April 24, 2024

Didcot Gateway

Building Cars, People First

“The time is right for a wider choice of affordable personal mobility”

What’s the very best way for the motor market to prosper in the brave new put up-pandemic entire world that cannot come a day far too before long? It has to consider fewer about volume production of pricey automobiles, more on the style and design and establish of scaled-down, skinnier no-frills vehicles.

Our wants, wants and priorities are altering. The time is correct for a wider preference of modest, reasonably priced, effortlessly storable private mobility gadgets (PMDs) – for the streets wherever authentic men and women, youthful and outdated, match and not so match, really are living, store, do the job or go to school.

It is a supplied that vacation behaviour in long term will be extremely various and considerably lessened – not least simply because thousands and thousands of men and women proved in the latest weeks that some journeys considered ‘essential’ weren’t that essential right after all. Quite a few or most of these non-vital trips by auto and general public transportation may possibly under no circumstances materialize again. Understandably. If journeys aren’t needed, why waste time, vitality and money using them?  

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For these and other motives (incident reduction, increasing air excellent, reducing the danger of virus unfold etc) the long term for thousands and thousands of auto, teach, bus, taxi and aircraft customers will undoubtedly consist of decrease-mileage household, leisure, analyze or do the job lives.

Through lockdown, state-of-the-artwork tech has facilitated almost everything from virtual organization, social and Governing administration conferences, to on the web courses, live shows, ‘visits’ to buddies, family members, GPs and more. All this will maximize. And when it does, folks and organizations – the largest purchasers of brand name-new automobiles – will not need to have to get as several of them. That’s why my assertion that automobile manufacturers have to consider more durable about tiny option vehicles for a single or two men and women, not just medium-big automobiles for 5 or seven.

The likes of Peugeot, BMW and Honda have proved how gifted they are at generating pedal cycles, two and 3-wheeled machines, quads, as well as other mobility gadgets. Renault’s completed its bit, far too, with its quirky Twizy, and Citroen’s £6k-ish Ami is yet another constructive phase. But rivals need to have to get ingenious, far too – with new, reasonably priced vehicles of their possess. Oh, and merely churning out outdated-tech bicycles and scooters will not be fantastic enough.

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Qooder is an outstanding example of how to do it. The organization is operate by former senior auto men from Abarth, and a single of its goods is formally described as the only car in the entire world with four tilting wheels. Although I’m even now not sure if you drive or ride it, I know it’s among the the most exciting ‘alternatives to the car’ I’ve viewed in decades.

At the other conclude of the tech scale, just as tuk-tuks, cyclos (3-individual bikes) and equally uncomplicated transportation do the job brilliantly as low cost alternate options to taxis abroad, they should really do the exact in British towns and towns (not just in the touristy elements of London). So why aren’t mainstream car manufacturers in the British isles constructing them – as well as similarly wacky-but-efficient tiny vehicles – in pedal-only, element-electric powered or pure-electric powered guises?

Substitute fuels and electricity packs of all dimensions and costs are now right here. But we’re even now mainly lacking in imaginative, exceptional breakthrough vehicles that do the exact. That is a shame. We urgently need to have them for the brave new, decrease-mileage entire world that awaits us.

Do you concur with Mike? Enable us know your views in the responses segment underneath…