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Fred Schumacher
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Twenty years ago, I said that auto manufacturers were using complexity as a problem solving tool to decreasing marginal improvement, and that parsimony should be tried. This is an effort in that direction. It could be that PSA/FCA could be the first to tap into this, and the vehicle I would chose as a test case is the Qubo/Fiorino/Bipper/Berlingo quads. With their small on the outside/big on the inside, versatile interior, sliding side doors and huge tailgate design morphology, they have a greater potential than has been used to date. A PHEV high roof city delivery vehicle, 5 seat MPV, or stretched 7 seat MPV has high functionality at lower weight. At least in the Americas, people prefer a high seating position and more versatility than a sedan can offer. FCA and PSA have off the shelf components, like the Twinair or 1 liter threes as a front end power unit. FCA has the best stow and go seats in the industry. The QFBB quads have not sold in such huge numbers that if they fail in the market, they won't hurt the other brands.
What this shows is that privately owned cars on a daily round-trip commute are actually quite efficient. While Uber and other ride hail services circle around looking for customers, the privately owned commuter vehicle sits parked and emits no green house gases. As a parked car, it occupies less than 100 square feet (less than 10 square meters), less room than a circling car in traffic uses. It's another example of unintended consequences. The claim for Uber was that it would reduce congestion and emissions; however, the opposite has been the case.
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Nov 23, 2019