The Michelin Challenge Bibendum
has just finished its tenth staging in Brazil, and thanks to championing what was an unfashionable cause when it started, has become the major annual sustainable mobility event as environmental concerns have grown. One of the highlights of the event this year was Michelin's release of a 145 page book entitled “Driving in the future – towards sustainable road mobility” and it's a great resource for understanding the challenges we face collectively, and the ways in which are likely to overcome them. Even better news is that you can download the entire book for free in PDF format
and that it's available in English, French and Portuguese.
THINK electric vehicles are heading south. Following on from plans to introduce its electric vehicle range in the U.S.
, the Scandinavian electric vehicle maker has now announced a deal with energy provider CPFL Energia to conduct a feasibility study on its THINK City EVs in the Brazilian market.
When we brought you our article on the Ferrari 599 GTB
back in 2006, it was the fastest V12 production car on the market. Now, the company has released the 599 GTO, the fastest ever road-going Ferrari. Based on the 599XX - the advanced experimental track car – this extreme V12 berlinetta delivers a neck-snapping 0-100kmh acceleration time of just 3.35” as well as a top speed of more than 335kmh (208mph).
At the North American International Auto Show, Gizmag’s Noel McKeegan got the lowdown on the Venturi Volage concept electric sportscar from Venturi’s Clement Dorance. Venturi is the company responsible for the world’s first production electric sportscar, the Fetish
, and its latest electric sportscar is the result of collaboration between Venturi and Michelin. It is one of the first applications of the Michelin Active Wheel System
that replaces a vehicle’s traditional engine with eight electric motors located within the wheels. Each wheel contains two motors - one responsible for the propulsion and the other taking care of the suspension. As Clement explains this innovative design not only gives the Volage four-wheel-drive and active suspension, but also provides a low center of gravity to further enhance the maneuverability and overall performance of the vehicle.
Did you marvel at the impressive cornering and maneuverability of the Dyson Ball
when it first raced around the floor in TV ads? If such a ball design can take a vacuum cleaner to places no others would dare to go, what could such a thing could do for a car? Graphic designer Santosh Chawla has incorporated a similar principle into his hydrogen powered Circulus concept car design.
First appearing in the Michelin Challenge Design
earlier this year, the Phoenix concept features an orbital omni-directional four-wheel-drive system which allows for several types of motion - apart from moving forwards and backwards, it can rotate around its own axis and move sideways.
is an non-pneumatic Tire/WhEEL combo which offers an idiot-proof, no-maintenance, easily-retreadable tire for consumers and the holy grail for the military - a tire that can't be “shot out.” You won't see the Tweel on your sandmobile any time soon because it has noise, vibration, heat and wear problems at highway speeds, but its unique construction enables it to be specifically engineered with ideal characteristics for highly specialized low speed applications. The ultimate badge of credibility was bestowed on the design when it rolled down Pennsylvania Avenue on NASA’s Small Pressurized Lunar Rover prototype during the Obama presidential inauguration.
Known to our readers for transport innovations like the Tweel
airless tire, Michelin has announced that it will partner to bring an affordable electric car powered by its Active Wheel System to the roads in 2010. Featuring two electric motors housed within the wheel, one for traction and braking and the other for electric active suspension control, the system has revolutionary potential - no more engine under the hood, no more traditional suspension system, and no more gearbox or transmission as all the essential components have been integrated into the wheel itself.
UPDATED November 20, 2008 One of the more fascinating developments in the history of the automotive tire
is the modern concept of the airless tire. Dunlop produced the first pneumatic tire for bicycles in 1888 and Michelin did likewise for cars in 1895, and for the last century, pneumatic tires have ruled. Michelin announced its airless Tweel technology three years ago
(Gizmag’s biggest story ever with more than a million page views) and won the Intermat Gold Medal for Innovation in 2006
, though we have yet to see a commercially available automotive product from the French giant. Now a new airless tire using a flexible, honeycomb-like internal structure could again prove to be a disruptive technology in one of the world’s largest industries. With development funded by the U.S. DoD, the initial aim of the project was to replace the Achilles heel of the military vehicle, but now the technology looks like going commercial for the rest of us.
Renault has taken a holistic approach to energy saving with its latest concept car. Based on the new Kangoo be bop, the Z.E. (Zero Emission) Concept incorporates a number of innovations across all aspects of the vehicle to ensure optimum range is achieved from the lithium-ion battery powered 70kW (95hp) electric motor. These include the use of heat-reflective paint, acid green-tinted glass and air-insulated body panels designed to reduce reliance on energy-sapping climate control systems, along with roof-mounted solar panels, extensive use of LEDs and aerodynamic enhancements like the replacement of drag-producing exterior mirrors with low-energy cameras. There's also an on-board electric scooter that uses the car's charging system and provides an even greener option for short city trips.