Japanese company Teijin Ltd has designed an ultra-light concept EV that barely tips the scales at 963 pounds, showcasing technologies and manufacturing methods that shed weight, but, unfortunately, also make the car unsafe to drive.
The PU_PA EV is a two-seater that weighs about half of a normal EV and almost 60 percent less than a smart fortwo, which weighs in at 1,600 pounds. The designers used techniques like integral molding to reduce the amount of parts to 100, compared to 20,000 parts for a normal EV. The core structure was made of feather-weight carbon composite material and the interior fabrics were made from biodegradable PET.
The car does run -- it's capable of reaching 35 mph and has a range of about 60 miles -- but it would be illegal to take it on the road. The polycarbonate resin windshield is half the density of glass, making it weigh less, but also making it unsafe. Other problems include the headlights not having enough light density and the lack of airbags.
But the point of the car is less about putting it on the road now than inspiring new ways to shed weight in our cars and therefore increase fuel efficiency (electricity or gas). The designers think that a road-safe version of the PU_PA EV (hopefully with another name) could be ready in five to 10 years.
written by Grapple Truck, April 13, 2010
written by Chris, April 14, 2010
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