The collaboration Interactive Fully Electrical Vehicles IFEVS/Polimodel in the Turin region of Italy designs, develop and manufacture Micro EVs, car-like on-road vehicles that escape many of the vehicle-related costs of homologated cars such as crash testing and full car tax and insurance. IDTechEx forecasts that output of such vehicles will rocket more than ten times to three million such vehicles made globally in 2023. See Hybrid and Electric Vehicles for Land, Water and Air 2013-2023: Forecasts, Technologies, Players.
IFEVS/Polimodel manage the necessary time before manufacturing their Micro EVs enforcing their position in special prototype and model development. Their long term R&D international activity enforces their position in the day to day business. The alliance reinvests 30% of their revenue in R&D and 40% of their personnel is focused in R&D activities. The alliance IFEVS-POLIMODEL could be considered Strategic Innovator (high technology research intensive seeking to develop technology) in the Micro EVs arena.
There are several important R&D directions being addressed in the period up to 2014:
Completely new printing technologies to manufacture low cost hybrid metal polymer structural parts of a vehicle (patent pending). IDTechEx believes that this type of work can lead to structural electronic and electrical components including various forms of harvesting.
- First Micro EV in the world complaint with NCAPS 5 safety (patent pending solutions)
- First Micro EV in the world adopting two motor powertrain with multigear box
- First Micro EV adopting smart photovoltaics on extended horizontal and vertical surfaces (patent pending)
- Novel integrated suspension system (patent pending)
- Approach to a variable design platform (patent pending)
- Easy to Reconfigure Micro EVs into M1 small EVs (Patent pending)
The alliance IFEVS-POLIMODEL covers:
Day per day business based on models and prototypes developed for private, OEMs and majors design studios (all sectors),
Mid-term R&D plans through clustered partnerships and equal risk from equity partners
Manufacturing and business development of Micro EVs managed by P-GEVS.
The motto of P-GEVS states "no matter where you are with few million euro only we can put you in the condition to produce your best in class micro EVs establishing your own independent supply chain".
The organisation is funded and run with proprietary resources. The combined annual turnover with classical activities in 2012 was 2.1M€. The direct growth of the companies is not in the program in that the new business related to Micro EVs will be managed by P-GEVS specifically founded by the owners of IFEVS and Polimodel for the purpose. The other shareholders of P-GEVS cannot be disclosed at present.
IFEVS-POLIMODEL and P-GEVS share their research activities with the other members of Torino e-district set up as a non-profit research organisation. The status will allow R&D grants and statists fully paid by bank foundations as well as from regional institutions.
The R&D grants received by IFEVS-POLIMODEL has been stable in the period 2011 to 2013 at an average 500k euro year mainly through EU projects. R&D grants are expected to grow to an average 1M€/y in the period 2014-2016 through further contributes of local bank foundations and regional institutions.
All stages from concept to assembly lines to manufacture micro EVs are managed directly by IFEVS-Polimodel. Most enabling technologies are produced in close partnership with companies of the Torino e-district cluster or with other company of the Torino area. The critical issue of battery supply is managed through Torino e-district with the purpose to generate of a critical mass of use in the vehicle to home sectors.
The distribution of funding in the PPP-Green car calls demonstrate that Piedmont is the EU areaIFEVs-Polimodel take great advantage of the regional specialisation grown around the Fiat Group now supplying 70% of their products to other OEMs. The site www.fromconcepttocar.com describes a portion of the broad specialisations that can be found in Piedmont. Piedmont is one of the few areas of the world where in few kilometres you can find of about 900 companies with all sorts of expertise in automotive. IFEVS-POLIMODEL are in the middle of an incredible well established vertical supply chain.
Piedmont is the EU area with the highest concentration of Automotive Chinese design and R&D activities (although not allowed to participate in public projects). The Volkswagen group has moved most of its design and prototype facilities in Torino (Giugiaro/Italdesign).
IFEVS-Polimodel, is currently addressing premium micro EVs and it will benefit from the Fiat-Chrysler Group decision to focus all its on R&D activities related to supercars in Torino. The alliance IFEVS-Polimodel is the main driver of the EU-MOBY variable design platform primarily addressing the R&D of the Micro EV world.
The focus of the new projects is on Vehicle to Home and safe low vehicle structures. A quite extended network of OEMs, Tier-1s, public institutions and Universities can be listed amongst the partners.
IFEVS-Polimodel has collaboration with prestigious Russian Institutes. IFEVS-Polimodel do not think the conventional M1 world ICEVs or EVs could be addressed by SMEs. It focuses on Micro EVs relying on the strength of its clustered regional partnership.
Top image of Turin, Italy: Anyairportcarhire