Concept of the Day: TUD InEco

October 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

Pic: TUD/Eckold

Pic: TUD/Eckold

Technical University Dresden’s Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology has built a road-worthy demonstrator concept: a 900kg four-seater EV for urban commuting, said to be a sporty drive yet simple and cost-conscious. Developed in partnership with Leuchtbau-Zentrum Sachsen GmbH and ThyssenKrupp AG, the InEco project vehicle is claimed to highlight holistic thinking on electromobility – including lightweight materials, integrated construction techniques and a reduction in the number of components used.  It features carbonfibre-reinforced plastic-steel hybrid composites, sandwich construction and a battery/air conditioning system integrated into its central tunnel for a low centre of gravity and crash safety.  More details here; gallery of pics at Gizmag.

  • A network of 74 rapid-chargers is being installed across the length of the UK: backed by the European Commission, with partners including Nissan, Renault, Zero Carbon Futures and researchers at Newcastle University, the RCN will cover over 1,100km of major routes and link five airports and five key seaports and cities – including Stranraer, Liverpool, Holyhead, Felixstowe, Kingston-upon-Hull and Belfast. The chargers will be compatible with 44kW DC CCS, 44 kW DC Chademo or 43 kW AC systems and will be in action by the end of 2014. “Strategic information from users, including charging behaviour and changes in mobility patterns” will be collected with a view to informing the roll-out of further facilities.
  • The USA’s Union of Concerned Scientists reckons the country can halve its oil use by 2020 if fuel efficiency of cars and trucks is improved, if EVs are adopted, if better biofuels are developed and if “smarter, more diverse transportation systems” are built – and has launched a campaign called Half the Oil.
  • Global sales of vehicle-to-grid (V2G)-networked EVs for the ancillary services sector (i.e. commercial fleets) will grow over 64% between 2013-2022, according to Navigant Research. More opportunities will arise as the grid becomes more energy-efficient and as energy storage technology (for intermittently-generated wind and solar electricity) improves; the fastest-growing region for V2G will be Asia-Pacific. Handy rundown at Green Car Congress.
  • Few of us have 4G phones and mobile devices as yet – but 5G is already under development. Researchers at Chalmers University, Sweden, are looking at the installation of small ‘base stations’ for data transmission in cars, homes, trucks, buses and trains in its Metis project. More here.
  • Sounds a bit like a conspiracy theory, but New York’s Washington Park Square is to gain a pair of Hevo-developed wireless EV chargers – induction plates not dissimilar to those on a cooker – which look like manhole covers, reports (ha!) Wired. They’re for a trial using two NYU Smart Fortwo eds.
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