Design Concept of the Day: Zaha Hadid Z-Car

April 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

zaha hadid zcarIt’s not new, I know, but I’m highlighting Zaha Hadid’s Z-Car ‘cos it’s coming to Brighton to go on display at the Eco Technology Show (26th-27th June, free). Other vehicles on display at the show include the BMW i3 and i8, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Tesla Model S plus a selection of electric bikes, and test-drives will be available. There will also be seminars and events centring on sustainable fleet and domestic energy solutions.

The Z-Car, I’ve been reminded, is a neat little hydrogen-fuelled ,drive-by-wire three-wheeler with its carbonfibre composite body exemplifying Hadid’s trademark organic curves. It seats two in its passenger pod, which raises and lowers according to speed – riding high at low speeds for optimum visibility and to shorten the wheelbase for parking, and low on its hinged rear suspension for better handling and aerodynamics at speed. More about it here, anyway.

Other news, thoughts, general musings today:

  • Pushing mobility management schemes with an app for info on transport options had little effect on reducing car travel in a recent trial in Norway – even when a free seven-day public transport pass was thrown into the mix. The authors pointed out four factors which may have contributed: ample and free parking in the area where the trial took place; Norway’s harsh winters; the fact that high taxes on cars and fuel are already big disincentives not to drive to work; and that information on transport options is already widely-available anyway (Tornblad, Kallbekken, Korneliussen & Midseka, 2014). In Transport Policy 32, March 2014; contains detailed literature review on mobility management schemes and their impact. My reading of this paper: people have the ready info about choices, they’re taxed punitively to drive, yet they still choose to do so because it’s warmer, more comfortable and convenient… Surprise? I’m also wondering if, just as we’re seeing with EV adoption, you hit a point with mobility management or modal shift where the early-adopters or keen green advocates (I paraphrase) have all adopted, but the mainstream consumers aren’t playing – as in, most people prepared to shift to public transport, take up cycling, whatever, have done so and the rest stay put in their cars unless there’s a pretty serious intervention. Comes back to the argument that if people are going to drive whatever, let’s at least get ’em in cleaner cars.

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