Design Concept of the Day: Moretti EGS

May 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

morettiIt’s Friday, so let’s be indulgent with a pretty pic of a retro-style sports car. Only a CAD rendering, I’m afraid, but it is (theoretically) an EV and the work of Coventry University vehicle design student Brian Males (a Slovakian). It’s described as “a modern reinterpretation of the 1954 Moretti 750 Grand Sport”, says Car Body Design, which has a full gallery of images plus video (nice archive footage of the original in action on, I think, the Mille Miglia). Males reckons that, to ease the transition to electric mobility, you’ll need an emotional, human factor to appeal to car-buyers, perhaps including imperfection, nostalgia, sexuality.

  • Who’s buying EVs, and what do they do with them? OK, buyers are mostly men, aged 30-50, well-educated and high-income, living in/near cities, and in households which have more than one car. They’re mostly using their EV for commuting, and some studies have found that owners are now driving more, and in some cases, taking the EV instead of public transport. Big literature review from the Norwegian Centre for Transport Research here (via WNYC and @Sust_Mobility – thanks).
  • Thoughtful report from Sustainable Mobility (@Sust_Mobility, France) on transport in peri-urban areas (outskirts of city centres, not quite out in the ‘burbs). Trams, bikes, EVs and car-sharing… Some useful factoids, stats and snippets of info: for example, SNCF (French train co) has a website for car-poolers to team up for journeys to/from its stations in the Île-de-France regional network, and is testing in-station terminals to enable last-minute lift-share arrangements;
  • EV charging, four times faster and $2000 less expensive: Saeid Haghbin of Chalmers University, Sweden, has developed an integrated motor drive and on-board charger concept, with a patented rotating transformer for power transfer. It’s lighter, more compact and lower-cost to make than existing units capable of full recharges in two hours. More (including link to his PhD thesis) here (via inhabitat).
  • More detail on the news that Porsche is to offer hybrid versions of every model, with a next-generation plug-in hybrid powertrain to debut in the Panamera in 2016, from Autocar; Porsche is working on induction charging, too, apparently.
  • Renault SAS is to team up with Spark Racing Technologies to build the cars for the FIA Formula E race series. The 42 e-powered single-seaters supplied to participating teams will be named “Spark-Renault” .
  • Volvo’s ramping up production of the V60 Plug-In Diesel Hybrid in response to demand: up from 150 to 282 cars a week from the Torslanda production lines, with target production of 10,000 in 2014. Most demand from Holland, Belgium and Italy, it says. Oh, and Mitsubishi’s doubling production of the plug-in Outlander to 4000 a month, too.
  • BMW hosted a Sustainability Hackathon for app developers at its US tech HQ in Mountain View, California: winning app is to help EV owners needing to charge at an already-occupied facility. More at Hybridcars.
  • On a similar note, nice story at Green Car Reports on how Nissan wants to collect data streamed from LEAFs for app development, vs privacy concerns.
  • The University of Missouri is developing a ‘convection cell’ lithium-metal battery said to be lighter and lower-cost than lithium-ion. More at Green Car Congress. And another opposed-piston, sleeve-valve engine under development, from Pinnacle Engine: initially intended for two-wheelers, but automotive applications in mind (again, more at GCC).
  • Source London has now installed its target 1300 public EV charging points, and is putting out a tender for operators to take over the network. More at Fleet News. A new network’s been launched in Manchester, too. Oh, and a 200-EV trial is starting in Malaga (EV Fleet World).
  • More on the falling-out-of-love-with-cars/crisis in car culture discussion/panic/opportunity from CNN’s Futurecast event (via @jeckythump and @talitrigg – cheers).
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