UK Government Providing Funding for New Electric City Car That Can Be Sustainably Manufactured
05 November 2009
|Bill Gibson Chairman, Zytek Automotive; Lord Drayson , Science and Innovation Minister; and Gordon Murray, Chief Executive and Technical Director, Gordon Murray Design. Click to enlarge.|
The UK-backed Technology Strategy Board is investing £4.5 million (US$$7.5 million) in a new £9-million research and development project that will allow a consortium to develop four prototypes of a new all-electric city car that can be more sustainably manufactured.
Consortium partners for the electric T.27 project are Gordon Murray Design as the lead organization and Zytek Automotive Limited. Technical support will be provided by Michelin Plc and Continental Corporation and sub-contractors will include MIRA Limited, Vocis Driveline Controls, VCA UK, and ENAX.
The T.27 project will produce four running prototypes of a 3-seater all-electric vehicle achievable of 4-star Euro NCAP rating and excellent pedestrian safety. This target cannot be achieved by applying a conventional stamped steel construction design, nor with a drivetrain using existing gearboxes, motors or batteries, the partners said.
By applying iStream methodology—a new manufacturing process developed by Gordon Murray Design—to the T.27, and fully integrating it with a custom-designed lightweight, highly efficient drivetrain from Zytek and partners, every aspect of the vehicle can be optimized.
This holistic approach results in a car slightly smaller than a Smart, but with more interior space. A similar approach was used by Gordon Murray Design for the 3-seat gasoline-fueled T.25.
High-level life cycle analysis derived from T.25 data predicts T.27 life-cycle emissions of 63% less than the average car and 27% less than similar EVs—partly due to the iStream manufacturing approach.
The iStream manufacturing process behind the T.25 and T.27 is all about sustainable, low energy process by design. The T.27 programme is a great opportunity for us and our partners to create what will be the world’s most efficient electric vehicle. An opportunity to start from a clean sheet of paper combined with our disruptive manufacturing technology will result in a product which truly pushes the boundaries of urban vehicle design and further protecting our mobility.
—Gordon Murray, Chief Executive and Technical Director of Gordon Murray Design
The aim of the 16 month project is to develop prototypes that will put the consortium in the position where they can further explore the possibility of scaling up and building a manufacturing facility, with the ultimate goal of making this affordable, fun and environmentally-friendly car widely available on the open market.
The iStream assembly process represents a complete rethink and redesign of the traditional manufacturing process. Development of the process began more than 15 years ago. The simplified assembly process means that the manufacturing plant can be designed to be 20% of the size of a conventional factory. This could reduce capital investment in the assembly plant by approximately 80%. The flexibility of this assembly process means that the same factory could be used to manufacture different variants.
Gordon Murray Design Limited is a new British company operating from Shalford in Surrey. Zytek Automotive Technology is a British engineering company with a reputation for success, pursued both on and off the track.
Reminiscent of a mini moke meets lotus elise, meets i-phone accessory.
This little dune buggy with swappable q.d. body panels would have to appeal to Londoners and inner city or multipurpose golf cart 0-60 acceleration would get more rounds in an afternoon.
With the top down there will be health benefits from more sunlight as well as Z.E.
Posted by: arnold | 05 November 2009 at 12:21 PM
Not invented here!!!!!
Tata Nano is already in production???
Model T Ford is long out of production.
Volkswagen Kaefer is long out of production.
Citroen 2 CV is long out of production, but is very logically related to the proposed vehicle.
Just buy a few already made electric cars, but make sure that they have a model airplane engine in them to run a charger. ..HG..
Posted by: Henry Gibson | 05 November 2009 at 02:06 PM
Everybody, including the bureaucrats, think they have the ability to build a workable minimalistic auto (which they can) that will sell to the masses (which is hugely unlikely).
Go buy and play SimCity 2000 and quit wasting multimillions of OUR money on your little dreams.
Posted by: ToppaTom | 05 November 2009 at 04:43 PM
Henry, don't worry I'm sure you had enough problems over there.
