Gordon Murray has long been considered one of the most innovative engineers and designers in the automotive world. The latest project from the mind that created the McLaren F1 supercar is the new T.27 electric city car. The T.27 is the battery-powered variant of the T.25, a model that will debut shortly with a gas engine. Both models use the same basic architecture, and, like the seminal supercar, they feature a three-seat layout. That's where the similarities end, however.
Murray's firm is collaborating on the T.27 project with Zytek Automotive, a UK-based engineering consultancy with vast experience in electric and hybrid powertrains. The 7.9-foot long car has a 12 kilowatt-hour battery pack mounted under the seats and a 25 kilowatt electric motor driving the rear wheels. Zytek has managed to package the motor, single-speed transmission and power electronics into one tidy little unit. The system is claimed to give the car a range of 80-100 miles and, with the current UK electricity generation mix (mostly coal), the CO2 emissions are a combined 48 grams / kilometer.
The T.27 is claimed to have a turning circle of just 19.7 feet and, with its width of just 4.3 feet, three of them can fit into a single parking space perpendicular to the curb. The development program started in November of 2009 and the first running prototype is due to be completed in April 2011.
[Source: Gordon Murray Designs]
Gordon Murray Design announce the Specification and Performance Targets for the T.27 City Car, a pure electric drive vehicle designed to fully optimise packaging, weight and performance. The announcement marks an exciting leap forward in efficiency for electric vehicles and working closely with their powertrain partner, Zytek Automotive, a brand new, innovative, lightweight and fully integrated electric motor, control system and battery will be designed to ensure that maximum efficiency is achieved.
Projected emissions, using a UK energy mix, are 48g/km CO2 for the combined cycle and 28g/km CO2 for the urban cycle alone, with zero emissions at the point of use. Full lifecycle CO2 damage will be 42% less than the average UK car.
eMotor: 25kW Height: 1.60m
Battery Type: Li-ion Weight: 680Kg (incl. battery)
Battery Spec. 12kWh Wheel Base: 1.78m
Length: 2.50m Turning Circle: 6.0m
Top Speed: 105kph
0-100kph: Less than 15 seconds
Range: 80 – 100 miles
The T.27 vehicle concept closely follows the layout and geometry of Gordon Murray Design's innovative T.25 city car, an MPV with 6 possible internal layouts.
The efficiency in cost, weight and performance comes in part from the 'clean sheet of paper' approach, part from the full integration of the powertrain and also from the low energy manufacturing system developed by Gordon Murray Design called iStream®.
iStream® massively reduces the capital investment required to produce the vehicle and also the energy required for manufacture plus the flexibility of the iStream® process would also allow the petrol powered T.25 and the T.27 to be manufactured at the same plant.
The 16 month programme started in November 2009 with a running prototype scheduled for completion in April 2011 and is supported with a 50% investment from the Technology Strategy Board. The next phase in the programme will include a push to secure partners and funding for UK manufacture. A UK partner or consortium to produce the city cars in the UK would keep the technology at home and could create 6,000 jobs.
Professor Gordon Murray, CEO of Gordon Murray Design said:
"The Technology Strategy Board have been incredibly supportive of the T.27 programme and together we are working to keep this in the United Kingdom. It is a great opportunity to work with Zytek Automotive and our other partners on this very exciting programme. We always strive to lead the way in automotive design and our current goal is to maximise efficiency of electric vehicles."
Bill Gibson, Chairman of Zytek Automotive said:
Zytek's new innovative powertrain, developed from our substantial experience of EV and hybrid vehicle production programmes, will substantially reduce the weight and cost of the electric engine, whilst delivering the quality, refinement and driving experience that T.27 customers will demand."
Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board said:
"This is another example of the UK positioning itself to benefit from the economic opportunities offered by the emerging low-carbon vehicles market.It's great that the T.27, a fantastic example of smart engineering and sustainable design, is at the forefront of this. We are also glad that we were able to support a project that enabled Gordon Murray Design and Zytek Automotive and the other partners to work together to be truly innovative."
1. Consortium partners for the T.27 project are Gordon Murray Design Limited as the lead organisation and Zytek Automotive Limited. Technical support will be provided by Michelin Plc and Continental Corporation and Sub-contractors will include MIRA Limited, Vocis Driveline Controls and VCA UK.
2. The iStream® assembly process is a complete rethink and redesign of the traditional manufacturing process and could potentially be the biggest revolution in high volume manufacture since the Model T. Development of the process began over 15 years ago and it has already won the prestigious 2008 'Idea of the Year' award from Autocar who were given privileged access in order to make their assessment. The simplified assembly process means that the manufacturing plant can be designed to be 20% of the size of a conventional factory. This could reduce capital investment in the assembly plant by approximately 80%. Yet the flexibility of this assembly process means that the same factory could be used to manufacture different variants. The iStream® design process is a complete re-think on high volume materials, as well as the manufacturing process and will lead to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions over the lifecycle of the vehicles produced using it, compared with conventional ones.
3. Gordon Murray Design Limited is a new British company operating from Shalford in Surrey. The company aims to be the world leader in automotive design and reverses the current industry trend for sub-contracting by having a complete in-house capability for design, prototyping and development. The company remains compact and focused and undertakes automotive and other engineering programmes in an efficient and innovative way. For more information please visit www.gordonmurraydesign.com
4. Zytek Automotive Limited is a British engineering company with a reputation for success, pursued both on and off the track. Its substantial automotive engineering experience has been gained by providing major vehicle manufacturers with advanced powertrain and chassis control systems. This expertise led to the rapid growth of its engineering consultancy business, and most recently, to the design, development and manufacture of innovative Hybrid and Electric drivetrains. For more information please visit www.zytekgroup.co.uk
5. The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established by the government. Its role is to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life. It is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org