Citroen sponsored a design challenge for London Royal College of Art MA second year students to design a compelling ultra-compact model, and they picked this cool E-3POD Antistatic as the winner.
The project was jointly sponsored by Citroën and EXA, a France-based aerodynamic simulation software company.
This E-3POD is obviously an ultra futuristic electric urban commuter which as the name suggests is a tripod! This aerodynamic-obsessed single-seater has a big single wheel at the back and two at the front for steering. This is just a vision of what will replace the cars in future… oh dear!
The designer Heikki Juvonen, receives a six month employment contract to work at the prestigious PSA Design Centre in Paris.
Heikki commented; “I’m thrilled Citroën selected my design as their favourite and I can’t wait to work with their talented team in France. As a designer I strive for new and better solutions. Good and sustainable design not only improves manufacturer brand image and sales, but can also help to preserve our environment.”
Citroën had significant involvement throughout the Double Challenge project, providing industry figures to lend the students their expertise and experience, as well as organising a trip to the PSA Design Centre and Le Conservatoire, Citroën’s in-house museum of historic models.
Philippe Holland, Responsable Style Graphique at Citroën, said; “We’re delighted to be involved in this important RCA project. The students have produced some truly exceptional ideas for the future design of electric Citroën vehicles. This type of powertrain is increasingly recognised as an important solution for economically and environmentally viable urban transport; so it’s fantastic to see the electric visions of these potential car designers of tomorrow.”
Citroen E-3POD Antistatic Explained:
Designed by RCA student Heikki Juvonen, the Citroën E-3POD Antistatic electric tripod is a new type of electric vehicle for urban commuting. The ultra-light, micro segment, single-seater is not meant to replace cars, but to be an addition to the family transportation fleet, positioned between bikes and cars. With the E-3POD, the user can enter the world of electric vehicles without having to sacrifice their main means of long distance travel in internal combustion engine cars.
The distinctive look of the electric design language is applied to distinguish the product from being associated to cars, for the avoidance of comparison in terms of operational range or refuelling/recharging time. The E-3POD has a simplified, lightweight construction with an emphasis on aerodynamics to minimize the required battery size. This lowers the production costs, making the E-3POD affordable for purchase in addition to the family car – and a potential means of commuting for young people and students. The lowered weight is emphasized in design elements such as the rear wheel, which works as a supportive structural element, the shared suspension for both front wheels, and the use of scratch resistant plastic for the canopy.
The silent electric engines also make sound insulation redundant, allowing for lighter material selection. The E-3POD provides the user with easy, cost efficient transport with access to easier parking due to the small footprint. The design also provides comfortable and isolated personal space, which – when compared to bicycles or public transport – is a welcome addition. The short length of the vehicle makes it agile in urban environments. At higher speeds the E-3POD tilts slightly to provide solid grip and an emphasised stance, giving cornering a more responsive feel.