Shrinking Car City

Reconquest
of the
City

Electric vehicles are regarded primarily as regards sustainability, ie as a vehicle to support the entry into the post-fossil age. At the same time, the introduction of the new electro-powered motors opens up opportunities for the redefinition of the car with far-reaching consequences: the car is shrinking – and the public space of the city can grow again.

The car was modeled after the carriage and still bears its genetic coding. It is still used today as a large vehicle, which transports a group of passengers over longer distances. Its general development was little affected by its actual use in the urban context. Today, with the electric vehicle, the opportunity arises to adapt the car to the actual needs.

The limitations due to the limited storage capacity of today’s batteries offer the opportunity to rethink the car. The limited storage capacity not only limits the range, but also the weight and thus the size of the car. As smaller and lighter vehicles are more fuel-efficient, minimizing the size of electric vehicles is a relevant competitive advantage.

article
1 January 2011

@ ZENO
Germany

Minimization
of the
Vehicle Size

Since the electric motor is not as complex as the internal combustion engine, it does not require any highly specialized expertise for its production. Therefore, the new electric cars are currently being developed not only by the traditional large car manufacturers, but also by medium-sized companies. The market is characterized by differentiated, smaller vehicles, for example, tailored to urban space. The transition from the electrically operated wheelchair to the electric small car is smooth. The urban car is shrinking.
These developments also include the experience with small urban vehicles, which have already been offered for several years and which are better suited to the driving behavior within the city, namely short tours at low speed with mostly one passenger. This minimization of the vehicle size is a further competitive advantage in the city if the driver quickly finds a parking space in the traffic-congested city center.

Urban
Networking

The introduction of the electric drive is in parallel with other technological developments: medialization, digitization, robotization and networking. Digital networking supports resource-saving mobility. The combination of physical and media mobility can reduce the number of trips actually made. Networked mobile and digital services also help to ensure quality of life – for the more intimate parts of the population, and especially in rural and shrinking regions. These combined mobile and media services range from video conferencing to media-assisted communication with the hospital. The networking of physical mobility and digital networks can thus provide a solution for safeguarding the opportunities for participation of an aging population and accessibility in rural areas.

Also, car sharing, the organized community use of cars, allows for more efficient use of vehicles and thus improves energy efficiency. The car sharing services can be supported by medialisation and networking. Intelligent systems display options and options as well as the necessary information, which facilitates communication and reservation, and helps to settle billing dynamically. This makes car-sharing services more attractive.

At present, the acceptance of such car-sharing services is increasing. Some major car manufacturers have recently offered such “mobility services.” Car sharing is not a product, but a service, which is a general trend for the market to move away from providing objects and providing services “Jeremy Rifkin has described this general tendency that access is becoming more important, instead of property, by the millennium in his book” Age of Acces “.

In addition to the storage capacity of the batteries, the construction of a supply network of charging stations is the major challenge on which the introduction of electromobility depends. Again, networking – of urban systems – would be relevant. The coupling of the supply network from charging stations for electric vehicles to intelligent energy supply systems using renewable energy sources (solar collectors and wind power plants) would stabilize both systems – that of electric mobility and energy supply.

Similar to electric vehicles, the storage of electricity, ie the storage capacity of the batteries, is the problem with renewable energies. The extraction of renewable energies follows the whims of nature: When does the wind blow, or when does the sun shine? In the short term, a lot of energy is gained, which is perhaps not needed directly and is difficult to save for future use.

In this case, an intelligent coupling of the system of sustainable energy supply with the charging system for electric cars could lead to mutual support for the systems. The batteries of electric cars could function as external storage media in the urban energy supply system. You could record the generated current, save it at short notice and, if necessary, feed it into the system again. By means of alternating circuits, the uneven demand, which is caused by the life rhythm of the city dwellers, could be adapted dynamically in real time to the fluctuating supply generated by the cycles and moods of nature. Fluctuations could be intercepted and differences between supply and demand buffered. Electric vehicles could have a stabilizing effect on the urban energy supply system with their batteries.

This would not only allow the feed-in of renewable energies in electric vehicles, which directly has a lasting effect. It would also support the introduction of locally won clean energies in general. The electric vehicle as a vehicle on the way to the post-fossil age would gain in importance.

Networking
and
Transport

Digital networking can also support multimodal mobility systems, which link motorized individual transport to public transport such as buses, trains and (electric) bicycles. This also has a resource-saving effect. Also, car sharing, the organized community use of cars, allows for more efficient use of vehicles and improves energy efficiency. Intelligent systems display options and options as well as the necessary information, which facilitates communication and reservation, and help to process billing dynamically. This makes car-sharing services more attractive.
At present, the acceptance of such car-sharing services is increasing. Some major car manufacturers have recently offered such “mobility services”, which is a general development tendency that leads away from the provision of objects and the provision of services. “Jeremy Rifkin wrote in his book” Age of Acces “That access is becoming more important instead of ownership.

Infrastructure
for
Electromobility

In addition to the storage capacity of the batteries, the construction of a supply network of charging stations is the major challenge on which the introduction of electromobility depends. Again, the networking of urban systems is relevant. The coupling of the supply network from charging stations for electric cars to intelligent energy supply systems using renewable energies (solar collectors and wind power plants) would stabilize both systems – that of electric mobility and energy supply.
Similar to electric cars, the storage of electricity is the problem with renewable energies. The extraction of renewable energies follows the whims of nature: When does the wind blow, when does the sun shine? In the short term, a lot of energy is gained, which is perhaps not needed directly and is difficult to save for future use. The batteries of electric cars could therefore act as external storage media in the urban energy supply system. They take up the generated electricity, save it at short notice and, if necessary, feed it back into the system. By means of alternating circuits, the uneven demand, which is caused by the life rhythm of the city dwellers, could be adapted dynamically in real time to the fluctuating supply generated by the cycles and moods of nature. Fluctuations are thus intercepted and differences between supply and demand are buffered. The introduction of renewable energies into electric cars has a direct, lasting effect and would also support the introduction of locally won clean energies in general. The electric vehicle as a vehicle on the way to the post-fossil age would gain in importance.

more
Space
in the
City

Electric cars are quieter and produce no exhaust emissions, at least locally. This has a direct positive effect on the quality of the public space in the city. At the same time, the reduction of the vehicle size and the number of vehicles by car sharing can mean a reduction in the space for the flowing and stationary traffic. On some models that are currently being developed, the electric motors are attached to the wheels of the vehicle, which allows for sharper turning lines. This minimization of the turneries could allow further shrinkage of the space reserved for motorized traffic. At the same time, digitally supported and networked intelligent parking systems could minimize the space required for parking.
The introduction of electromobility therefore means not only quieter environments and cleaner air in the cities. It can also bring about the reduction of the area of ​​the flowing traffic and thus partly a re-conquest of the street area by the pedestrians, residents and users of the city. At the same time, it leads to the reduction of the space that has to be reserved for parking, the dormant traffic. This could allow higher densities in new construction areas. The result would be urban ensembles – with the corresponding economic relevance.
All these opportunities that the introduction of the electromobility could offer to our urban landscapes open up at a time when, in the face of ecological awareness, our energy consumption and habits are generally questioned and rethought. This does not mean that electromobility will automatically have this effect. The opportunities must be taken and the developments must be steered.

The car is shrinking – and the public space of the city can grow again!