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Electric tank-car of the future? The Hinterland 1 Concept Car - an electric minivan with Prius-like aerodynamics


By WcP.Scientific.Mind - Posted on 06 September 2008

Hinterland concept art by The Creative Unit

(quote)

It has the profile of a Toyota Prius interpreted by the late Maxime Faget, designer of the Space Shuttle. It's the Hinterland 1, a conceptual all-electric minivan with a drag coefficient of less than 0.25 (the Prius's is 0.26). And if its designers get their way, it'll become a Canadian icon on par with the CN Tower, Geddy Lee and Poutine. Existing purely as sketches, renderings, and specs at this point, the Hinterland 1 electric car looks like one part tank, one part VW bus with a pinch of bullet train added for flavor.

Hinterland 1 Concept Car: electric minivan with Prius-like aerodynamics

Chief designer of the Hinterland 1 is Matin Aube of Creative Unit, a veteran of Québec- based Bombardier Recreational Products, maker of the Sea-Doo watercraft, who says the project "combines sources of artistic, technical and scientific expertise" from recreational vehicles, electric motors and batteries, aeronautics, aluminium, plastics processing and video games. In theory, the sculpted body would comprise an aeronautical-style aluminum monocoque, fashioned by the same hydroforming process GM uses to create body panels for its curvy Pontiac Solstice roadster. A drive system proposed by electric-car startup Higgins-Aubé would involve a 43 kW-max motor (14kW continuous) powered by Li-ion or Zebra (Sodium Nickel Chloride) batteries with a maximum power of 37,000 kilowatts. Designers envision two models built on the same platform, a two-seater "Mini" and the six-person "Van."

Hinterland Aluminum Automotive Vehicle

Despite its heavy looks, the bullet-like EV was designed with low aero- dynamic drag coefficient of less than 0.25 in mind. To put that into perspective, the Honda Insight is 0.25, and for the Toyota Prius, 0.26, so the Hinterland 1 is will be slipperier than either of them. Apparently, at 75 mph, aerodynamic drag accounts for 75 percent of the fuel consumption, with rolling resistance accounting for the remaining 25 percent, so lowering that drag coefficient can really improve a vehicle's highway range. Neither the Prius nor the Insight can claim zero emissions or come equipped with big 28-inch wheels.

The Hinterland 1 is intended to be primarily a ultra-green city vehicle, which explains why its designers chose to use an all-electric drivetrain to completely remove emissions (and long range driving) from the equation. Using an electric motor that is estimated to output 19 horsepower and 67 foot-pounds of torque, the Hinterland doesn't look to be Tesla Roadster quick, but gratuitous use of lightweight materials such as aluminum and composites may help make up for a lack of power. The expected range of just more than 60 miles on a single charge doesn't look good at first, but most city trips will be much shorter than the 60-mile range.

(unquote)

Images courtesy of The Creative Unit

Original Source: Popular Science and CNET

Related Articles: Looks of a aerotank, heart of a hybrid: the Hinterland 1 concept car, Hinterland 1 All Vehicle from Creative Unit, and Martin Aube Hinterland Concept

The exterior is ok, drag coefficient is ok, the whole idea is brilliant bar one thing - 28" wheels.. Why? What for? I don't get it..

The designers are not always working hand in hand with the engineers and sometimes at the beginning of a certain prototype, the exterior doesn't always matches the interior. It is not only electric, but aerodynamic too. In case you are purchasing a car like this, you can check out http://parkplaceprinting.net/DEALER_DECALS.html and find some accessories that will at least give your car a special look on the street.

The curved top looks *stunning* for a mini transporter. Thing is that it eliminates so much head and shoulder room that it's not going to happen as beautifully as this is drawn, unless the bottom is significantly wider than the top.

As it's currently drawn, it'll seat three comfortably: One behind the other.

GM has been testing electric versions of three of its cars in small trials in India, China, and South Korea, and will use what it learned there about driver preferences when it engineers the Spark EV. Hope we will have a better and planet safe car in near future.

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