Concept of the Day: Audi e-tron quattro
August 19, 2015 § Leave a comment
Official pictures and details are out of Audi’s all-electric SUV (310-mile range; production 2018) and another interesting thing about it is its active aerodynamics (0.25cd), said to contribute significantly to its long range in terms of energy-saving. These systems include a movable splitter, rear diffuser and rear wing, movable elements to the side, an enclosed underbody and as Car Design News points out, Audi has incorporated some EV-specific design touches such as overlapping lower rocker surfaces to emphasise the siting of the battery pack.
- Nice read here from UITP on the diverting of car traffic away from key central areas in European cities, and policy to support pedestrianisation and greater use of public transport. With a note about the beginnings of “looking beyond the private car” (think shared, on-demand), and that that “cars are not going away any time soon.” Hence the need for electrification, as I keep saying…
- Ouch: 86% of US workers get to work by car, according to the latest analysis of census data, outlined here at Citylab, And 76.4% are driving alone, car-pooling has fallen, with only 5.2% taking public transport (“mass transit”, as they call it over there), 2.3% walking, and 0.6% cycling. Younger drivers aged 16-24 are less car-dependent, as are those of all ages living in principal cities, but the 25-29 year-olds are near to the national average when it comes to driving, although more of this age-group are using mass transit. The largest fall in car commuting 2006-2013 has been in San Francisco, though it’s only a 3.8% drop (in the ocean).
- Was saying only yesterday that there should be an electric Brompton, and lo and behold… The Brompton (arguably the exemplar when it comes to folding bicycles) is not just a push-bike, it’s also a very valuable link in a multi-modal transport system (already, and with great potential for further development). Giving it a bit of extra boost can’t be a bad thing to help those in hillier areas, or to persuade the more reluctant of pedallers to give cycling a go. Fits in a car boot, too, of course, for last-mile and into-the-city-centre journeys, as well as for getting to/from stations.
- Aston Martin. Electric Rapide to come in two years’ time, e-DBX to follow, reports Automotive News Europe, quoting 800bhp-worth of power and a 200-mile range, and the need for AM to balance out the V8s and V12s in its range in terms of corporate average emissions.
- Nissan has been working on an audible alert system for pedestrian protection, and has built a Leaf-based concept vehicle for the EC-led eVADER project. The alert compensates for the lack of engine noise from an EV, and has been developed to have as little impact as possible on ambient noise levels, yet to be specifically targeted (via six speakers) for the pedestrian to hear. It depends on a camera built into the windscreen, with recognition of pedestrians, cyclists and other road-users.
- More than 71% of 500-odd Southern California drivers surveyed expressed an interest in buying an EV, reports CleanTechnica – and 13% already had one. The survey, by NRG EVgo, found only 16% completely disinterested; the biggest barrier was purchase cost (25%+), followed by concerns over limited numbers of charging stations and range (15%) and a lack of basic awareness (7%). And 57% lived in an apartment or condominium, limiting their opportunities for home-charging, with living in rented accommodation a further issue.