Here's something to put the petrol heads in a tizzy.

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  • Here's something to put the petrol heads in a tizzy.
  • TooTall
    Member

    Same way they did it for 50,000 years before the car was invented

    Feudal system, taxes, private militias and brutality?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Cost neutral? Don’t know.

    I think it would cost a lot, but I really think it’s money worth spending. But I think even for a government it would be prohibitively expensive everywhere, so some cars would still be required.

    Feudal system, taxes, private militias and brutality?

    Oh, did the invention of the car eliminate those things? I missed that πŸ™‚

    Peyote
    Member

    What needs to disappear is commuting. Far easier to get rid of a lot of commuting, leaving the roads clear for traffic that we actually need – goods, tradespeople, services etc.

    I’ve often thought it’d be a good idea to get rid of true “personal” motorized transport, those with a need to shift heavy stuff, plumbers retailers etc… could register business vehicles, but all of us normal folk who don’t need a business vehicle should try and make do without.

    Not gonna happen though, to most people freedom = car ownership/use, shame that mobility is such a limitation for so many.

    shifter
    Member

    There are too many cars because standards of living are too high. As we seem incapable of creating a fair income tax system perhaps we should massively increase car tax at point of purchase.

    I take it you live in a city and/or are single (or no kids)?

    Where I live without a car it’d be a 15 mins walk to a bus stop with limited buses. The nearest town is two buses away, depending on time. The nearest railway is 40 miles away, although by 2015 we’ll have one 5 miles (and two buses away). And before you suggest it’s only 5 miles, that includes a 500ft ascent or a trunkroad of 8 miles.

    And no buses on a Sunday, and limited early/late services.

    I’m not sure how what you said counters what I said but, as you ask, I live with the missus and a 4yo in a dormitory village on the outskirts of a town. I live where I live because there’s a demand for the line of work I’m in and the house prices are cheap. The exact location was picked because it was equi-distant between two pubs and two decent schools. The school she’s going to was picked so missus can walk little one there across nice parkland and then another mile to her work. It’s 8 miles to my work so I often ride. We have two cars and could easily park four on the drive. It’s one bus into town and that’s where the station is.

    Why br, do live where you live? Apart from the 500′ ascent it sounds rubbish πŸ˜‰

    Rscott
    Member

    Lots of kids playing on my street today and on the main road, which is a route from huddersfield to sheffield.

    Could this thread be more of a Back in my day.

    Premier Icon Speeder
    Subscriber

    I saw this thread a few months ago now and it tickled me as this is exactly what I’m going to spend at least the next 6 months trying to find a solution for.

    I’ve just put together a consortium and secured some funding to design and develop a personal mobility vehicle under the new to the UK quadricycle regulations.

    Our guiding mantra is going to be “Just Enough”. On that basis what would you like to see in a personal mobility vehicle?

    Even though I know not everyone is going to like or even appreciate the concept, I think this is about as good a forum to ask questions of right now. There’s a broad spectrum of society and there’s likely to be some who are already thinking this way as evidenced by this thread.

    This my first bit of market research so please be gentle.

    Bearing in mind that given features are:-

    * Single seat – %90+ of all car journeys are by single occupants why carry around 1000kgs+ of redundant metal around with you when just taking yourself to work and back?
    * Electric motor
    * Light weight – quadricycle regs state under 350 or 400kgs excluding batteries, we’re aiming to easily get under that inclusive
    * 3 wheels – possibly controversial but it’s more than 25% lighter than 4 and still offers “enough” stability

    What else would you like to see? In terms of the following? –

    Range
    * Luggage space
    * Sizing – who do I need to accommodate?
    * Weather Protection
    * HVAC – Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
    * Performance – Tope speed will be limited in Light Quadricycle mode to 28mph as this is a class of vehicle designed for 16yr-olds to operate on a Moped license but 15kW (20hp) could be available for those with a full license and this ought to easily enable 65mph – is this enough?
    * Features – Bluetooth/Entertainment systems and the like – what can’t you do without?

