The world is trying desperately to reduce pollution and conserve fossil fuel but interestingly, car manufacturers are still producing fuel-powered vehicles. Moving away from the norm, a Japanese engineering firm called Team Prominence which usually participates in solar car races has developed the PCD (Prominence Commuting Device), a vehicle which is designed to generate only 16.6 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer. That’s lower than the requirement for passenger trains with 19 grams.
The development process for this single-seater three-wheeled vehicle began on April 2009. The covers were finally pulled off in May 2010. Using ingenious technology, the engineering firm improved the output ratio of the energy in the PCD by using a combination of modified transmission and lightweight construction material. This reduced the weight of the vehicle to a mere 124 kg.
The PCD doesn’t look like much and resembles something you would ride in an amusement park. But the design belies its performance and capability. Although it’s an all-electric car, the three-wheeler can easily hit a top speed of 75 kmph with a range of 90 kilometers on a single charge. Plus, it can be fully charged in less than 4 hours.
Team Prominence has built the PCD with parts that can be purchased individually by anyone. This gives us hope that such innovative designs needn’t be too expensive to make. In fact, the firm’s focus in designing the PCD was to encourage car builders or individuals looking to build their own EVs.
The ergonomically designed vehicle will enable commuters to zip through the city in an emission-free mode. Such initiatives strive to make easy manufacture of green cars a reality. Automakers should perhaps take a leaf out of Team Prominence’s book to create affordable and easily built vehicles which can offer the masses the opportunity to drive around in eco-friendly cars.