A design concept for a large super-efficient low-cost electric car could be a sustainable alternative to the short-haul flight.
Conceived by Car Design Research (CDR), Budget Airline Car is a concept for a new type of car design that would produce only two per cent of the emissions per passenger compared to a short-haul flight.
The electric power-train would be developed for long-distance mid-speed cruising, rather than high performance, and the design would unprecedentedly prioritise aerodynamics.
A length of five metres would make Budget Airline Car as long as the Tesla Model X, Nio ES8 or Volvo XC90, but its 1.8 metre width and 1.5 metre height would give it c.20 per cent less frontal area which, along with a more slippery shape/lower drag coefficient, would make it markedly more aerodynamic and thus more energy efficient.
Passengers would share the driving, with good driving incentivised by the shared-economy digital platform that they access the service through.
A suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) would aid safety, ultimately fully autonomous drive would also.
Combining the three rows of large separate seats with adjacent cabin baggage storage, efficient electric power, aerodynamic focus, and shared access would realise a type of design that could provide a totally new way to comfortably and efficiently travel from city to city, and that thus sits in a ‘white space’ — is conceptually distinct from other car designs.
In a statement, Car Design Research said: “In the future there could be a new type of car for the many people who don’t want to be close to hundreds of people in airports and aircraft cabins, and who don’t want to travel by the most environmentally damaging form of transport: the short-haul flight.”
The core concept for Budget Airline Car was developed closely with CDR design associates Yichen Shu in China and Aditya Jangid in India, both of whom then designed subtly different exterior design themes, and illustrated how the car might be offered as an alternative to flying by today’s budget airline brands.