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The HOST Vehicle Concept: Human Oriented Sustainable Transport

[+] Author Affiliations
Fabio Orecchini, Federico Villatico Campbell, Adriano Alessandrini

University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy

Paper No. FUELCELL2005-74072, pp. 625-631; 7 pages
doi:10.1115/FUELCELL2005-74072
From:
  • ASME 2005 3rd International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • 3rd International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA, May 23–25, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3764-5 | eISBN: 0-7918-3757-2
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME

abstract

HOST is an innovative vehicle concept suitable for the urban transport of both persons and goods. To lower the impact of mobility on the cities, cleaner vehicles are not enough: an integrated passenger and freight strategy must be adopted. Cleaner vehicles must be specifically designed for the purpose to be better than conventional ones under any aspect, including costs. To lower such costs and to start up the Low Polluting Vehicles (LPV) market the versatility of LPVs has to be enhanced. HOST aims at developing a fully versatile low-cost LPV concept. Versatility is achieved by making HOST vehicle modular and cost reduction is obtained by using the same vehicle for different purposes, simply changing different cabins on the same chassis. The main four tasks HOST is conceived for are: • Nocturne collective taxi; • Daytime car sharing services; • Daytime freight collection and distribution; • Nocturne garbage collection. The four mentioned services are not the only ones HOST may be used for, but are those for which it is specifically studied. Such choice is made for one very simple reason: all of the four tasks belong to the same family of “municipal services”. Using the same chassis to operate all the different services is feasible and can finally create the critical mass of final users, so to reach convenient prices. The four services chosen, two addressing passenger mobility and two addressing freight mobility, go all in the way of reducing city mobility impact. Car sharing and nocturne collective taxi systems, if integrated with public transport, can increase its attractiveness, pushing more people to use it. Freight pick-up and delivery and garbage collection need a low polluting alternative to be re-organised, so to become sustainable. The powertrain layout and the possibility to easily vary the platform main dimensions enable HOST to be equipped with very different bodyworks, which let the car manufacturer provides both private and public bodies, such as municipalities or urban mobility authorities. More in detail the energy system is all included in the HOST platform and it is conceived in shaped boxes, so that its modules become inter-exchangeable. A series hybrid configuration let HOST to be equipped with an internal combustion engine (ICE) coupled with an energy recovery system (batteries+supercapacitors), anyhow is already designed to utilise fuel cells (FC) powered by pure hydrogen just changing the energy module (and the tank), being this last the final purpose of the concept design. Thanks to these two solutions HOST is able to run as a zero emission vehicle for a limited period (ICE) or for the whole driving cycle (FC). A full drive-by-wire solution is adopted and the only mechanical connections between the cabin and the platform will be a specifically designed mechanical anchorage, these solutions will allow the easy installation/removal of any cabin. The vehicle has four wheel drive capability (4WD), thus featuring a good grip even on slippery roads. The four electric motors (one per wheel) allow an easy traction control, ensuring stability and safety. The chassis has a four wheel total steering (4WS) configuration, that enables the vehicle to rotate around its vertical axis as well as the to shift horizontally. These characteristics give HOST decisive advantages for the missions it has been conceived for. The 4WS capability gives to the vehicle easy manoeuvring in little streets in the cities centres and they are useful for the accurate positioning to be easily accessible by wheel chairs, during freight loading/unloading operations and while it runs as a garbage truck. Only a modular vehicle featuring the reusing concept can cover contemporarily all the selected services: one vehicle chassis with different sizes interchangeable energy generation modules and different bodies, depending on the service it is used for. Such concept, other than abating the environmental impact, will allow: • a reduction of costs: one chassis can fit several bodies compensating the higher cost of a low environmental impact energy and traction system; • a reduction of occupied space: the vehicle is always in use, night and day; • a reduction of waste materials, increasing their lifetime; • an increased life of vehicles, due to the possibility of changing bodies and energy generation modules; • traffic congestion reduction: using and reusing one vehicle for several services.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME

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