Concept of the Day: Toyota i-Road

February 4, 2013 § 1 Comment

toyota iroadToyota is to reveal a concept called i-Road at the Geneva Motor Show next month. No details as yet beyond the fact that it’s a tandem-stylee two-seater ‘personal mobility concept’ for quick, efficient and emissions-free urban transport, designed to be compact and “fun”. Not as much fun, perhaps, as the FT-86 Open concept also due to make its debut, however… Lexus, meanwhile, is to launch the IS 300h saloon and show off its latest iteration of the LF-LC hybrid coupe concept.

  • Research for the UKH2Mobility Project forecasts over 1.5million hydrogen-powered vehicles on UK Roads by 2030. The government-industry consortium concluded that up to 10% of new car buyers “will be receptive to fuel cell vehicles when first introduced, attracted by the newness of the technology and environmental considerations”; initial uptake will progress as more FCEVs come onto the market and the refuelling infrastructure improves; an initial network of 65 hydrogen refuelling stations on national trunk routes and in dense urban areas is sufficient initially with the aim of 1,150 by 2030; and there is the potential for 1.6million FCEVs on UK roads by 2030, with annual sales of over 300,000 and the potential to reduce total annual CO2 emissions by three million tonnes. The report also considers low-CO2 methods of producing and delivering hydrogen, saying that this is “on course for zero emissions by 2050” when FCEVs could be taking 30-50% of the market. Investment of around £400million is needed to get Phase 1 of the hydrogen supply infrastructure roll-out up and running, however.
  • Interesting piece from Detroit News about projects underway at BMW’s tech think-tank in Silicon Valley: smart home/grid connectivity good, but do we really want our cars to suggest where we buy a TV? I certainly don’t.
  • The ERTICO-ITS Europe Compass4D real-life trial is now underway; systems under test include Energy Efficient Intersection Control as well as other real-time traffic data collection and flow to reduce congestion.
  • Engines: definitely not dead yet, and there’s still scope to play around with their architecture. The MoD has ordered a next-stage prototype of an opposed-piston, two-cylinder supercharged diesel engine for marine craft: ultra-reliable and offering a high power-to-weight ratio, says Ricardo, to develop the Cox Powertrain design. Opposed-piston engines have been proposed for automotive applications as well.
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