The anatomy of an urban modular electric vehicle : how the architecture of the CityCar enhances personal mobility and supporting industries
Author(s)Lark, William, 1981-
How the architecture of the CityCar enhances personal mobility and supporting industries
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture. Program in Media Arts and Sciences.
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Growing populations, increasing middle-class, and rapid urbanization - for today's urban dweller, all of these escalating factors continue to contribute to problems of excessive energy use, road congestion, pollution due to carbon emissions, and inefficient personal transit. Considering that the average vehicle in a city weighs thousands of pounds, usually caries only one person per trip, and expends significant proportions of its gasoline simply searching for resources such as parking, new efficient and intelligent modes of transportation are in need of exploration. This dissertation presents the design and development of an electric vehicle called the "CityCar" that confronts the aforementioned problems of urban mobility with a novel vehicle architecture. The assembly of the CityCar derives from a subset of "urban modular electric vehicle" (uMEV) components in which five core units are combined to create a variety of solutions for urban personal mobility. Drastically decreasing the granularity of the vehicle's subcomponents into larger interchangeable modules, the uMEV platform expands options for fleet customization while simultaneously addressing the complex rapport between automotive manufacturers and their suppliers through a responsibility shift among their respective subcomponents. Transforming its anatomy from complex mechanically-dominant entities to electrically-dominant modular components enables unique design features within the uMEV fleet. The CityCar for example exploits technologies such as a folding chassis to reduce its footprint by 40% and Robot Wheels that each are allotted between 72 to 120-degrees of rotation to together enable a seven-foot turning circle. Just over 1,000 pounds, its lightweight zero-emitting electric platform, comprised of significantly fewer parts, curbs negative externalities that today's automobiles create in city environments. Additionally, the vehicle platform developed from the assembly of several core units empowers a consortium of suppliers to self-coordinate through a unique modular business model. Lastly, the CityCar specific uMEV confronts problems within urban transit by providing a nimble folding mobility solution tailored specifically to crowded cities. Benefits, such as a 5:1 parking density and its reduced maintenance demands, are especially reinforced in the context of shared personal transportation services like Mobility-on-Demand.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, Program in Media Arts and Sciences, 2012.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 121-124).
DepartmentProgram in Media Arts and Sciences (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Architecture. Program in Media Arts and Sciences.