    Cheers for anyone’s input if you reply.

    Gary

    Premier Icon baden
    Subscriber

    Bike rack?

    warton
    Member

    Biggest problem will be how will people establish their social status without a car?

    I think the age of the PCP has put paid to that anyway, hasn’t it?

    warton – I think the age of the PCP has put paid to that anyway, hasn’t it?

    Is that currently beating cocaine in the ‘I’m richer than you’ drug?

    Who’s going to pay for that? Public transport becomes incredibly expensive when you have to cover every house.

    Not really, I’d bet you any ammount that enough people live within a 2 minute walk of my house working in the next town to fill a bus, but everyone drives in as the bus isn’t really very direct. If you could convince everyone on our street to get the bus it’d be cheep as it would only need to make a few stops (pick us all up, and drop everyone off at the other end).

    The problem is the oppertunity cost* of getting the bus is about Β£5 return. The oppertunity cost of driving to work is about Β£3. Why would I get the bus if I can drive for less and it takes half the time? Ovbiosuly cycling has an oppertunity cost of nothing and is quicker than the bus as well.

    *cost of actualy doing something, walking being free as I already own shoes, car tax already been paid etc.

    rogerthecat
    Member

    @Speeder:

    I don’t want to seem negative but there are lots of examples of this type of vehicle on YouTube from concept vehicles to others that are well designed and executed, some seem to be almost at production stage. However, they are still not appearing on our roads so this must communicate something.

    Having three wheels is a psychological barrier to anyone who has ever seen or encountered a Reliant or 1970s invalid carriage – hateful things and bloody dangerous. Even performance three wheelers are seen as eccentric – Morgan and the big bike engined sports trikes. There’s a hefty perception management job to do if you want this to be anything other than an academic exercise.

    Personally I would want to be able to drive it around Sheffield’s roads and retain my teeth, not feel completely intimidated by HGVs and buses, have sufficient power/range to make it effective – that is to be able to keep up with traffic and not get forced into the gutter as mopeds do now. Carry work bags, shopping, sports kit, the usual day to day paraphernalia of modern living. It would have to be weatherproof if it’s to be used by commuters used to the comfort of their tin boxes. If you use aircon you’ll kill an electric powersource in no time.

    I am a father of a 16 yr old who travels to the local city for 6th form, if it were to provide him with a safe and effective means of transport that was affordable and cheap to insure then I may be interested.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    3 wheels – possibly controversial but it’s more than 25% lighter than 4

    Really? How does that work then, given it would seem there are parts of significant weight which will be the same however many wheels you have.

    Anyway, wouldn’t that make it a tricycle?

    Really? How does that work then, given it would seem there are parts of significant weight which will be the same however many wheels you have.

    No need for a rear chassis as such, engine, steering, suspension at the front like a normal FWD car, just much smaller, driver behind that, rear wheel ona swingarm behind him, that’s a lot of chassis removed (think about it as a car cut diagonaly from behind the front wheel to the opposite rear corner, then stretched back into a triangle shape, you’ve cut out almost half the chassis, or cut an original mini in half behind the front seat, and stick a motorbike swingarm i there)

    I like the idea, I want a Morgan one though!

    Premier Icon Speeder
    Subscriber

    Thanks Roger that correlates with a lot of my own thinking. You are of course correct there are a lot of similar things in development, at least in concept, many of them by the major manufacturers. One could view that in 2 ways – either the concept is fundamentally flawed for some reason – either technical or simply people’s perception or no-one has had the guts, for want of a better word, to follow them through. I don’t think any of the OEMs will go for it until the market is proven to some extent by an independent – they’re simply all too scared and I suspect they’ll not be able to “sell” them to the shareholders.

    VW/Audi have got closest with some truly exciting vehicles, yet I even they are still making generic vehicles and these are getting bigger and bigger for each class all the time.

