As more electric vehicles are being developed, manufacturers are expanding on the technology in different ways. The European Commission’s Green Vehicles Sub-Programme of Horizon 2020 has introduced the ESPRIT (Easily Distributed Personal Rapid Transit) project. The new public transport system involves using stackable cars for short distance journeys.
The system has been unveiled in Scotland, with the University of Aberdeen being involved in the development. It’s thought the Esprit cars will provide a great benefit to society. Transport secretary Michael Matheson spoke at a demonstration event in Glasgow about the vehicles.
“It’s exciting to see innovation in the area of sustainable transport from Esprit. Alongside walking, cycling and public transport, developments in car, lift and bike sharing can only further sustainable travel options by providing viable alternatives to single occupancy car journeys across Scotland.”
Each Esprit can reach a top speed of 30 mph and reach a range of around 50 km. The lightweight electric cars are designed for areas with a high population. Users would pick them up at charging stations and drop them off at another station near their destination.
The University of Aberdeen’s Dr Richard Mounce talked about the advantages of the system. “Transportation to and from city-centres and within suburban areas is increasingly unsatisfactory in terms of congestion, environmental and societal aspects. Solutions to reduce this congestion and pollution must be explored seriously for the benefit of society now and in the future.”
“With car-sharing schemes expanding throughout Europe, Esprit will create a system that provides greater energy efficiency, whilst also reducing congestion as well as noise and air pollution.”
Esprit cars do have a lot of potential to shorten transport times. As they are stackable, they can save space. A lot of them could be stored inside containers and deployed when necessary. In order to use an Esprit vehicle, a motorist would need to have a valid driving licence.