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The "Austin~eCHARIOT" ... by FEV

FEV's "Austin~eCHARIOT" is a power-assist, easy access 3-wheel vehicle to transport goods and people (otherwise abled & senior-to-young)

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FEV Proposes to ….


The “Austin~eChariot” – A Power-Assisted 3-wheel vehicle that is:

  • Configured to be driven by a rider sitting and pedaling behind a cart that is steerable.
  • The cart can be used for transporting    
    • Goods (e.g. fresh produce from urban farms to food deserts), Medical products etc 
    • People (a low cost and more sustainable "Uber")
    • Seniors / wheelchair users (with a fold-down ramp at front of cart to facilitate entry/egress).
    • The “vehicle's” battery would be capable of being charged from an in-built solar panel and from the mains outlet when plugged in

The PROJECT would highly leverage:

  • FEV Know-how and global expertise, including focus on current FEV developed electric “skateboard” platforms
  • Chris Borroni-Bird : FEV is fortunate to have the “Innovator of the Skateboard” concept, Chris as a Senior Consultant …his deep expertise in future propulsion systems is legendary - See attached profile and other documents for background
  • Partnership with Dave Young – (Resume Attached) – Dave and Chris worked together at GM on the first skateboard concept …Dave is an avid fan of eMobility and has built several vehicles in this arena    
    • Dave Young would be responsible for designing and building the base vehicle and would work with FEV to integrate the e-kit into the vehicle.

The intention is to consider use/ re-use recycled (or “2nd life”) components as much as possible 

  • In effect to develop an ”eWaste” modular kit (or set of kits) - see attachement    
    • Comprising all the running gear
    • Powered by a second-use lithium ion battery
    • Including an auxiliary solar panel (vehicle roof)

FEV would consider partnering with local educational institutions to

  • Design and develop the vehicle “coaches”
  • Research community needs to devise a variety of coaches to be integrated with the “eChariot/ skateboard” and support different applications (including, but not limited to, local goods delivery, wheelchair accessibility and people movement)
  • Consider enabling local production of said coaches in a Detroit factory in order to create a diverse set of vehicles built off a common electric “skateboard” platform

This overall solution is responsive to local community needs, creates local employment opportunities and supports sustainability initiatives.

Scope of Work would include:

FEV responsible for:

  • Developing the e-kit, which includes    
    • Off-the-shelf components for solar panel (300W, roughly 1.5m x 1m in dimensions)
    • 2nd use lithium ion battery module (48V 2-2.5kWh) from a used Ford xEV product
    • 1 kW electric motor (We have an ideal available motor in mind)
    • Associated electronics for controlling charging and integrating with pedal-powered chariot base vehicle      
      • Electric power provides an assist for launch and for hill climbing)

The next level of refinement for the concept could be follow-on phases and include:

  • Integrating with smartphone for hailing and transport co-ordination - could be done by FEV
  • Modifying to be autonomous (low cost autonomy since vehicle operates at bicycle speed only) - could be done by FEV
  • Made in higher volumes in a local factory (e.g. Detroit Bikes etc), using recycled and/or readily available materials to create jobs and reduce landfill waste
  • Include regenerative braking.

Collaborating with local colleges to

  • Create new chariot designs with a view to local production    
    • Consider both Schools and Universities/ Colleges “Challenges”
    • Similar to SAE Mileage/ Solar/ Motorsport “Challenges

Potential for wider Texas, e.g. in 

  • Other Congressional Districts and/ or Counties 

Training the “New Workforce”

  • Create Apprenticeships

Ball-Park Pricing

  • FEV anticipates initial pricing to create a demonstrator “Austin eCHARIOT”, within a ~3-4 month timeframe , within the range of *$(65~80)k 
  •            * TBC after more detailed proposal development


 Currently our thought is that initially  it should be for distributing goods (fresh produce/pharmaceuticals to elderly) as first applications as this is easier (less safety and human factor issues, more straightforward business case). In general, we don't see how it would be much different from the pedicabs one sees moving passengers/tourists around - in many cities and tourist locations, such as Manhattan (see below).

