The project that Jim Kor and his team is working on is pretty incredible. By using existing technology and reshaping a vehicle to use less energy to do the same amount of work, they have created Urbee.
Jim Kor talks a little bit about his background as an engineer and how the whole project got started. He explains how we need far less energy than we currently use, therefore, giving us the ability to gracefully scale back. It’s going from something that was just over-complex and stripping it down to basic functionality.
Urbee is designed to be environmentally sustainable. This is because it can efficiently store and use exactly the amount of solar and wind energy you can collect on a one-car garage in one day. If you want to go farther in a day, you can use its ethanol powered engine. Why is this so great? An average “sedan” uses 12 times more energy than Urbee. This alone is worth a lot in sustainability and in your wallet.
The Vision for Urbee
Taken from the Urbee site:
The Urbee design team had a vision. That vision was written out and posted on the walls of our shop. It is the fundamental design ideals we followed in working on the Urbee Car Project.
- Use the least amount of energy possible for every kilometre traveled.
- Cause as little pollution as possible during manufacturing, operation and recycling of the car.
- Use materials available as close as possible to where the car is built.
- Use materials that can be recycled again and again.
- Use parts and materials that last as long as possible.
- Be simple to understand, build, and repair.
- Be as safe as possible to drive.
- Meet the standards and regulations applicable to traditional cars.
- Be buildable in small quantities so we don’t have to wait for it to become more widely accepted before we can begin manufacturing it for the public.
- Be mass-producable so it can be built more economically once it becomes more widely accepted.
- Be affordable.
- Be visually appealing.
There are many areas of our everyday life that can be stripped down to a virtually (if not fully) sustainable level. If we look around our world with fresh eyes that don’t take current ideas and technology for granted, who know’s what we can come up with. What kind of applications can you think of from the team developing Urbee?