A new class of car to open up new opportunities in the custom car market
Melbourne-based electric vehicle technology company EVX will be releasing the world’s first solar sports car, the Immortus. In the process of doing this new technologies that make the full electrification or hybridization of custom cars easier has been developed and opened new opportunities for custom car builders.
The Immortus – a car that takes the technology of current solar racers (from the World Solar Challenge) that currently race across contents around the world at the edge of legal speed limits and brings it to a street legal sports car. Such a car is independent of energy supply infrastructure, and positioned in the market for buyers looking for a unique vehicle.
Because the Immortus itself is so unique, it has opened up numerous opportunities in the custom car industry.
The first opportunity is the connection of custom car builders to potential customers currently in the luxury car industry. The Immortus will be made to order by custom car builders close to each end user – this is to strategically align the vehicle with requirements aligned with individually constructed vehicles. The target market is high net worth individuals who currently own a number of luxury cars in their collection. Many high net worth individuals are not aware of bespoke vehicles and shop from the show room floor. EVX plans to introduce these customers to true car luxury provided by the custom car industry. Jay Leno is one example of such an individual who does appreciate this. These individuals are currently accustomed to buying off the dealer’s floor, and not aware of the possibility of a truly bespoke car. EVX is currently looking for custom car builders interested in engaging this market to cooperate on the distribution of the Immortus. By being known as a builder of the Immortus, builders will become known to current luxury car buyers via focused Immortus promotions.
The second opportunity is multiple and relates to the application of technologies that were developed for the Immortus to custom cars. Some examples suitable to the custom car industry now or into the future are:
Integrated upright – Solar racers will typically have a hub motor designed for efficiency and thus long range. This is ideal for the endurance events typified by the solar car races that run for days as they cross a continent. However, the balance between torque and efficiency is different in street cars. The final design in the Immortus is an integrated upright that includes the motors and transmission along with the hub and brake components normally mounted to an upright. Such an upright is modular and makes for easy installation:
· Custom cars could easily mount such a unit to an existing car at the front for regen braking that will store the energy and then enter a 4WD mode for augmented acceleration that utilises the extra tracking of the front wheels.
· Conversion of muscle cars to all wheel drive electric now becomes easier because the engine bay now only needs to hold batteries while the transmission and motors can be mounted within the suspension. An easier task with regards to determining vehicle layout and installation.
· Custom built cars can now be made electric with ease due to the use of off the shelf modules that are easily installed as part of the suspension.
The upright technology has currently been developed for the Immortus and EVX is looking for interested parties to guide the direction of the next generation of technology.
Regenerative shock absorber – Such technology – the produced electricity instead of losing the vertical motion of a car to heat – has been considered for some time. However, the balance of cost to benefit has limited the implementation. Within the context a solar sports car, where energy is much more valuable, makes such technology more attractive. Currently this technology is likely only suitable to the Immortus, but the car will act as a platform to refine and optimise the technology until it is viable in other custom car applications.
Lightweight battery box – Battery technology in most electric vehicles is typically heavy – due to the nature of battery technology – and complicated – due to the need to keep the batteries cool with liquid cooling, which also adds weight. The weight is not an option for a solar sports car. There is a niche area of research in the electric vehicle arena that focuses on the strategic use of air cooling to ensure battery life. The immortus will sport such a battery box. Because of the use of air cooling the battery box is easier to integrate into other vehicles – one need not run cooling liquid lines around other components. This ease of integration will further assist custom car builders pursuing full electrification or hybridization.
Custom car builders interested in knowing more about how they can be a part of this new wave of vehicle technology can contact EVX’s CEO Barry Nguyen via the company’s website www.evxventures.com.
In early November this year, EVX will be exhibiting at the world’s largest automotive speciality parts trade show in the world, the SEMA Show 2015 (Speciality Equipment and Marketing Association) at Las Vegas Convention Center, USA in November. The SEMA Show attracts more than 100,000 industry leaders from around the world from more than 100 countries.
In mid September next year, EVX will also be exhibiting at the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Vehicle Technology Expo in Detroit, which is one of the largest electric vehicle engineering events in the world.
EVX Pty Ltd
Led by Australian entrepreneur Barry Nguyen and electric vehicle expert Dr Clint Steele, EVX Ventures is a Melbourne-based electric vehicle startup in collaboration with the leading electric vehicle R&D group at Swinburne University of Technology.