The transport sector, experiencing high growth rates, contributes significantly to global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Almost one quarter of the global energy production is consumed by transport. This is a call for action for the transport sector to find ways to save primary energy resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The project AMBER-ULV (Automotive Mechatronic Baseline for Electric Resilient Ultra-Light Vehicle) (2013-2016) was financed by the EU 7th RTD Framework Programme under the European Green Cars Initiative with a budget of EUR 2,56 million, with the overall objective is to promote green transport through green vehicles and mobility system solutions which match the major societal, environmental and economic challenges ahead. The Study carried out by NTU was instrumental to the achievement of the specific objective of the project that was to develop a demonstration project focusing on development of technologies allowing efficient use of clean energies and energy efficiency solutions in the transport sector. The project was aimed at developing and integrating several innovative concepts, resulting from successfully completed R&D projects and innovative business models for Ultra-Light Vehicles, aiming to obtain a socially acceptable answer to business and safety concerns for sustainable driving, while not penalizing the driving experience.
How we did it
The research study addressed collectively the following aspects for the successful development of Light Urban Electric Vehicles:
- Developed optimised weight through innovative materials and system integration
- Safe design to achieve similar occupant safety level than in normal passenger cars
- Devised extremely low energy consumption options
- Configured an assembly line based on low energy consuming manufacturing processes.
- Developed new business approaches, based on reasonably low budgets and leading to novel supply chains.
NTU successfully completed the task on Innovative Business and Commercial Models, which goal was to compose commercial and business models for viable and tested sustainable urban transport solutions for ultra-light electric vehicles, so they can be introduced on market and commercial terms. The Commercial Model of the AMBER-ULV Vehicle was developed over two phases. Phase one covered search and identify, where the potential business opportunities (BO) for marketing the AMBER-ULV vehicle to a specific customer segment were identified. Phase two was select and quantify, which represented the quantification of the business opportunities identified in the first phase.
NTU, through this project, contributed to the promotion of electric vehicles by closing the gaps with fuel-propelled vehicles in terms of safety and performances, while maintaining a convenient and affordable price to quality ratio.
The outcomes were dedicated towards meeting sustainable targets throughout the support for accelerated market take up of electric vehicle technologies in urban transportation, covering last mile solutions for freight deliveries and urban goods transportation in general. The task therefore settled the first stage towards achieving EU’s low emission goals from the White Paper and a market uptake of the solutions for ultra-light electric vehicles.
Innovation Strategy Model (Adapted from NTU International, 2014)