Automotive

Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler

Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Conc...
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
View 9 Images
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
1/9
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
2/9
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
3/9
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
4/9
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
5/9
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
6/9
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
7/9
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
8/9
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
9/9
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler

The recently finalized Double Challenge project required MA students at London’s Royal College of Art to design an ultra-compact electric vehicle for event sponsor Citroën. Not surprisingly from such distilled intelligence, the winning entry is a new type of personal urban commuter positioned between bicycles and cars – light, aerodynamically efficient, cheap to build and economical in its use of energy and hence run. Heikki Juvonen’s “E-3POD Antistatic” is an ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler with the driver sitting inside a large hub-less third wheel.

Juvonen’s E-3POD was conceived as an entry-level electric commuter for young people and students and so that owners of conventional automobiles could have a second low-cost vehicle which fits below the petrol-engined machinery expected to remain the primary means of long distance travel for some time yet. The E-3POD is of simple construction with a low frontal area, excellent aerodynamics and minimal weight in order to minimize the energy requirements of the vehicle and hence the required battery size. Minimal usage of materials also lowers construction costs.

Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler

The lowered weight is emphasized in design elements such as the rear wheel, which works as a supportive structural element, the shared suspension for both front wheels, and the use of scratch resistant plastic for the canopy. The silent electric engines also make sound insulation redundant, allowing for lighter material selection.

The E-3POD provides the user with easy, cost efficient transport with access to easier parking due to the small footprint of the vehicle and the likelihood that parking costs will continue to rise will further enhance the attractiveness of the vehicle. The design also provides comfortable and isolated personal space, which - when compared to bicycles or public transport - is a welcome addition. The short length of the vehicle makes it agile in urban environments. At higher speeds the E-3POD tilts slightly to provide solid grip and an emphasised stance, giving cornering a more responsive feel.

Heikki Juvonen’s E-3POD Antistatic was chosen as the best overall design by representatives from Citroën’s Style Centre and Electric Vehicle Development Team. As his prize, Heikki receives a six month employment contract to work at the prestigious PSA Design Centre in Paris. Heikki commented, “I’m thrilled Citroën selected my design as their favourite and I can’t wait to work with their talented team in France. As a designer I strive for new and better solutions. Good and sustainable design not only improves manufacturer brand image and sales, but can also help to preserve our environment.”

The project was jointly sponsored by Citroën and EXA, a France-based aerodynamic simulation software company. Citroen has a long association with the Royal College of Art. Mark Lloyd, the chief designer of the Citroen DS3, studied at the Royal College of Art.

Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Concept: ultralight, micro segment electric three-wheeler

Citroën had significant involvement throughout the Double Challenge project, providing industry figures to lend the students their expertise and experience, as well as organising a trip to the PSA Design Centre and Le Conservatoire, Citroën’s in-house museum of historic models.

Philippe Holland, Responsable Style Graphique at Citroën, said; “We’re delighted to be involved in this important RCA project. The students have produced some truly exceptional ideas for the future design of electric Citroën vehicles. This type of powertrain is increasingly recognised as an important solution for economically and environmentally viable urban transport; so it’s fantastic to see the electric visions of these potential car designers of tomorrow.”

17 comments
Wombat56
Umm ... How is the driver supposed to see past that big white thing in front of the driver\'s face? And how does the driver get into and out of the vehicle? But seriously, I think this class of light-weight vehicles make good sense for everyday commuting, both in size and energy usage.
Mr Stiffy
Great idea - except for the wheel in the face visibility issue.... For that = Dumb . Still setting the developers loose in busy traffic on a bicycle with a blindfold on should solve that.
William H Lanteigne
Having the driver\'s weight high over the single rear wheel, which has ZERO resistance to rolling over, is bad CG placement- unless this is supposed to be a tilter. 3 wheels can be as stable as 4, but to work, the CG position is critical.
yrag
I\'m a real fan of innovative three-wheeled vehicles like the (belated) Carver, but really Citroën (and gizmag too)? All the great tech in the world and you\'re choosing to highlight this poorly conceived contraption where the over-sized wheel is blocking the windshield?
Rune Winsevik
How can such a \"wheel in the face\"-stupidity win anything? Well, good luck, Citroën!
Fouture
Nice looks ! Needs some refining towards practicality, though... I\'ve been driving a full-electric three-wheeler for 13 years now, to full satisfaction. It\'s called a TWIKE. Two-seater, with optional pedals (recommended !!) and regenerative braking. Will be hard to beat...
sk8sonh2o
Ouch my neck hurts looking past that tire. A Royal pain in the neck. Make it a 2-seater or give the driver a video windshield. Make the wheel discontinous, so you see the road between the tire segments as they fly by. Make the tire a net or a jump rope, make it a razor-thin brush. Mr. Obama would you please take control of Citroen for a few months and fix the student loan system at RCA?
Matt
Besides the obvious visibility issues there is another major flaw with this concept. How is the rear wheel attached to the vehicle? If it is using mag-lev this would provide very low resistance but would easily push this out of the \"cheap to build\" category. If it is using wheels/beerings above the driver then this would not provide low resistance and any debris picked up from the road would easily cause mechanical problems.
Lsaguy
How much do you suppose it will cost to fix a flat or replace a tire on that rear wheel?
Ed
Yeah...and that big wheel and housing looks like a giant sail too!