Does it seem impossible to solve city traffic problems? Does it seem like too big a challenge to offer convenient, environmentally friendly solutions for public transit?
The innovative electric car sharing system advanced by ESPRIT is betting it can succeed. Cities such as Glasgow, Lisbon, Toulouse, Lyon, Barcelona and others already believe in the project.
Now more than ever, electrifying public transit is a subject that’s frequently in the news and is sure to play an increasingly crucial role. It results in convenient, silent and environmentally friendly transportation, as it combines respect for the environment with practical, economically sound advantages.
To meet the need for mobility and answer the challenges that EU cities are facing, the European research project named Easily Distributed Personal Rapid Transit (ESPRIT) has developed a light electric vehicle that can be joined together in a road train. The train can then be towed and parked as a group, so that up to 8 vehicles can be recharged in a small space by a single charging column.
ESPRIT is the first car sharing system that provides incentives for people to use public transit by offering a real alternative to using their car in the city.
The goal is to reduce noise and air pollution and, at the same time, to improve city traffic flow and provide mobility solutions even in areas that are poorly serviced by public transit.
The project is 100% financed by the European Commission as part of the H2020 Green Vehicle program and is managed by the INEA agency.
Flash Battery by Kaitek is providing its know-how with the development of six special, highly efficient, high-voltage (300V) lithium-ion battery packs and is supplying a system for communicating with the main control units on the vehicle.
The fleet of ESPRIT vehicles is characterized by the following innovations linked to the carsharing system
- The light, 4-wheel vehicles are type-approved for 3 persons to meet family transportation needs (carrying shopping bags, children, etc)
- The charging system is extremely fast (5 minutes for charging to 80% capacity)
- A free floating system, combined with the placement of numerous charging stations, allows for intensive yet efficient vehicle use
- The vehicle coupling system, together with a dynamic payment method offering incentives for vehicle repositioning, dramatically reduces the cost of running the service
- Parking spaces at charging stations can be much smaller, thanks to the ability to link up to 8 vehicles together (road-train)
- Balancing battery packs for different vehicles ensures better fleet management, with vehicles always ready for use
To prove the ESPRIT concept, the project has used modelling and simulation tools to predict their conditions of use and their economic, social and environmental benefits, as well as the key operating strategies that will have to be implemented. Pilot demonstrations for the project will be held in Glasgow and Lyon.
For more information, please visit http://www.esprit-transport-system.eu