    Bigger is better seems to be hard wired into the human psyche and I’d like to change that. I can see it being a tough sell.

    jfletch
    Member

    * Single seat – %90+ of all car journeys are by single occupants why carry around 1000kgs+ of redundant metal around with you when just taking yourself to work and back?

    Straight away this stops your solution from being viable and makes it niche and pointless.

    Sure 90% of journeys of are single occupancy but 90% of cars are also used to do other things at some point.

    That is the briliance of the car, it can go to the shops, take 5 mates anywhere in Europe, transport a family to grandparents, take a garden full of rubbish to the tip, get someone to work everyday, trundle arround town at 10mph or travel long distances at 70mph…

    And it does all this with relatively little cost. A cost that the average person can easily afford.

    Premier Icon Speeder
    Subscriber

    I like the idea, I want a Morgan one though

    Thanks. The concept is to make them customisable and that may stretch to wire wheels and different bodywork. It’ll certainly include wraps from the factory to your specification/design. (Copyright issues allowing)

    wors
    Member

    Isn’t the answer you are looking foe already here in the form of a motorbike/moped ? I can understand what you are trying to do, but in reality, how much cheaper is likely to be than say a ford ka or similar small car? and of course there is the smart car….

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Subscriber

    3 wheels – possibly controversial but it’s more than 25% lighter than 4

    You have obviously never seem a Reliant Robin topple over negotiating a roundabout πŸ™„
    When the first mini roundabout was introduced to a junction in town where I used to wait on a bus or lift it was always quite fun to watch this guy drive through the roundabout without a rear wheel lifting or eventually toppling over if the wind caught it.

    The original “quad ” bikes were 3 wheelers, why do you think the put a 4th on them?

    Is this vehicle designed foot the larger town/city dweller or are those of us who live 10/15/20 miles from the nearest town/city being considered? Lots of 16yr olds live miles away from a school in the countryside, as I did…

    Single seat – %90+ of all car journeys are by single occupants why carry around 1000kgs+ of redundant metal around with you when just taking yourself to work and back?

    I wouldn’t want to buy a vehicle and still have to own, borrow or rent a separate vehicle for every tenth journey.

    Maybe cyclists aren’t the best group to reference as we already have a vehicle capable of carrying a single person short distances with a limited load. For me at least the bike does most of that and the car is for the rest, not sure where a third option would fit in to my life.

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Subscriber

    Winter is coming. Needed gloves this morning on the bike. Your vehicle needs a heater good enough to warm it up before I get in to drive it, and keep it warm all the way to the destination. Does it have one?

    still making generic vehicles and these are getting bigger and bigger for each class all the time.

    -1

    A Focus may well be bigger than the Sierra and a Mondeo bigger than an old Bentley. But the Ka is still the same size as the original Fiesta (ish), and VW just replaced the Polo with the Lupo/Fox/Up when it grew. It’s just easier to sell a bigger small car to someon who already has one but doesnt want a the next bigger car in the range (whether they now overlap or not), and someone who genuinly wants a small car will buy the new small one.

    Straight away this stops your solution from being viable and makes it niche and pointless.

    +1

    But there are still lots of people aged under 30 with no kids, no hard to transport hobbies etc who’d probably have one.

    Think of all the hipsters/yuppies/generation-Y/other slightly derogatory term for 20-30 professionals in London who maybe want to get to the countryside for the weekend, or just get home from a dinner party after the last bus/tube’s run.

    If someone made a mass produced version of the Morgan I reckon it’d sell.

    You have obviously never seem a Reliant Robin topple over negotiating a roundabout

    It’s quite possible to build a sporty 3 wheeler that’ll corner flat, the RR just isn’t one!

    Winter is coming. Needed gloves this morning on the bike. Your vehicle needs a heater good enough to warm it up before I get in to drive it, and keep it warm all the way to the destination. Does it have one?

    My Focus can’t manage that, it takes the 8 mile commute to get the engine (1.6 petrol) upto temperature if it’s below 10C outside, hard to expect an even more basic car to do it!

