Looks like students at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) are crazy about green transportation. Just a few weeks ago, we informed you about a group that had designed a hybrid car prototype, and now another team of students has come up with an electric cab concept.
The responsible designers are Karina Aguilar and Cesar Rivas, coursing Industrial Design at the FES faculty of the UNAM. Their idea was to create a taxi for short distances that could be green, high performance, secure and attractive for users.
The resulting vehicle is mounted on a M6 Moldeco platform, has an electric motor of 48 volts HP10 hp 1125 rpm in the back, and space for the cab rider and two passengers. Its source is a 6-8 volts battery with a duration of 117 minutes, which is charged through an automatic 48 volts charger in an eight hour period, via a common household socket. Its cost is 45 thousand Mexican pesos, which is about 4200 US dollars.The outside of the car is made with polyester resin, strengthened with glass fiber.
A finished prototype was presented at an exhibition called Espacio Vanguardia 2007 (which translates Avant-Garde Space 2007) that took place in Guadalajara city.
"One of the advantages", said Karina Aguilar, one of the designers, "is that the exterior can be used as an advertising media and create income that can finance the cost of the car and improve the owner's profit".
The students are waiting for governmental support and looking for other private ways to get the project going.
Battery electric cars, as you might know, are greener because they do not feed on fossil fuels. You could argue the energy they charge from may come from fossil fuels, but even then, they are more efficient: they are 75% energy efficient versus 15% of the cars powered with petrol, explains this article in Wikipedia. Of course they are not the perfect alternative, but a certainly valid one.