Design Concept of the Day: Nimbus

July 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

Nimbus-eCar_lead-537x336Elements of steam-punk about this one, somehow: the rather bathyspherical-looking Nimbus is an urban warrior, off-roader and long-range off-grid camper van, with rooftop solar panels and an onboard micro-generator driving its 130kw electric motor (giving an all-in 217mpg return). Regenerative braking helps keep its lithium-ion batteries topped up. Its Brazilian designer Eduardo Galvani, who runs a studio called Hemisferio Criativo, envisages it as having a carbonfibre/titanium/aluminium construction, and electronic aids including hill descent control and rear-view cameras, plus four selectable driving/operation modes and full wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Full picture gallery here; and Galvani’s other concepts, by the way, include a rather smart digitally-enabled e-bicycle called Cricket. (Via inhabitat.com).

  • Norway-based independent research organisation SINTEF is heading a EU-funded project called CoSSMic, developing community IT/IoT microgrid systems to control neighbourhood electricity generation (i.e. from domestic solar panels), evening out peak loads and lessening the need for expensive energy storage systems. It involves the communication of devices/appliances with the solar panels, and is being developed with the charging of EVs in mind as well – though it does depend on neighbourly co-operation. “Electricity consumption will be controlled automatically, and will be based on rules drawn up by the neighbourhood residents or building owners”, explains a spokesman. “For example, the system will ensure that not all electric cars are charged at the same time, but in sequence. The cars will still be fully charged when their owners want to use them, and the same goes for heating and cooling systems such as hot water boilers, freezers, dishwashers and washing machines”. More here; first trials will be in Germany and Italy.
  • A Dutch firm has launched a lightweight (sub-350kg) micro-roadster: the Carice Mk1, a retro-look speedster, is offered in 20bhp or 52bhp road-going formats, delivering up to 62mph and a range of 70km. Looks as if it comes under the quadricycle banner; prices from 26,620 euros (via Autocar). Carice Cars is based in Delft, and plans to make an initial production run of 10 vehicles.

 

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