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Bernard Harper
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What a disastrous concept this is. Not for its technical specs (which do not read as sci-fi), but the styling subtext of making a 4x4 look like a Mars rover. It screams out that off-road EVs are excitingly futuristic, whereas this will soon be a reality in a market VW have no intention of competing in. Competitors are even taking orders for their designs! VW product planners must think the Rivian, Bollinger and Tesla Truck are such small-fry (compared to their overwhelming hugeness) that they can be playful and put their competition off to the far future when styling like this will be the norm. The German car industry has so much investment in ICE production it is looking on the EV revolution with rabbit in the headlight ignorance. It will all end in tears.
The importance of this is obvious. Goodwood has been a petrol head cathedral for decades. When the all-time record falls to an EV, the reverberation will spread far and wide. How long before the old petrol record falls to a road legal EV? Five years? Or even sooner?
Confusion reigns over its recharging speed. Tesla quote 1000 MPH for its latest/best combo. But the Honda appears to add less than 200 MPH, which is problematic in a car with such short range. A 200 mile highway journey would be more bearable with a few minutes recharge instead of half an hour or more.
Proteon have published suspension design studies showing that it's un-sprung mass is well within the control parameters of conventional suspension design. I suspect the first applications will be commercial vehicles and off-roaders, but eventually it's packaging advantages will be too hard to ignore for innovative small car designers.
This study seems to assume long range (future) BEVs will have batteries manufactured with the same inefficiencies as today. But is that possible to predict, or even likely? If a BEV is charged mostly by renewables, surely that would tip the balance back in their favour? Also, BEVs have usable lifespans that are many times longer than ICE-engined vehicles. When you factor in their innate longevity and ability to be fueled mostly with renewable energy over a greatly extended lifetime, surely the BEV would win the lifetime emissions comparison?
The Model 3 has to be a success, so is likely to be the most conservatively engineered of all Teslas. It therefore should be the most reliable Tesla and have high resale values as long as they use their tried and trusted solutions. However, if Tesla choose this model to debut untried technology (new chemistry batteries, advanced super capacitors, compact hub motors etc) then their customers and the brand will suffer the inevitable consequences.
Tilting vehicles are normally man-wide so that they can navigate and park like motorcycles. But the moment they reach micro-car width and size they lose these advantages. So why tilt at all? Also, tilters tend to have a very hard ride and only work well on ultra smooth surfaces. So in the real world, this concept looks to be somewhat short of comfort, logic or desirability.