Duke, M., de Fluiter, T., Anderson, T. N. & Andrews, D. (2006). The emergence of battery electric vehicles: A NZ manufacturing opportunity? Paper presented at the 3rd New Zealand Metals Industry Conference, Hamilton, 1-3 November, 2006.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/3624
Personal passenger transport faces several challenges in the coming decades: depletion of cheap oil reserves, increasing congestion, localised pollution, the need for reduced carbon emissions and the long term goal of sustainability. One way of solving some of these problems could be to introduce comfortable, energy efficient, battery electric vehicles. Currently, hybrid vehicles have been presented as a means to reducing the transportation related oil demand. New developments in materials and technologies have made them, cleaner and safer as well as more fuel efficient. However, hybrids will only prolong the use of oil until alternatively fuelled vehicles are developed. One long term alternative is the battery electric vehicle (BEV). A BEV designed to be light, aerodynamic with high efficiency drive train and latest battery technology would have a performance comparable to a typical internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV). Recent developments in virtual engineering, rapid prototyping and advanced manufacturing might enable low-cost development of niche market BEV’s designed and built in New Zealand for export markets. This work examines the collaborative development of a twin seat BEV using new materials and latest technologies by the University of Waikato’s Engineering Department and a group of NZ and foreign companies. The car will be used to research the potential of BEVs and will also compete in the Commuter Class of the World Solar Challenge in 2007.
This article has been presented at the 3rd New Zealand Metals Industry Conference, Hamilton, 1-3 November, 2006. Used with Permission.