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ECOmove revises production estimate for QBEAK EV

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December 12, 2012

ECOmove has announced a delay in the production of its QBEAK electric car, which was sched...

ECOmove has announced a delay in the production of its QBEAK electric car, which was scheduled for release this year

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The close of 2012 is but a few short days away, and the promised production version of the QBEAK electric car has yet to appear. Its Danish developers have advised that unforeseen challenges along the route to producing what they claim will be the most environmentally-, energy- and city-friendly car in the world have eaten away at the original time schedule and forced a launch date rethink. Meanwhile, the company has unveiled a third prototype that marks a significant improvement on earlier versions.

Development of the lightweight QBEAK electric vehicle began in 2009 and while the latest version is not quite production-ready, it is described as being very close to a finished model. ECOmove has now included a basic charging structure in the version three prototype, along with instrumentation and controls positioned in the center of the steering wheel.

The handle-free sliding doors are operated using a credit-card-like key externally and but...

The handle-free sliding doors are operated using a credit-card-like key externally and buttons internally, although the company's CEO Mogens Løkke did tell us that users will be able to enter and leave the vehicle manually in the unlikely event of a systems failure. There have also been some improvements made to the outside and inside.

"One of the biggest changes in materials is the coating of the EPP bodywork (wheel arches, bumpers etc.) which is completely new," said Løkke. "It is flexible and robust to small bumps and accidents. It has a rubbery surface – a bit like rubber coating. For demonstration purposes we have added two comfortable seats allowing two passengers to feel the excellent driving dynamics. The low and centered point of weight (batteries in the lower part of the chassis) allows us to throw the car around corners and easily catch control again if it should tend to slide."

The ECOmove in-wheel motors (one for each of the rear wheels) are reported to deliver approximately 50 hp, which is expected to more than meet city traffic needs while also being capable of reaching and maintaining highway speed. The 500-kg (1,102-lb) vehicle currently uses an 80-volt drive train, but plans are in place to ramp that up to 300 volts in the future.

"When it comes to battery configuration, we expect to announce more details later on," Løkke told us. "However, I can confirm that the system for simple battery swap-outs is integrated and will support more different power module systems (we are working on a fuel cell system)."

The third prototype of the QBEAK electric car now includes a basic charging structure, alo...

"The smartphone integration is progressing and is still to be implemented in the QBEAK III," he added. "We will soon demonstrate an intelligent sound alert system as an option for warning pedestrians. We are performing simulations for crash but are planning to run some destructive tests soon."

According to ECOmove, discussions are currently underway with experienced manufacturing and supply chain management companies in Denmark and abroad to ready the QBEAK for mass production and distribution in major markets such as Europe, America and Asia. The first production vehicle is now expected to roll out of the factory door in 2014.

Video of the QBEAK III prototype can be viewed below.

Source: ECOmove

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
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9 Comments

How does it fare in crash test? I have no wish to be buried in one.

VoiceofReason
12th December, 2012 @ 04:53 pm PST

Hi Voiceofreason, you again?

How come you always complain while people are still at it creating something new? I've sure done more dangerous things than riding a car that performs less than average in a crash test, and would probably ride this one if it only was available.

Did you ever ride a vintage American sports car? Well THAT'S dangerous. Did you complain about the crash test not performed properly, or did you enjoy the ride? Would you do it again?

I do in fact already have an electric car that is admittedly even less sophisticated. At least I do have one and it takes me to my job and back every day, quietly and without stinking. My little daughter can stand up in school and say: "No, Miss, not all cars stink. Ours doesn't and it runs on solar power!". Now, that is much better than "Our car is better than average in a crash test", is it?

The so called 'safety' of our over-heavy gas guzzlers will eventually kill us all, safely. Why don't you complain about that?

I know (at least some of) the Danes, they live kinda next door, and I can even speak their language. They have a sense of practicality and do not usually neglect safety, so I am confident this project will work out well balanced.

Nothing's going to change for the better if we all just sit back and complain. We need to take certain risks and give up on old unreflected habits now and then, to try something new even before it gets fully perfected, because in our industrial society, things are more likely to get perfected only when they come in large numbers. Call it Early-Adopterism, if you like, but there's much more honour in it than in 'Permanent Moanerism'.

