The V-FEATHER project presents a complete electric vehicle architecture vision on how urban light duty vehicles will be designed, built and run in the near future. This project is led by industrial partners with emphasis on energy efficiency, commercial viability, life cycle design and development of new technologies for LDVs steered by leading research institutes.
The vehicle is built around an active adaptive structural architecture (ADAPTecture) that replaces the “platform” concept with a modular building block concept. The functional modules are part of the vehicle structure itself thus reducing the frame weight and add their own power and energy units which can be shared. This increases the payload capacity and the available power to weight ratio of the vehicle can be controlled.
As the weight distribution and structural integrity changes when a payload module is added or removed, active vehicle dynamics are incorporated through a modular actively controlled reconfigurable structure, collapsible body panels, active suspension modules incorporating in-hub motors and modular battery pack systems. A High-level control architecture controls the vehicle dynamics, active safety, power and energy requirements and driver interaction.
The specifications of these modular LDV are based on a radical new Deposit, Rapid Recharge and Recollect (D3R) system for urban freight, last mile delivery, freight security and tracking. The modular vehicle is able to drop off modules for delivery, recharging and collection later while continuing a freight run. This varying payload structure and vehicle footprint allows the LDV to function in the entirety of the supply chain run. Dynamic charging (while moving) can be carried out using available infrastructures. The D3R concept could theoretically allow 24 hour running without a single charge pause.
A complete prototype vehicle with a cab and payload module will be developed during the project to validate and test the new concepts.
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Funding SchemeCP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project