|The eMO study. The front seats are mounted atop the 18.4 kWh air-cooled battery pack. Click to enlarge.|
Tata Technologies, a global provider of engineering services and product development IT, was selected by Michelin to display its electric MObility (eMO) engineering study EV as part of the Michelin Challenge Design display at the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.
The 4-passenger study is equipped with an 18.4 kWh battery pack, and has an estimated range of 100 miles (161 km). Top speed is 65 mpg (105 km/h), and acceleration form 0-20 mph (0-32 km/h) takes 3.4 seconds. Although there are no plans for production of the study, as part of the process, Tata Technologies Vehicle Programs & Development (VPD) Group engineered a manufacturing solution and completed an assembly plant study with targeted MSRP of $20,000, before rebates.
The eMO architecture emphasizes “right size” personal urban transportation by minimizing its exterior footprint and maximizing interior space, including seating for four adults. Based upon research of city/urban usage, eMO has the flexibility—with rear seats articulated—to do double-duty as a personal cargo carrier, without the mass and cost of a dedicated trunk.
The absence of a B-pillar and a 90-degree angle on the rear door eases passenger (or cargo) ingress and egress from the rear seats, while the use of roof glass increases the perceived light and increases a feeling of roominess.
The front seats are mounted atop the 18.4 kWh battery pack, which is air-cooled via a small tunnel running forward from the base of the battery. Motor and power electronics are mounted in the front under what would be the hood. There is no trunk space; storage is provided via the fold-up rear seats.
As a ground-up EV study, eMO also incorporates design advantages over an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle such smoother aerodynamic surfaces and shorter overhangs. With sustainability in mind, eMO benefits from a low carbon footprint and a recyclability strategy. To reduce the overall carbon footprint of the manufacturing, assembly and other associated processes, Tata Technologies eliminated the traditional body shop and paint process, and utilizes many green product materials in eMO.
The Tata Technologies VPD Group used a multidimensional approach to vehicle engineering and development on eMO that leverages the company’s understanding of frugal engineering principles and its understanding of the demands of both developed and developing markets, utilizing its Global Delivery Model and proprietary Knowledge Based Engineering (KBE) platforms to develop products faster and more cost effectively, said Kevin Fisher, VPD President.
The VPD Group, with more than 300 engineers operating from its four automotive engineering centers of excellence worldwide—Pune (India), Detroit, Coventry (UK), and Stuttgart (Germany)—had the responsibility of developing eMO. The study was completed in just over one year, and has resulted in 15 patents.
As we have previously stated, this next decade will see an ever-increasing demand for more efficient and accelerated product development that also will need to incorporate more new technology than the auto industry has seen in 30 years. We are positioned to set the pace in automotive product development and technological innovation.—Kevin Fisher