Cities are more and more becoming the centres of economical and social activities
throughout the world with the population living in urban areas worldwide expected
to increase from 3.6 billion to 6.3 billion between 2011 and 2050. This urbanisation
is closely connected with the evolution of mobility. On the one hand, rising
costs of mobility can be a driver of urbanisation. On the other hand, larger
and more densely populated urban areas are causing new challenges to mobility
systems in terms of congestion as well as pollutant and noise emissions. For
these reasons, the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council ERTRAC has
acknowledged urban mobility as one out of three key elements of future research.
Passenger cars have grown substantially in their dimensions over the last decades.
The German standard car, for example, has grown by 19 cm in length, 15 cm in
width and 25 cm in height over the last ten years. Passenger cars are actually
over-sized today for their typical transport tasks in urban areas and for the
existing road infrastructure and parking spaces in congested city centres. Powered
two-wheelers, on the other hand, offer only very limited comfort, transport capacity
and above-all represent the least safe mode of transport accounting for approximately
17 % of road fatalities in Europe, but only 2 % of all road users. At the same
time, global warming concerns have recently led to the demand for higher energy-efficiency
in the Europe 2020 strategy (20 % cut in CO2 emissions). These factors create
new needs, opportunities and technological challenges in the form of small, light,
affordable, functional and energy efficient, yet safe electric vehicles closing
the gap between powered two-wheelers, ultra light vehicles (L7e) and conventional
passenger cars (M1)..
ALIVE - SEAM
This project has received funding from the European
Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development
and demonstration under grant agreement no 605460.