17 February 2011 by Dickon Ross
"Positioned between cars and bicycles, the E-3Pod is designed to coexist with cars, thus avoiding comparison. This ultra light urban commuter propels its driver silently through urban areas, while the small footprint gives access to nimble parking."
This is the winning design in a Citroën competition for students on the Royal College of Art's Automotive Design course, whose graduates go on to work for car makers all over the world. Mark Lloyd, designer of Citroën's award-winning DS3, is an alumnus.
Citroën's plan is to explore super-compact electric cars based on the quadricycle. You can see the students' approaches to this problem in our photo essay. Citroën lent its engineering and design expertise and organised a trip to the PSA Design Centre - so the designs may look extraordinary but they are realistic, which is what makes them so exciting.
Car design is at a tipping point. After decades of design convergence towards a couple of common themes, anything now seems possible as car makers look beyond pure petrol power.
Jet-powered cars have long been the stuff of comic strip fantasies. Now Jaguar is embarking on a feasibility study to go into production with the C-X75. Okay, so it's not a pure jet-engined monster with flames shooting out the back. It uses microturbines to charge lithium batteries, helping to avoid 'range anxiety' with an alternative source of power to pureplay electric. But it does look pretty amazing.
The yellow taxi is synonymous with New York, more familiar even than some of its landmark architecture. But it too is being redesigned.
Could the roads themselves help with 'range anxiety'? They cover a big surface area, they go everywhere so why not turn that tarmac into a solar power plant, converting the heat of the sun into power?
It's been a tough few years for the automotive industry. Tony James found a new optimism at this year's Detroit Motor Show. But the industry has changed, with new big players emerging as well as new technologies bringing new safety issues. The show is also the subject of one of the recent E&T videos.
Also in this issue, our News Analysislooks at government plans to renew the feed-in tariff scheme for small renewable energy projects. We look at how technology could help with train overcrowding, and report on the latest from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Geneva.
Deposit libraries like the British Library keep a copy of every book, magazine or newspaper published - we have to send E&T. But what about websites, which are not archived in the same way? Chris Edwards looks at digital archaeology and a dig that has unearthed treasures going all the way back to 2000 and even beyond! What websites would you save for posterity? We suggest ten.
Finally, this month's debate starts with the motion "This house believes that, in the interests of a stable engineering sector, bankers should not receive huge bonuses in a time of credit crisis". Read the 'for' and 'against' bankers bonuses and cast your vote.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology
Edited: 03 July 2012 at 12:31 PM by Editor's letter Moderator
Posted By: Dickon Ross @ 17 February 2011 12:51 PM Introducing an issue of E&T
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