Browse Publications Technical Papers 2011-36-0301
2011-10-04

Concept of an Urban Family Electric Vehicle 2011-36-0301

In over one hundred years of history and engineering development vehicles, prevailed the internal combustion engine. Automotive technology evolution has overcome obstacles to socioeconomic and geographical expansion of the common usage and access to motorized vehicles. Technological solutions have been created for many different vocations and vehicular applications. Electric vehicle initiates threshold of a new cycle of product development and technologies. Thus, the electric vehicle brings to discussion central issues, such as, application, vehicle operation cycle, comfort, safety, performance, technological choices, efficiency, lifecycle and cost. These questions expand to manufacturing technology, logistics and after-sales. And these take to outermost, but nonetheless relevant, questions of infrastructure, user culture and new paradigms for the coexistence between humans and the technological equipment. This paper proposes to study within the framework of the central questions, which are the main characteristics of a family electric vehicle for urban application. In this exploratory qualitative research, the primary data has been obtained through interviews with specialists in electric vehicles at a car manufacturer, in Tokyo in Japan. It has been adopted a baseline car, an electric battery vehicle, to test drive and analysis of characteristics of electric-vehicle - targeted towards the focus of this research. The study has chosen this vehicle with no prejudice of value to others who are present in this technology race. The secondary data has been obtained through product folders and internet site of the company. The search result contributed to characterize a urban family electric vehicle and has concluded: 1. The model studied has as one of the main characteristics a satisfactory autonomy for urban commuting before a battery recharge is needed; 2. The infrastructure for the use of fully electric model needs advance faster in order to meet vehicles demand in near future.

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