The brain behind Rinspeed never fails to raise some eyebrows with his innovative twists on the automobile which he invariably unveils at the annual Geneva Motor Show. And here we have this year's debut.
Called the Dock+Go mobility concept, the Rinspeed design provides an interesting approach to a modern problem: While city cars (like the Smart ForTwo upon which this concept is based) may be a practical solution for those living in crowded cities, they don't offer the kind of capacity needed for longer trips. Rinspeed's solution isn't to make the city car bigger, but to make it expandable with a third set of wheels and an extended cargo box.
The resulting appendage not only gives drivers some extra space for hauling what they've got, it also offers extra battery capacity. Plus, the rear wheels recharge the battery pack, giving the industry more to think about when it comes to extending the range – and space – of electric vehicles.
Everybody has two axles. Why not simply take three of them instead of two - but only if you need them! It is that third axle with two wheels that is the key feature of the innovative modular mobility system from Swiss automotive visionary Frank M. Rinderknecht. "Dock+Go" is the name the bustling Swiss has given to his sophisticated mobility concept, which he will present March 8 through 18 at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The idea's irresistible charm lies in the docking "backpacks on wheels." These single-axle "packs" serve a variety of purposes depending on the requirements of the day. They also solve the much-discussed operating range problem of electric vehicles in a clever way. The ingenious twist: neither unneeded space nor superfluous weight is carried along if they are truly not needed.
Any electric city car could serve as the basis for "Dock+Go." For demonstration purposes Rinspeed boss Rinderknecht turned his attention to the two-seated smart. A wide variety of "packs" turn the electric-powered mini car into the dream car of any pizza delivery driver – complete with an integrated heated box. For craftsmen there is a toolbox pack with well-organized spaces for every tool. And after the day's work is done the shared or owned camping, golf, skiing, beach or party pack is docked to the rear of the mini-mobile.
Yes, this car truly saves the best for last: and in this case it is ample operating range when the 120 kilometers that are typically available just aren't enough. An "energy pack" with a combustion engine or range extender, packed with batteries or powered by a fuel cell, provides the decisive added range for reaching more distant destinations. The equally simple and clever trick: the docked third axle drives the rotating second axle and thus recharges the on-board battery of the city car. And thus the first Vario-Hybrid, as Frank M. Rinderknecht refers to his range donor, is born. In the garage at home the batteries of the energy pack are recharged with solar power from the roof, making living and driving without any CO2 emissions a reality.
Plenty of good and creative solutions for a brighter future mobility. Take 3 instead of 2 - and who came up with it? A Swiss, who else?
The partners and suppliers in the realization of the „Dock+Go" are:
4erC GmbH - www.4erc.ch
AEZ Leichtmetallräder GmbH - www.aez-wheels.com
AkzoNobel Car Refinishes - www.akzonobel.com
A.T. Kearney Global Management Consultants - www.atkearney.com
Carl F. Bucherer - www.carl-f-bucherer.com
Continental Automotive Switzerland - www.continental-corporation.com
Goodyear Dunlop Tires Germany GmbH - www.goodyear.de
HARMAN International, Inc. - www.harman.com
Helveting Engineering AG - www.helveting.com
J. Eberspächer GmbH & Co. KG - www.eberspaecher.com
Konrad Hornschuch AG - www.hornschuch.de
Lumitec AG - www.lumitec.ch
Prevent Gaenslen & Völter GmbH - www.gaenslen-voelter.de
Schoeller GmbH & CoKG - www.schoeller-wool.com
SEW-Eurodrive GmbH & Co KG - www.sew-eurodrive.de
Takata-Petri AG - www.takata.com
Zürich Versicherung - www.zurich.com
Special thanks to:
GoodCom - www.goodcomm.de
Vollmond Werbeagentur - www.agentur-vollmond.de
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