Case Study:

Developing a Viable Electric Vehicle Platform

Gevco electric vehicle.

Meeting the challenge of making a significant reduction in carbon consumption requires ‘the pragmatic application of commercially viable technologies to mass market vehicles’. This leap requires two key elements:

  • Commercial viability for vehicle manufacturers
  • Consumer acceptance of the cost/benefit balance

GEVCO and HORIBA MIRA have developed a unique electric vehicle business model that mitigates the mass volume supply chain needed through a global partner concept.

The Vision is two electric vehicle platforms (i-MAV and i-Mode) with multiple applications that will successfully compete on quality, safety and price with Internal Combustion powered vehicles in the targeted sectors.

The design and engineering philosophy adopted by the technical team was that of a ‘clean sheet’ approach regarding all aspects of the vehicle to ensure best practice in applying the new EV technologies without inheriting constraints from legacy compromises on past ICE vehicles.

A modular base vehicle architecture and systems platform strategy was developed and by considering the user needs, the level of commonality could be optimised reducing the cost of investment required to deliver the total family of vehicles.

A lower dominant vehicle architecture ensured that crash and chassis load paths are not dependent upon the roof structure, whilst allowing adaptation through simple yet effective changes in key areas (body panels, trim and features) to ensure brand identity/local cultural or social acceptance and differentiation for alternative applications could be provided.

Vehicle lightening through the appropriate application of materials including different aluminium and composite materials and the application of low energy joining techniques was central to optimising vehicle energy consumption.

Safety plays a significant role in the purchasing decision both demonstrable and perceived. Significant emphasis has therefore been given to ensuring that whilst the i-Mav is a small car, it has exceptional safety qualifications built in as a fundamental. This enabled a projected high Euro NCAP rating, and achievement of local safety requirements in each region.

Phase 1 of the vehicle development program has been completed and the concept designs and technologies required to achieve the core values have been developed.

GEVCO and HORIBA MIRA are now working with investors to develop running demonstrators to show how a vehicle designed exclusively for electric drive and utilising the most appropriate technologies can meet the challenges of sustainable low carbon transportation.

Gevco Vehicle Specifications

 Key Features  i-MAV  i-Mode
 Number of seats  2 + 2  2 + 3
 Maximum speed  80 mph (limited)  100 mph (limited)
 Acceleration 0 - 100kph  <14 s  <12 s
 Kerb weight (no driver)  760 kg  1436 kg
 Range (pure electric)  70 miles, 430 with Al air battery  50 miles
 Target sale price (UK)  <£9000  £18-21,000
 Euro NCAP (2012)  4 star  4/5 star