    Premier Icon Speeder
    Subscriber

    Jfletch – I’m not going to argue with you as your point of view is very valid but I will point out that you caveat-ed it with “at some point”.

    All I want to offer is a choice for either those parents who don’t think a moped is suitable transport for their offspring or those who find they can’t justify the one (often rather too large) size fits all approach.

    It is obviously dependent on having the means to either run 2 vehicles or be flexible in working around the other requirements. It’s unlikely to be as cheap as running a single small car and doing everything unless congestion charging gets more onerous and widespread. I’m not aiming for this to suit everyone – it’s certainly going to be Niche, at least until the idea catches on.

    Premier Icon Speeder
    Subscriber

    Thanks TINAS, I thought for a minute there you were going to comprehensively shoot me down in flames but that’s really good.

    The Reliant 3 wheeler instability isn’t born out of it’s missing wheel it’s down to a combination of factors mostly to do with the weight distribution both horizontal and vertical. The Deltawing has shown that that configuration (it’s virtually single wheel at the front) can do corners.

    For reference ours will be 2 at the front 1 behind.

    Gary

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    I’ve just put together a consortium and secured some funding to design and develop a personal mobility vehicle under the new to the UK quadricycle regulations.

    At the moment, lots of families are running two cars. Generally, one of them never has more than one person in (or, they both aren’t used with multi-occupancy at the same time).

    Stereotyping a little (a lot?):

    * Dad has a big car that he drives to work on his own. On weekends and for holidays, this is the go-to car.
    * Mum has a smaller car that’s used for the school run and then getting her to work. On weekends and for holidays, this sits on the drive unused.

    This was our situation when I was growing up in the 80s. My dad had a Cortina/Cavalier/Sierra company car and my mam had a Fiesta. Through the week, the only thing his car did was take him and a briefcase to work, while my mam had the five of us kids plus her in a Fiesta.

    You’d want a vehicle that dad uses on his own for commuting through the week, then sits unused on the drive on a weekend, while mum uses the bigger car through the week. I think that’s a tough sell for most people.

    My parents eventually dropped to one car, when my dad started using a motorbike to ride to work. We only have one car now, because I don’t drive and get to work by bike.

    Premier Icon Speeder
    Subscriber

    You’d want a vehicle that dad uses on his own for commuting through the week, then sits unused on the drive on a weekend, while mum uses the bigger car through the week. I think that’s a tough sell for most people.

    It might be too early for that and it’ll take a massive perception shoft but the plan would be to start with the 14-15-16 year olds and the enlightened and to build from there.

    I’m not expecting to change the world overnight – there’s a huge amount of status embedded into the psychology of car ownership. You just have to look at the feedback on the Audi or VW concepts on Pistonheads to realize that.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    Our “big car” quite regularly gets used to transport multiple people with significant cargo (family camping trips, taking stuff to the dump, bike trips etc) so there would need to be massive changes in lifestyle to do without, which I’m not prepared to do voluntarily.

    That leaves the second car conundrum. As a family we’d probably get by with one car with some acceptable sacrifices and inconveniences. I’m not sure if a single seater* satisfies any requirement we’d have for another car and would probably remain unused on the drive.

    *unless it was for track day use πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    but the plan would be to start with the 14-15-16 year olds

    I’d rather they rode their bike/walk/take the bus. I can’t help but feel that a load of school kids in single seaters just adds to the problem of congestion on the roads. Maybe I can’t see beyond the problems to see the “solution” that this hopes to be.

    [edit] – apologies, that comes across more negative than it was meant to. Good luck overcoming attitudes like mine πŸ˜€

    crikey
    Member

    I can’t help feeling that this is a non starter; basically you’re looking at the section of the market currently occupied by mopeds, while ignoring the sociological and psychological bit of car ownership. It’s a moped with a roof, and although taking up less space than a car, you’ll still only get 2 or 3 in the space occupied by a bus.

    Yet another form of personal transport to fit into a traffic system isn’t fixing the problem, it’s just another part of it.