Again, the initial vehicle(s) would not be sold to individual but be operated by a company (e.g. perhaps, eventually, Kroger or Meijer might own a fleet of them, for example) and therefore, the employee is responsible for ensuring it is not stolen or abused.
The second phase of the project involves developing and testing the "Uber-like" app for calling the vehicle within a geofenced zone inside the city (like Waymo's AVs) and could be for moving people, such as disabled, elderly. But we think testing base vehicle for goods movement is a "safe" starting point.


The following links provide an overview of FEV expertise to be leveraged to enable a successful program in the most cost-effective and timely fashion, with best potential technical outcomes:

  • Link to FEV Company Profile:    
    • Scroll right (or left) for a cover page for relevant technologies, hardware/ software and vehicle systems      
      • Click on each cover page and scroll down for a deeper dive on each, such as        
        • Turnkey Vehicle Development – Urban Mobility Concept: SVEN
        • Advanced Hybris Systems and Battery Electric Vehicles
        • Future Mobility Solutions for the 3rd Dimension
        • FEV-Smart Vehicle-Fleet – Headed Towards Automated Driving
        • Advanced Testing & Virtualization Solutions
        • From Concept to SOP – Fuel Cell Systems

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

The intention for the eCHARIOT is to be used initially for transporting o Goods (e.g. fresh produce from urban farms to food deserts), then later for ... o People (a low cost and more sustainable "Uber") o Seniors / wheelchair users (with a fold-down ramp at front of cart to facilitate entry/egress). o The “vehicle's” battery would be capable of being charged from an in-built solar panel and from the mains outlet when plugged in Initial usage is envisaged along the local streets of Austin, with extended usage throughout the wider neighborhood and adjacent Townships, then within wider downtown areas. Particular usage could focus on getting seniors and otherwise abled to Doctors, Grocery shopping, entertainment and enable a more active social life

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users
  • Prototype - you have built a prototype and tested it with potential users

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

Aspects of the design have been significantly tested in real-world situations in many other aspects of FEV's work, as witnessed by hardware / software examples shown in the embedded links. Specific relevant hardware and know-how has been developed and tested by both Chris Borroni-Bird (see "Afreecar" references) and David Young (see references and images in his resume)

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

https://www.fev The FEV Group is an internationally recognized vehicle development services provider. Expertise covers consulting to development & testing of innovative vehicle concepts thru readiness for serial production; Engine & transmission development; Vehicle integration; Calibration, homologation of state-of-the-art propulsion systems; Increasing focus on hybrid & electric powertrains and connected vehicles & automation. FEV has 6,500 highly-qualified global specialist, 460 + in the US

Size of your team or organization

  • 501+

Team or Organization URL

Funding Request

  • $75,000

Rough budget (500 characters)

FEV anticipates initial pricing to create a demonstrator “Austin eChariot”, within a ~3-4 month timeframe , within the range of *$(65~80)k - Hardware/ Components for basic eCHARIOT ~$15-20k - Electronics/ Solar panel ~$8-10k - S/W development/ integration ~ $25-30k - Vehicle / mechanical fabrication and integration ~$15-20k

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

Initial Design/ development/ testing would happen at FEV Technology Campus in Auburn Hills, MI ..this includes all hardware and software labs and workshops Pilot on-road vehicle testing would continue in local simila areas to Austin, e.g. Corktown as well as other local neighboroods such as Royal Oak, Auburn Hills Intent would be to work with local Doctors, Hospitals, Goods and Food Producers, Shops/ Boutiques for delivery services, Restaurants, Entertainment establishments, Senior Residential Centers and Otherwise Abled folks to test out efficiency and ease of access of the design(s)

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Success would be measured by customer feedback and evaluation during real world testing and provision of the services during initial trialling

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

The intent would be to link up with other wider ongoing initiatives here in Michigan across the 14 Congressional Districts/ 83 Counties, covering not only SE Michigan but west side of state and UP - (More information can be provided on ongoing discussions with MEDC, Congressional Representatives from 11, 14, 9, 13 Districts, LG Garlin Gilchrist and more !!)

Social Media!/FEVUSA


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