol.
  • More on ‘peak car’ from Scott Levine at the Demos blog, looking at the lowering of traffic in London in particular.
  • 10 EV predictions for 2013 from Pike Research (via Green Car Congress): including more 48-volt battery-drive systems; Renault-style battery-leasing contracts; Germany to lead the way in Europe; ‘roaming’ pan-European networks for charging; provision of fast-charging facilities will remain too expensive for many businesses; efficiency improvements to ICE cars and more natural-gas commercial vehicles will slow EV demand in the short-term. Big growth to 2020 in wireless charging, however, and a Frost & Sullivan consultant is arguing that lightweighting and downsizing of ICE vehicles, and appropriately-incentivising drivers through legislation, is key.
  • Volvo is teaming with Ericsson to develop a Connected Vehicle Cloud for communications, apps, in-car entertainment and information. More here.
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