Looking at the photo I realised that something was missing with this International offering.
How to know which side of the road the driver should be on?
The 'kids' thought about this long and hard over breakfast and came up with the obvious answer. - the hat! "Dad where's their hats?"
Each country could have it's own version. In old Blighty, that central drivers seat occupied by a chauffer in a bowler hat. A streamlined umbrella could be handy too. In Germany the profesional driver may wear a pikehat. Tyrolean for mountaines areas. Kolpiks will be popular n the far north.
Young academics of many nations would wear a mortarboard.
America's favourite son Michael Moore would feel at home anywhere in his Trucker style baseball hat.
The nations official conveys might select from one of those "Academy" military style visors to match the blue uniform and white gloves
In Texas the Stetson or TenGallon wearer could wear matching chaps. South of the border? no problem wetbacks in a sombrero will look just just fine or for much futher south Panamas and Vueltiao.
Italians in Ferodas.
Greeks in flat fishermans hats. The french could drive to war in a Bercone or the fashionable Parisian ladies could enjoy sunny boulevardes in a large range of raceday fascinaters.Turbans,
Taqiyah, and Kippah or Shteimel when holiday weather turns cold.
"But da a ad" "Could it come to Australia? we dont have a national headress!" "people wont know wich side of the road they should be on!"
"Well youngn's I guess It's a free country so peoples could wear any that they feel comfortable in and not break any law AFIK but on Australias national day everyone could wear an Akubra. Now its time for the school bus so hurry up."
I've come to realise that If you want to know whats going on in the world - ask the kids.
Posted by: arnold | 05 November 2009 at 04:56 PM
Posted by: arnold | 05 November 2009 at 10:47 PM
The question of spending pubic money on innovation may well leave the corgis waiting a little longer for dinner they may no longer have a private butler but lets not forget that designers of the sort that are involved with the current world beating Mclaren formula 1 (that can never work) also need feeding.
The British car industry and government backers could do a lot worse than invest in it's best and brightest even if it does require an understanding of the context.
The old saying there is m*d, British m*d and American m*d, who would you rather deal with? may have application here.
Or maybe its an English expression of timely innovation.
Now I have to tootle off and get on with my golf.(just hope I remembered to bring the right hats)
Posted by: arnold | 06 November 2009 at 12:49 AM
That was refreshingly off topic.. Thank you Arnold.
$7.5M to make that little Noddy car in the picture. Great Britain is really looking up.
Posted by: Carlos Fandango | 06 November 2009 at 01:16 AM
I assume the little noddy car in the picture represents a mechanical prototype that hasn't been "skinned" yet. An open car in Britain where it rains all the time makes no sense. I am excited to see Michelin involved. I think the answer to unlimited design possibilities is their electric wheel design that incorporates engine, brakes, regenerative braking and regenerative shock absorber all in one component that can bolt on to the cabin.
Posted by: creativforce | 06 November 2009 at 07:16 AM
Electrified Dune Buggies and our cold cities do not mix very well
Posted by: HarveyD | 06 November 2009 at 07:56 AM
"...their electric wheel design that incorporates engine, brakes, regenerative braking and regenerative shock absorber all in one component.."
Crikey. It's bad enough returning to a carpark and finding you've had 4 wheels and tyres nicked and the car is jacked up on bricks. Gonna be a huge market when wheels are that much more valuable :-O
Posted by: Bob Uppendown | 06 November 2009 at 08:55 AM
The future of Sustainable vehicles is This.
Posted by: dursun | 06 November 2009 at 02:09 PM
. I had a lot of ** getting the last post up
Wading through different views and misunderstandings - the F1 3 seater supercar was obviously not a formula1 car. My mistake.
Although not helpful in picturing the T27, I don't expect it will look like the T25 mule pictured.
Hope this is a bit clearer.
Posted by: arnold | 06 November 2009 at 04:36 PM
I'm thinking along these llines in regard to the T27.
Posted by: arnold | 06 November 2009 at 05:07 PM