Street Legal, Ultra Compact EV Is “More Eco-Friendly Than Using The Train”
Team "Prominence", which participates primarily in solar car races, has developed the Prominence Commuting Device (PCD).
"We began developing this vehicle in April 2009 and achieved a completed vehicle in May of 2010. At that point the vehicle was issued a license and we began conducting demonstration testing on public roads. As for the reason we developed this car, if you carefully consider how a vehicle is operated by battery power, then you must also consider the difference between the energy available in existing gasoline powered vehicles and the amount of energy that can be stored by batteries. If we compare the two and set the energy volume of gasoline powered vehicles at 100, then the energy volume of lithium-ion batteries is only around 1. Therefore, there is a difference of about 100 times in the amount of energy that can be stored, and if we focus our attention on that area, then it's obvious that advancements must be made with transmission parts. However, in addition to that, we must also consider measures that will enable the vehicle itself to travel faster with less power. When we thought about the vehicle from that point of view, we recognized the need to develop a vehicle that is as lightweight as possible while also minimizing air resistance. To achieve this, we decided to develop a prototype vehicle using the knowledge and experienced that we had gained from participating in solar car races."
The vehicle can be charged in 4 hours and can travel 90km on a single charge. The top speed is 75 kilometers per hour, but because the vehicle falls within the category of a Class 1 Motorized Bicycle or Small Motor Mini Car, the maximum speed when traveling on public roads in Japan is limited to 60 kilometers per hour.
"The only parts that are used in this vehicle are parts that can be purchased individually by ordinary consumers. This includes key parts, parts for the body, the motor, and all other parts. In fact, one of our key focuses of design was the ability to easily gather together all of the necessary parts for assembly. We believe that once people around the world understand this, then there will be an increase in the number of people who recognize that they too can build a similar vehicle. We believe there is potential in this area. For example, if someone wants to make a business out of this type of vehicle, they can use this vehicle as a reference and develop an even better vehicle. That would make us very happy."
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