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Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Suzuki Carry

What a neat little vehicle - The Suzuki Carry.  Great features where needed such as four wheel drive but no frills, making it a most affordable, useful vehicle.  I wonder if we could persuade Suzuki to manufacture the Suzuki e'Carry.  'e' for electrical of course.*

*I just looked a little closer at the Suzuki web site.  Guess what.  They are about to introduce the Suzuki Every.  This is an electric mini van.  It's a tad short on range (100km) and hasn't got solar panels on the roof but what great news.  They are on the right track.

There are many versions made under licence by many manufacturers in many countries.  The two main types of configurations are vans and pick up trucks and generally the latest ones will carry half a ton and go at up to 130km/h.  I am particularly interested in an electrical van mode, for reasons that will become clear.  So what features would I like to see on the e'Carry.

Style
Use the present body style.  No need to retool.  Keep it the same for ever.  The people at Suzuki have already realized the advantage of this and the first version is remarkable similar to the 9th.  What a great idea.  Retooling, just for style, costs money and this is one way they have kept the price of the Carry reasonable.  However, if they want the e'Carry to become iconic, it must look distinctive. Just think about the Volkswagen beetle and combi, the Mini, the Deaux Cheveau and the model T ford.  None of them are things of beauty but all are so iconic.   Here we can kill two birds with one stone.  Cover the roof of the van with solar panels.  No one expects to drive only on solar power but in areas with about three peak hours per day, one should be able to gain about 25km of driving for a day the vehicle is parked in the sun.  Peak hours around the world vary from one to two hours in Germany to 6.6 hours in some parts of Hawaii and some of the deserts of the world.   A roof covered with solar panels would give the owner a nice little bonus.

Batteries
The best type available for fast charging, longevity, safety and so forth.  When new battery technology comes available, make sure that the new batteries will fit where the old ones sat.  Batteries must be easily and totally recyclable. Batteries which no longer have the capacity to run a car will find a ready market for home use with solar panels.

Four Wheel Drive
Keep this feature.  It is very useful.  The existing petrol model will go places that challenges a tractor.  What a fantastic off road vehicle this is.  Perhaps, if the technology allows, one could have a rim motor in each wheel.  This already gives a sort of automatic ESC system to some extent.  When a wheel spins, say on ice, the back EMF of the spinning wheel increases and  power is diverted to the wheels that still have traction.  This, of course, could be augmented with electronics.  A major advantage of a motor on each rim is that all that connects the wheel to the battery is a wire.  There is no drive train to use up power.


Repairs
Make sure that the e'Carry is very easy to work on.  This should be easy.  An electric vehicle is inherently so much  simpler than a petrol vehicle.  To change a motor should be as simple as undoing 6 nuts, pulling out the motor and sliding a new one into it's place.  If there are wheel rim motors, a few nuts should allow the offending motor to be replaced.  Provide a repair manual done by Time Life or Readers Digest.  Their manuals are works of art and so easy to follow.

Tool Kit
Ensure by the standardization of nut and screw sizes that the minimum number of tools is needed.  Supply a tool kit that fits into a purpose built nitch in the car. If any unusual tools are needed (bearing puller, for instance) they can be rented from the supplier.

Warantee
None.  Zilch.  The vehicle should be so reliable that a warantee is not necessary.  Besides any joker with a basic set of tools should be able to repair virtually anything by himself.  Warantees cost money.  At the very least make them an optional extra.

Lights
LSD's of course everywhere a light is necessary to save power.  Make sure that they have a standard socket so that in a pinch one could find a replacement even if it was not an official Suzuki lamp.  Besides, owners of other cars will be buying the Suzuki lamp because it is more reliable and is better priced.

Windows
Hand wound.  Make it a reliable, long lasting winding system.  Perhaps use brass gears and racks rather than plastic.  They should wind up as smoothly after 200,000km as they did  the day the car was bought.

Braking
Regenerative, of course.

Magazine
Put out a quarterly magazine discussing how to do various proceedures, stories how people had built their own bodies out of wood, travel stories and any other quirky item that comes to the  attention of Suzuki.  Give a one year's subscription with each purchase of a new car.

Sales
Have one outlet in each major city.  Locate in the inexpensive industrial area of town.  No need to do repairs there.  These outlets are only there to sell vehicles and parts.  Mechanics will soon learn to do anything that the owner is too lazy to do himself.  

Introduction
Start with 10 vehicles given to everyone from the boss of Suzuki to the tea lady.  Let them drive them for a year and iron out any bugs that are found.  Then make 100 and give them to a variety of businesses in a variety of countries.  After a year, debug any further problems.  By this time, the public will be clamoring for the e'Carry.  Go into production.

1 comment:

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