Concept of the Day: Alex eroadster
July 1, 2015 § Leave a comment
A car called Alex… it’s a composite-bodied EV concept, and there’s a plan to build it in Dunleer, County Louth, Ireland. The firm behind is called Swift Composite Prototypes (does what it says on the tin), and a running prototype has been developed using a Lotus Seven chassis/body. The eroadster looks like a functional little runaround with a wedge-like shape to it and a lift-up front canopy, and they’re promising 0-62mph in less than 10 seconds, fast-charging capability and a range of over 350km, plus light weight but higher safety standards than other ‘light’ cars (quadricycle category). Power comes from two 15kW/80kW AC motors, and intriguingly, “revolutionary new batteries.” The programme appears to be well-funded, and the chassis is being developed by Danish firm Ecomove (creator of the somewhat stillborn Qbeak). Reported here; production by the end of 2016 is quoted, at the rate of a car a week. (via electrive.com).
- BMW has embarked upon more research with Nanyang Technical University, Singapore; the Future Mobility Research lab at NTU will explore a future materials programme, plus a project called Electromobility in Asia, alongside the battery, intelligent mobility and ‘driver enhancement’ research already underway. The Electromobility project will look at the way people interact with the i3 and i8, to inform future development with a view to using EVs and PHEVs in global megacities. More here.
- Engineers from University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed tech to harvest energy from tyre-friction: the triboelectric nanogenerator could improve a vehicle’s fuel economy by up to 10%, they reckon. More here.
- Opel has launched a car-sharing app called CarUnity for peer-to-peer vehicle-sharing; it can be downloaded free, and vehicle rentals are insured. Users do not need to be Opel owner/drivers; initial trials are taking place in the Rhine-Main region. More here. (An overview from Norway on car-sharing here; nothing new, but a summing-up of current thinking).
- Not quite convinced of the desirability of towing extra power sources behind an EV (except for emergency call-outs, this seems rather self-defeating), but the EC is funding Germany’s Nomadic Power to develop its portable battery pack, which can also be used as static energy storage. More here.
- London’s first all-electric bus (a BYD) will go into action in the autumn on the Victoria-Cricklewood route. More here.
- EVs are only as clean in terms of energy consumption as the electricity that goes into them (though dismissing them on these grounds is a pretty short-sighted attitude, and zero local tailpipe emissions still stand): reasons electricity grids need to go greener are illustrated here.
- They can do it in the US: West Coast EV drivers using the AeroVironment fast-chargers can pay on a PAYG basis via the Recargo/Plugshare app. More here.
- Solid-state batteries for EVs: already fitted in the Bollore Bluecar, and now Volkswagen could be considering them. More here.