Concept of the Day: e.Go Life
July 22, 2015 § Leave a comment
Detailed piece on the E.Go Life, a Renault Twizy-style quadricyle developed at Aachen University, in the latest (bumper) issue of Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International… It’s a follow-on spin-off from the Streetscooter C16 project (reported in this post), with e.Go aiming to produce low-cost 3D-printed, modular-construction microvehicles using Aachen’s Stratasys system, in an ongoing ‘scrum engineering’ process of continual development. Lowdown here. A beta-testing batch of 100 cars will be built at the university; and it also emerges that StreetScooter has now been sold to Deutsche Post DHL, which is currently running 150 of those vehicles on its fleet, an already-successful application.
- On a different note: Audi is to preview its Q6 crossover with a concept codenamed C-BEV at Frankfurt, reports Autocar. High-performance, all-electric (three motors), a 311-mile range, apparently, to rival the Tesla Model X.
- Data from Chargemaster shows that over 90% of electric vehicle charging (UK) is done at home (‘charging events’ data January-May 2015, said to be profiled to be representative of UK infrastructure), and finds that total charging volumes have risen 163% since 2014. The average UK commute is less than 10 miles, and over a third of UK motorists never drive more than 80 miles in one go, it’s claimed in a report for the Go Ultra Low campaign. Chargemaster is also, incidentally, taking over the Plugged-in Midlands network of charging points from Cenex – 870 of them, with another 100 to be added in the next few months. It is also taking over 300 Source London points (from Bolloré).
- A bicycle by-product from BMW: a patent has been released by BMW R&D for an e-drive unit swing arm, now going into production on electric-assist (pedelec) bikes from HNF, Biesenthal. The HNF Heisenberg XF1 e-bike features this BMW unit, which integrates mid-motor, gears and belt-drive into a suspension module with no need for a belt-tensioner. More here.
- BMW is also, in the US, adding in-car integration of an i0S app called EnLighten, which gives real-time traffic signal data and a green light count-down. This info – which can help drivers proceed more smoothly and save fuel – can appear on the dash display with recommendations on whether to stop or slow down, and is based on vehicle position, speed and ‘smart’ traffic signals. At the moment, it’ll only work in Portland and Eugene, Oregon, and Salt Lake City, in cars with the BMW Apps option – but this does mark a new step forward in V2X (car-to-infrastructure) comms. More here.
- The California Air Resources Board has awarded a $1.6million grant to the City of Los Angeles to set up EV-sharing programmes in disadvantaged neighbourhoods said to be “disproportionately impacted by climate change and poor environmental quality” – air pollution. Such districts are also more likely to suffer from poor (or non-existent) public transport infrastructure, so it’s a boost for mobility as well. More from Senate District 24 here.
- And BYD is to supply 50 e6s to a ride-share (shared taxi, in effect) service based at San Diego airport – more here.
- Handy summary/digest of a paper on (US) Millennials and their driving habits at Citylab: Noreen McDonald (University of North Carolina) compares Gens Y & X and reckons 10-25% of driving decline is due to changing demographics (higher unemployment, greater likelihood of living with parents and/or in cities, etc.), 40% due to a general downward shift US-wide and 35-50% to attitudes. But these Millennials aren’t necessarily cycling or using public transport more – they’re just going out less and to fewer places. Full paper at Journal of the American Planning Association.
- Two new research papers from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, again usefully filleted here. Though electrified vehicles currently account for less than 1% of Canadian vehicle sales, over a third of car-buyers do want a plug-in, apparently, with 89-93% of those wanting a PHEV. Axsen, Goldberg et al put this down to low consumer awareness and a current lack of choice, and think the market share is unlikely to exceed 4-5% by 2030 unless new models are launched – in which case it could rise to over 20%. Other take-aways: even with today’s electricity grids, plug-in vehicles could cut GHG emissions by 80-98% in British Columbia, 45% in Alberta and 58-70% in Ontario, they claim. They’ve also identified three groups of plug-in car buyers: PEV Pioneers, potential Early Mainstream (the next to be converted) and Later Mainstream (unlikely). PEV Pioneers tend to have higher-end incomes, are more likely to be graduates and to be engaged with tech and eco lifestyle issues, to be male and to own their own homes; they most own the Nissan Leaf (46%), Chevrolet Volt (24%) or Tesla Model S (10%); their median driving distance is 28 miles with an average 37 miles driven each day. Full report: Electrifying Vehicles – Insights from the Canadian Plug-In Electric Vehicle Study; plus a paper in Energy Economics, Vol. 50 (Axsen, Bailey and Castro, 2015).
- Nissan reckons that air quality is the number one factor driving EV purchases, ahead of running costs and wider environmental concerns: speaking at the launch of the e-NV200 Evalia MPV, Nissan’s director of electric vehicles in Europe, Jean-Pierre Diernaz, said that enquiries about the Nissan Leaf rose dramatically in Paris when the city banned cars from the centre for three days. Reported by Transport Evolved. Wonder whether that was motivated purely by altruism or simply the desire to drive ban-exempted vehicles, though?