    The sensible, objective, adult approach to the issues surrounding transport needs an integrated, cheap, reliable public transport system at its core, which given the attitudes expressed over and over when this subject appears, will never ever happen.

    jfletch
    Member

    All I want to offer is a choice for either those parents who don’t think a moped is suitable transport for their offspring or those who find they can’t justify the one (often rather too large) size fits all approach.

    I can’t imagine who would fit into this niche. How is your solution more justifiable to a parent than a moped. And how much does it cost?

    16 yo s have no “need” for a form or motorised transport. It is all want. They will always have an option of a bus to and from school for the sort of distances this thing would be capable of in a sensible time given the speed restriction.

    And since it is not necessary it is very expensive luxury that is only relevant for 1 year until they can have a proper car.

    As far as I can see there is no technoligical reason why this thing can’t exist so the fact that it doesn’t already exist is fairly telling!

    b r
    Member

    Why br, do live where you live? Apart from the 500′ ascent it sounds rubbish

    Yep it is. For the price of a 1-bed London flat we’ve an old mill sat on a large plot with a number of outbuildings by the side of an unclassified road in the country; with the nearest offroad route starting the other side of my boundary πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon Speeder
    Subscriber

    [edit] – apologies, that comes across more negative than it was meant to. Good luck overcoming attitudes like mine

    No it’s fine – it’s good to hear all this real world stuff. I’m aiming for a perfect consumer and it may be one that doesn’t exist.

    16 year old scooter riders are the most vulnerable sector on the roads and anything we can do to increase their safety is going to be good. I expect it’s going to be most beneficial for those living in rural areas who are starting college which in my brothers case was 20 odd miles away.

    I can’t see this being a solution for all but the most adaptable nuclear families (2 parents, 2 kids, 2 cars) as it’s such a shift from what they have now. At least not until it becomes “the norm” and I’d expect that to take upwards of 5 years.

    As TINAS said about this is going to appeal mostly to youngish urban pros and dinkys for a while and for that we’ll need to make it a desirable product in it’s own right.

    Premier Icon Speeder
    Subscriber

    16 yo s have no “need” for a form or motorised transport. It is all want. They will always have an option of a bus to and from school for the sort of distances this thing would be capable of in a sensible time given the speed restriction.

    It’s all want at 16 unless you live 20 miles from your college in a village with 2 buses each way a day, neither of which is at a time that’ll allow you to get to college on time like my brother had.

    As far as I can see there is no technological reason why this thing can’t exist so the fact that it doesn’t already exist is fairly telling!

    I can see your point but you could say the same for the following when applied to mountainbikes –

    Disk brakes
    Suspension
    Adjustable seatposts

    Read this site often enough and you get the same responses even now they’re commonplace.

    Sorry that’s not strictly fair and I’m simply deflecting but I think it’s mainly because no-one has really tried.

    vickypea
    Member

    It’s not just moving traffic that stops kids from playing in the streets, it’s lack of space because of parked cars and also fear of hitting cars with footballs etc.
    We live in a tiny terraced cottage in a street full of the same, and some of the huge cars people own are a nightmare when it comes to street parking. Someone parked a Land Rover Discovery outside our house the other day and it felt like it was almost as big as our whole house!
    I own a smart car!

    shifter
    Member

    πŸ™‚ at b r, sounds lovely.

    crikey
    Member

    16 year old scooter riders are the most vulnerable sector on the roads and anything we can do to increase their safety is going to be good.

    The lack of safety is attributable to them being 16 in a society where motorized transport is seen as a status symbol, neither of which is addressed by your approach.

    for that we’ll need to make it a desirable product in it’s own right

    Aaaaah, I see. You’re not selling a solution to anything, you’re selling an aspirational product dressed up in urban transport solution clothes.

    As you were… πŸ™„

    shifter
    Member

    I couldn’t live with 28mph or the lack of a second seat.
    The Twizy above looks a better bet to me. I’ve yet to see one in the flesh mind.

    rogerthecat
    Member

    Three wheels also hits a bit of problem when it comes to road surface, that part of the road untravelled by regular car wheels etc can be a nasty place to put a driven wheel. Add some snow and you have an even bigger problem.