We need to stop finger pointing and support those who dare to try a change!

I'd most probably buy one.

Best,

Martin

martinkopplow
13th December, 2012 @ 02:17 am PST

Expensive, short ranged, and no better for the environment than a small clean ICE powered car but smug is worth at lot.

Slowburn
13th December, 2012 @ 07:46 am PST

Well said, martinkopplow!

The greatest danger in urban traffic is low-speed fender-benders, with parking-lot dings far more frequent. A car that isn't designed for highway use can at least debut with minimal crash-safety ratings—if the car moves to the highways, buyers and governments (especially in Europe) will demand improvements related to high-speed use.

The important thing is to get small, efficient, alternative-fuel vehicles on the road in greater numbers, which will bring down manufacturing costs, which should in turn bring down prices, which will almost certainly increase the number of such cars sold, ...and so the cycle continues.

Cars like the QBEAK are required to "prime the pump" that will drive that cycle.

DavidB
13th December, 2012 @ 09:10 am PST

with ya 100% Martin

I drive a scooter and my safety is in offence. If I get in a fight with your standard American drive to work tank I will loose for sure. To much built-in safety allows drivers to take way more risk. Lived in Germany for three years and the cars are not as safe but the drivers sure are. Driver training is no joke and very expensive in most of Europe. I rented a Peugeot 1007 and really liked the sliding doors as it makes parking in tight spot easy

Regards,

Travis

Travis Tarr
13th December, 2012 @ 10:16 am PST

I have ridden in and owned said cars. I asked a reasonable question. You took offense. Yes I agree that it's stupid Americans can buy some of the Euro cars as they aren't 'heavy' enough, but there should be a balance. Sometimes a simple roll bar can make a HUGE difference. I added them to most of my air-cooled VW's. Not heavy at all.

Sometimes it doesn't matter what you drive. I witnessed a mid 70's Cadillac rear bumper get pushed into the dashboard. The now dead person driving the car pulled out right in front of one of our trailers carrying three rolls of aluminum that weight 16 tons each.

Since I didn't see anything the specs, I asked a question. My I worded it improperly. The question is valid.

VoiceofReason
13th December, 2012 @ 10:55 am PST

If safety is so important, why can we buy Harley Hogs? They're both dangerous AND stinky!

Ormond Otvos
13th December, 2012 @ 12:12 pm PST

This looks like a nice EV and just what many need, a good commuter that costs little to run.

Sadly their comment like space for a fuelcell and having problems with gadgets doesn't bode well.

What we need is a simple EV that costs less, not more. Using medium tech EV drive too would be smarter as no hub motor has ever been mass produced in a car because they have to be far too powerful just to start up a hill, thus high cost.Plus the motors weigh too much that the unsprung weight makes handling/ride rough.

They would have been much better off using gear reduction and then only need 50hp instead of 100.

Safety depends on many things. For instance Japanese Kei Cars that are smaller than this one are the safest models there. Mostly because they are city cars and mostly just used locally.

Instead of starting with a certain tech like hub motiors one should set the goal and then find the best tech to meet it.

jerryd
13th December, 2012 @ 01:46 pm PST

Hi Voiceofreason,

maybe I took it too serious, sorry for that. It's just I do not think the question about the cash test performance connected to 'being buried in one' was actually the appropriate question at hand, given the targeted use case of the project, and the fact that it will of course need to fulfill the current legislation. If you knew the local conditions any better, you would probably not have asked it.

And here's one for Slowburn:

EVs do indeed make no sense if run on fossil energy. They make sense if you can run them on RE. Now, the Danes do probably have the highest ratio of renewable energy of all countries in the world. Some regions are said to be fully self supporting. Also, the distances to travel are usually on the short side, given the overall dimensions of the country and it being 'organized' in islands. There is not too much traffic, and speed is not so much a problem, compared to Germany, at least. Electric cars do really make sense there. Also, cars are extremely (think twice as ...) expensive in Danmark, due to high taxes, so cheap cars do also make sense there.

It appears wise to tailor a product like this to the region of it's intended use. There will not be a single type of car that fully satisfies the needs of all drivers in the world. Also, not all drivers in the world satisfy the requirements of the future ...

martinkopplow
14th December, 2012 @ 02:52 am PST
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