Basic car will be the size of a Telsa model X.
It will have a range of 400 miles on a single charge and be capable of 100mph.
It will have a built-in charger for domestic supply with a 50m power cord and include a walk-over plate (to cover the cord on the walkway).
The car will use advanced lead-acid battery technology, brushless motors with microprocessor control and will be designed to maximise the use of regenerative braking.
It will also use dual independent control systems for safety and power the rear 2 wheels (one motor each) for simplicity.
The front wheels are steered.
Braking will mainly be using re-gen but standard friction brakes will be fitted.
The basic car will not be high tech looking to give the modding market a full chance.
The car will be designed from the ground up to be mass produced (focussing on in the order of 100,000 units) with a target retail price £20,000.
It will be using the simplest technology to make it a reality (no frills, but solid engineering) with a designed life of a least 10 years.
Current similar market products show this is easy to obtain.
Retail via supermarket chains and online.
Car could have a minimum fuel economy.
So on inclines it favours reducing speed than increasing power.
May be able to predict fuel usage via a peer website.
Wifi and online connectivity will play key role.
An initial target cost of £20,000 means the manufacturing cost should be targeted at £10,000.
Volume price orders hopefully will bring the price down to the target.
We are not talking about any frills, the car will not have air-con, electric windows, central locking, sun roof, etc.
Those are all extras and likely for third party suppliers (to give them a piece of the pie too). Since the car will effectively have a detachable and interchangeable body this will be basic and functional too.
As will the interior, seats, trim.
The detachable body means it upgraded or sold with a higher spec (and price).
The detachable power chassis means it can be upgraded with new technology when it becomes available, you can purchase a lithium battery chassis or trade it for an upgrade.
The design will be available for the modding market too, so they can encourage sales of the base vehicle.
The car's technology is already proven in the current market, so the vehicle will hit the technical goals.
The project is being developed on a secure site for patent reasons
If you wish to apply for an account on the site click here
It will take about 24 hours to approve
There will be a reserve capacity of 5% (obvious warning of imminent depletion) and less obtrusive warning at 20%
Static charge point for about £500 fitted for night charging at roadside connected to domestic supply
The car is targeted at the family user.
There are enough electric vehicles around for the general public to understand the benefits, the remaining issue is perceived value for money on the purchase price.
This vehicle is designed to tackle that market by producing a vehicle which is comparable in price and performance to the internal combustion counterparts.
Since this vehicle has the same long range on a single charge as an internal combustion vehicle on a full tank of fuel, range is no longer an issue.
So the problems are not technical issues they are marketing ones.
The main problem with electric car usage has been the life of the battery, both in range on one charge and useful life of the battery in charge cycles.
The lead acid battery for this vehicle will be a deep cycle 6v or 12v unit currently in use for neighbourhood vehicles, electric golf karts and/or mobility vehicles.
These batteries have a useful life of 350-400 complete discharge and charge cycles.
The vehicle is fitted with a 120kWh battery which is current the largest by a good margin in any personal vehicle.
Tesla's largest is currently 85kWh (in there most expensive vehicles), Nissan is currently 30kWh.
The vehicle is designed to have a range of 400miles at motorway speeds (80mph). This is in the extreme scenario where a person drives at 80mph for 5 hours, 7 days a week
and would mean the vehicle would have a life of 140,000 miles before the battery would need replacement, which would be about a year.
People generally don't do 140,000 miles in a year.
A more realistic scenario is where a person would drive mixed speeds, which might include some high speed, low speed and stopping.
This would mean the battery would have much more range on a charge, nearer to 1,000 miles in total.
If a person drove until discharged and then recharged this would mean the battery would need replacing in 1,000miles * 350cycles = 350,000 miles.
Again this is unrealistic as it would mean a person driving 1,000 miles a day every day for a year, and people generally don't drive 350,000miles a year.
Another scenario is mixed speeds up to motorway speed on a daily basis and around 50miles round trip daily for 5 days plus some weekend driving, charging each night.
In this scenario the car would be only discharged less than 10%, which means the battery would last many times the 350-400 cycles, in fact greater than 8,000 (ref).
So now we are looking at 8,000 cycles and 50 miles a day which equates to 400,000 miles until replacement.
A person with that driving pattern would make the car last over 30 years!
If this car was already made and was coming to the point of bettery replacement today (2018) it would have been made 1988!
So this means basically the battery would outlast the life expectancy of the car and for all practical considerations would never need replacing.
Car could be charged via supermarket domestic supply and possibly paid at checkout.
Charge at NCP car parks from park domestic supply and paid for using parking charge meter.
Maybe do a deal to charge for free (including in the standard parking charge)
Coin/card charging points set up by electric companies to provide paid charging in residential districts (flats, etc).
These will probably use a special connector and converter to stop misuse.
Possibly with a sensor which can detect there is a car plugged in to the other end of the cord and not a vacuum cleaner or summat.
Create a business plan (created here).
Create a company called "Turbo Electric" (Checked "Turbo Electric Ltd" is available) with the appropriate website (turbo-electric.* available also turboelectric.* apart from .com) etc. (Created here.)
The vehicle will be called the "Mass-EV" (pronounced "massive") (mass-ev.* available also some or massev.*)
Need to work with the standards bodies, suppliers and investors to make this a reality.
Seeking investment and start prototype design early next year (Feb 2009) to hopefully target first availability sometime in 2010.
Up until then I will be working on the technology, finding suppliers and investors, and doing more market research to refine the requirement specification.
Starting with design diagrams and moving on to part lists and cost.
I will be sourcing a used micro-van (Bedford/Vauxhaul Rascal or Suzuki SuperCarry) as a technology testing vehicle.
This is good for this as the floor of the load space can be removed giving full access to the engine and mechanics.
These can be removed and replaced with electric power systems.
Being a van it has plenty of space to do prototyping and still be a serviceable vehicle.
Also will be an opportunity for advertising if the body is painted to show the project (website, phone, etc) and driven around.
Budget for the microvan is £300 -so if you have one to sell... :-)
Maybe buy a scrap Focus C-Max as the passenger compartment and build onto a separate chassis which will be the power chassis.
Project Tracker (requires member account)