    If the car you design is as much fun as the leaning tandem vehicle on YouTube then I would be a possible candidate for business use rather than my 16yr old. His need is to get 20 miles to school and back, buses extend his day as of last week from 8hrs out of the house to 10.5hrs which is quite a chunk and down to the vagaries of the buses.

    As I said before, there’s a grain of a good idea, but I keep asking why there is no commercially successful independent manufacturer mopping up this market.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    The teen market could be a viable one. I see more and more of our students not bothering to learn to drive as insurance costs mean they’ll not be able to afford to run a car for years anyway and learning costs a fortune nowadays.

    However, I worry that something car-like will act as a gateway vehicle to car use. If they get used to public transport, walking and cycling for getting to/from college and their first jobs, it might stick.

    Premier Icon Speeder
    Subscriber

    You’re not selling a solution to anything, you’re selling an aspirational product dressed up in urban transport solution clothes.

    I can do a really worthy version for you if you like but if I try and sell it based on it’s green credentials alone I reckon I’ll sell less than 5% than if we also make it a cool product.

    The green stuff:-

    The usual electric speil:
    * Targeting the equivalent of over 150mpg and should cost less than 1p/mile to run.
    * Zero pollution as point of use.
    * Charges overnight so utilising off peak, cheap rate electricity which I hope we’ll be able to tie in with green/sustainable, wind or hydro or other generation schemes.

    As well as those we’re hoping to add:
    *Small foot print allowing more passengers/piece of road.
    * Central drive position, combined with a minimal front width and exposed wheels with front being widest part will give confidence in traffic allowing gaps to be smaller with less risk and allowing (single occupant} traffic to flow better.
    * Minimal everything – “just enough” mantra meaning less materials and less waste. We are aiming to be the pretty much the lightest “car” on the road with performance* gains all round because of it.

    *Fuel economy/braking distances/agility rather than acceleration or top speed

    I couldn’t live with 28mph or the lack of a second seat.
    The Twizy above looks a better bet to me. I’ve yet to see one in the flesh mind.

    28mph is for 16y/o only – as soon as you pass a car test there’s no restriction. 2nd seat fair enough this wouldn’t be the vehicle for you, then you’d need the slightly bigger version which will come after.

    Twizy is great, a really interesting product and very well done. I drove one last week in glorious sunshine and it was fab but the lack of weather protection will render it a novelty that works best in a Mediterranean climate. It’s a modern day Mini Moke.

    Three wheels also hits a bit of problem when it comes to road surface, that part of the road untravelled by regular car wheels etc can be a nasty place to put a driven wheel. Add some snow and you have an even bigger problem.

    The 3rd central wheel thing could be an issue but we’ll have to suck it and see – I’m not discounting going 4 wheels but 3 is the more economical option no matter which way one looks at it.

    As I said before, there’s a grain of a good idea, but I keep asking why there is no commercially successful independent manufacturer mopping up this market.

    I can’t either – plenty of the big manufacturers have had a go at producing prototypes but no one has had the ba11s to commit to productionising something – they get as far as showing some pretty pictures and it’s never heard of again. There were rumours that Audi was going to release 100 of it’s Urban concept but that was 2 years ago and it’s all gone quiet. I think the trouble is they’re all too tied up with NCAP and the other safety issues to make a viable vehicle

    It’s 4 wheels and 2 seats and too heavy but it’s a fair way there.

    If the car you design is as much fun as the leaning tandem vehicle on YouTube then I would be a possible candidate for business use rather than my 16yr old. His need is to get 20 miles to school and back, buses extend his day as of last week from 8hrs out of the house to 10.5hrs which is quite a chunk and down to the vagaries of the buses.

    It won’t lean but it will be fun – I’ll put you down for 2 then ;o)

    crikey
    Member

    than if we also make it a cool product.

    Just another overhyped start-up so far, chief.

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