California-based Green Automotive Company’s Liberty Electric Cars subsidiary has been chosen by the European Union to be a major partner in the epsilon innovation program.
The project’s ultimate goal will be to successfully develop a small electric passenger vehicle that optimizes safety, performance and comfort features while integrating all the benefits of a lightweight unique body construction.
Green Automotive said the project will be co-funded by the 7th Framework for Research and Technological Development, which is the EU’s main arm for financially supporting essential research throughout the continent.
“We are truly honored to be selected by the European Union as a partner in the epsilon program,” said Ian Hobday, CEO of Green Automotive. “It is extremely rewarding to be recognized for our pioneering work with electric vehicles and we welcome the opportunity to help further accelerate the trend away from fossil fuels.”
Liberty Electric Cars explained it will advise on the best materials to be used throughout the vehicle body construction and the precise manufacturing methods that will need to be employed, while directly contributing to the overall market research and resulting vehicle design specifications.
In addition to balancing a low vehicle weight (less than 600 kilograms / 1323 pounds) with performance and comfort considerations, an ultimate goal will be to achieve an excellent vehicle safety rating for both occupants and pedestrians by receiving at least a 4-star Euro NCAP rating (equivalent to the American NCAP rating).
The epsilon project also aims to successfully reach a new level of energy efficiency that can result in a pure electric driving range of at least 150 kilometers (93 miles) in a realistic urban driving environment, with an acceleration time of 0-60 mph in less than 10 seconds.