Concept of the Day: TUM EVA

November 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

tum_evaTUM Create – a Singapore-based partnership between Technical University Munich and Nanyang Technological University – is to show an electric taxi concept called EVA at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month. It’s a showcase for the work at the institution, and the result of research on areas including energy storage, battery charging, thermal management and lightweight materials.

Its range has been calculated using data collected by a research team tracking driving patterns of taxi drivers in Singapore, and it’s said to be good for 200km (with the air conditioning on). Batteries can be recharged in just 15min, giving a low downtime for drivers. TUM Create makes the point that EVA has been designed ground-up as a taxi and is not a conversion of an existing ICE product, and that it specifically meets the heat-management and humidity issues facing EVs in tropical megacities.

  • Report from Toyota’s Ecoful Town near Nagora. This project in Toyota City field-trials the HEMS (Home Energy Management System) in Toyota’s eco-homes (yes, it makes them, too), as well as the COMS micro-EV, the i-ROAD scooter, the Ha:Mo EV-sharing, fuel cell vehicles plus a system of ‘eco points’ incentives for inhabitants in return for their data-sharing. It’s looking at the overall transport/energy/habitation system, including the way the electrified/plug-in vehicles can be used as energy storage in their interactions with the grid or domestic electricity generation. More detail here, too.
  • Four small concepts from Suzuki at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show; the Crosshiker is a Nissan Juke-style mini-crossover, the Hustler and Hustler coupe a high-riding mini-MPV and its fastback sister model. More interesting is the X-Lander open-top SUV, based on the Jimny 4×4, which features Suzuki’s 1.3-litre petrol engine plus hybrid system. Lowdown here.
  • Fiat’s running a comp for young designers in partnership with Future Mobility Now (an ACEA project). The theme’s accessibility in future design and sustainable mobility; three winners get to present their ideas to Fiat design chiefs in Turin early next year. Ideas can be submitted here; Fiat will broadcast a round-table seminar on its Google+ and YouTube channels on 4th November at 3pm for a full briefing. Oh, and there’s some work experience and longer internships up for grabs at Audi, looking at next-gen solutions for transportation and urban living.
  • Some modelling of uptake/adoption curves of sustainable transport solutions from Embarq, looking for the tipping point between concept and unstoppable implementation. Charts, detail, here.
  • Piece on the Volvo/Bombardier/Inverto/Van Hool wireless induction charging tech at Autoweek. Note the nod to ‘infrastructure owners’ – ker-ching! And Car & Driver is discussing Tesla’s investment in charging equipment alongside selling cars; battery-swapping back on agenda, perhaps.
  • Launch of Nissan e-NV200 van has been confirmed for next year. News here of an interesting public-private tie-up with the authorities in Barcelona involving installation of Nissan-supplied charging equipment and possible creation of EV-exclusive loading zones, taxi stops, access to areas of the city at certain times plus tax breaks for EV fleets. Expect to see a lot more of this kind of negotiation.
  • Mercedes-Benz is working with Google on in-car integration of Google Glass, apparently. Just for navigation and downloads via smartphone for the mo, though, due to (obvious) issues of driver distraction (first fine issued for that to a GG-wearer this week, btw).
  • Chrysler’s going to Canada (where the goverment’s putting up the cash) to develop EV powertrains and components, and lightweight materials. Partnership with McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, reports Automotive News.
  • Some bicycle-related bits ‘n’ pieces. First up, the E-Velocipede concept, a penny-farthing reinvented as an e-bike. It’s a showcase for the latest materials tech from BASF; more here. In the here-and-now, London’s Boris bikes are to be available in electric-assist form in some hilly districts; and a nice report on the smart ITS-integrated bike-share in Copenhagen.

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