Concept of the Day: Luka EV

May 12, 2015 § Leave a comment


luka evThis retro-look coupe is all-modern in its conception: it’s an open-source collaborative project to build a 20,000-euro, affordable lightweight sports EV. The prototype has in-hub wheel motors, weighs less than 750kg, and is fibreglass-bodied; the team is aiming to get it road-legal by September 1st. Looks like a pitch at the modern-day kit car market, and really rather fun: an alternative take on electromobility. More here. Maybe not exactly a mass-market solution, but I do rather like these DIY/user-innovation projects.

In other news today:

  • Pressure group Plug In America has published a report on promotion of EVs in the US; concludes there is an upward trend, consumer satisfaction is positive, but general awareness is poor; potential for alignment with renewable energy industry is good; but there is a ‘patchwork quilt’ of legislation and incentives with inconsistencies between states.
  • GM doesn’t reckon it will meet its target of 500,000 electrified vehicles (of all types) on US roads by 2017, reports Detroit News. It’s citing a surge in competitive offers and lowered gas prices. However, in separate news, one analyst decouples the link between cheap petrol and falling ‘green’ car sales, saying the latter had peaked already.
  • In the US, annual mileage driven by women has been rising: some interesting stats from UMTRI, Michigan tracking mileage by gender 1963-2013. In ’63, women accounted for less than 40% of drivers (now nearly 51%, having outnumbered men for the last 10 years) and their mileage has risen 89% since then (compared to 33% for men). In ’63, men drove more than twice the distance of women, now it’s only 1.5 times (around 15,000 miles a year on average, vs 10,000). Researcher Michael Sivak notes that this “will likely have major implications o the extent and nature of vehicle demand, energy consumption and road safety”, due to the lower mileage, lower fatality rate per distance driven for female drivers, and because they are (still) more likely to buy smaller, safer, and more efficient vehicles.
  • The next-generation 2017 London taxi – LTI TX5 – is to come with a PHEV powertrain, enabling it to meet upcoming air quality legislation; statement from Geely, LTI’s parent company, posted here.
  • Meanwhile, the Dutch government is to reduce tax breaks for PHEVs – the Netherlands is Europe’s largest market for these, with over 12,200 sold there last year – because, according to a BMW source, owners are not using the electric capability and simply running on petrol/diesel. Report from Automotive News Europe. However, BMW’s claiming that its next-gen Power eDrive PHEV powertrains will typically give 80% of the average commuter’s journeys in all-electric mode – spokesman quoted here.
  • Liftshare is reporting that a major British carmaker (unnamed) has installed 200 shared-vehicle parking bays at its facility; nearly 400 people have signed up, 90 ‘teams’ of car-poolers have been created, and they reckon that over a year, over 3,250,00o miles and over 1070 tonnes of CO2 will be ‘saved’. Liftshare creates bespoke software/booking solutions for formal sharing schemes, as well as personalised multi-modal travel planning.

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