Published on February 8th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown
Germany's Visio.M Group Developing Ultralight Electric Vehicle
The Visio.M consortium of Germany is developing a lightweight electric vehicle that exhibits the potential of a low weight electric vehicle that is vehicles efficient, fast, and safe. And they aim to do it with just a 20 horsepower electric motor.
The consortium comprises many companies including BMW, Daimler, the Technische Universität München, , Siemens AG, Texas Instruments and many more. The project vehicle is named the Visio.M Electric Vehicle, and the project’s $15 million of funding was provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
The objective of this project is to design and construct a vehicle that achieves:
- At least 62 miles of range per charge.
- A top speed that exceeds 75 mph.
- A base vehicle weight of 882 pounds (excluding the battery bank).
The Visio.M will be equipped with a 15 kW (20 HP) electric motor, which sounds very low. However, the researchers said that it will be sufficient because the vehicle will be extremely lightweight. The vehicle is expected to weigh only 1,200 pounds including its batteries, which is a third of the weight of a typical mid-sized sedan. Even so, today’s average sedans have on average ten times more power at their disposal.
The Visio.M will use a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, and carbon fiber-reinforced plastics that will be used to construct interior parts. Carbon fiber is an expensive material, but it is very lightweight, and lightweight cars can achieve good performance with relatively small motors and battery packs.
But is there really a market for tiny electric vehicles these days? Small car-sized EVs are struggling to sell as it is; is downsizing really the answer? Then again, the Renault Twizy is selling like hotcakes, so maybe the Germans are on to something.
Source: Plug In Cars