A sustainable and responsible solution for private cars, enhancing long-term ownership and upgrading them to electric drivetrain.
At a glance
- Contributes to achieving zero-emissions through retrofitting of private cars to electric drivetrains, while protecting people's financial investment by guaranteeing an extension of vehicles’ life.
- Explores whole-life design promoting and encouraging the act of reusing, recycling and updating products in usability, technology and aesthetics to change consumption patterns and contribute to a circular economy.
- Investigates the relationship between people and cars, focusing on improving product experience and developing new design aesthetics that can contribute to the development of long-lasting ownership.
- Develops research through context immersion, engagement with stakeholders and industry, design experimentation and prototyping.
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Currently, there is no sustainable solution for the existing fleet of internal combustion engine cars. Ecofitting investigates a new strategy to contribute towards zero-emissions by reusing and retrofitting an existing car fleet as opposed to current industry strategies merely based on the creation of new products, and avoid the massive impact of end of life and disposal. In doing so, it explores the development of new design paradigms, business models and manufacturing approaches, as part of a circular economy approach.
Based on the UK’s government targets on clean-air zones and zero-emission vehicle phasing, we identified a timeline and scope within which the concept of Ecofitting is most relevant. While cars made before 1980 are protected under the Classic Car exemption, all cars made from then until the implementation of the current emission standards are potential candidates for Ecofitting. Data from the Department for Transport indicates that, as of 2019, there is a fleet of 15.1 million diesel and petrol cars currently on UK roads that are non-compliant with clean air zones. These cars are the focus of the ongoing study.
IMDC studies into car design trends identified Ecofitting also as a feasible approach from a cultural perspective. We found that the development of a nostalgic consumer taste, the collection of classic and modern classic cars, the increasing value of personalisation, and the complex and intimate emotional relationship between people and cars, can contribute to the development of long-lasting ownership. This will be based on aesthetic experiences which are different from the current one.
State-of-the-art of retrofitting and customising exploring their cultural, environmental, and social-economic foundations.
2D design experimentations to find new whole-life design solutions
Design strategy for zero-emission mobility including new design paradigms, business models and manufacturing approaches
The project reimagined the Chinese family car in the light of ongoing transitions in the automotive industry including automation, Artificial intelligence and electrification.
The Royal College of Art Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and Vehicle Design's Redesign of the Emergency Ambulance project has been selected as one of the nominations for the Design Museum Designs of the Year 2012 exhibition and awards in the Transport category.
The project explores a mobility trend which may completely reshape vehicle-user relationships, the design of vehicles and the mobility market: Shared Mobility.
The Royal Automobile Club and the RAC Foundation have held a number of annual projects with the RCA’s Intelligent Mobility MA programme that coincide with the London to Brighton classic car run and the club’s Motoring week.