Design Concept of the Day: Hyundai E4U

April 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

hyundai e4uHyundai’s E4U concept (seen at the Seoul Motor Show) is a winner at the company’s “Idea Festival” this year, an event for the firm’s engineers to show off their ideas on future mobility. This upright single-person EV weighs just 80kg and does up to 30kmph; it is steered via a tilt/turn action of its pivoting hemisphere (think of it as an enclosed, egg-shaped Segway, perhaps). It can be folded and its side sections detached for easy parking or storage. Urban commuting machine or assistance for the mobility-impaired? Lots of potential in this design, even if it does look a bit like a walk-in vacuum cleaner. E4U, by the way, stands for Egg, Evolution, Electricity and Eco-friendliness, says Hyundai.

  • Citroen has launched its Berlingo Electric at the CV Show in Birmingham this week. Demand is expected to come from “urban-based, private-sector businesses” as well as “significant specialist operations” – local authority work such as meals on wheels and parks departments – says spokesman Scott Michael. The Berlingo Electric has a range of up to 106 miles and a top speed of just under 69mph, with a 49kW/200Nm battery pack and lithium-ion batteries; it can be fast-charged to 80% of capacity in 35 minutes though a full charge from a domestic socket is a 12-hour job. Its load space and 636kg payload are the same as for the diesel Berlingo; spec is as for the LX (including air conditioning, a driver’s airbag and electric front windows) and prices start from £21,300+VAT.
  • Fancy an 84mpg (US) sportster which can do 100mph and 0-60 in less than ten seconds, all for a price of $6,800? Snag (well, for some people, this could actually be its appeal) is that it’s a three-wheeler… Elio Motors is planning to set up in a former GM plant in Shreveport, Alabama. Autoweek has the lowdown. Shades of the original Morgans and three-wheeler ‘cycle cars’ of the 1910s-20s, perhaps? Similar lightweight, minimalist, no-more-than-it-needs-to-be approach. (Incidentally, if you’re interested in three-wheelers…). Incidentally, it’s no stranger-looking than any of the vehicles in the Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2013 – winning car, from University Laval of Quebec, returning 3587mpg. Full lowdown here.
  • Here’s a classy mobility-management programme/car-share: Project 100 in downtown Las Vegas, with 100 Tesla Model S-es (chauffeured) as well as a selection of NEVs, bicycles and a bus pass. By invitation only as yet, however, and $400 a month. More here.

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