Electric Moped

The re-design of an electrical distribution moped , Development of a versatile cost-efficient vehicle


The starting point in this project is a three-wheeled electrical distribution moped that was developed and marketed until 2002. The vehicle is still considered to have a potential market and is intended to be re-designed and introduced during the coming years. This master thesis project intends to conduct a redesign of the vehicle with a focus on form and functionality and also taking ergonomics, technical aspects and cost into consideration.

The development process started with a requirement gathering phase, where needs from different users were gathered through interviews and observations, legal and technical aspects were gathered through literature studies and market studies were provided by collaborating parties. With the requirement specification in place, a development framework was created consisting of image boards describing intended expressions and moods, ergonomic guidelines and certain technical aspects on a basic level. Many ideas concerning different vehicle layouts and overall forms as well as detail solutions of specific problems were generated in a creative ideation phase. The ideas were summarized in three initial concepts.

The concepts were evaluated against each other as well as the original vehicle and the strongest concept was developed further in a refinement phase. The refinement involved specifying and deciding how different solutions should work, look and interact. Forms were defined using CAD software and evaluated towards the development framework. The structural parts of the design were validated through finite element analysis.

The final concept is based on two functional areas, a driver area and a cargo area. The driver area is the focal point of the vehicle and is enclosed by a thick steel frame that is very characteristic. The driver area provides good ergonomics through adjustment possibilities and user oriented functionality through the driver interface and storage possibilities. The cargo area is attached like a sidecar to the driver area and provides a flexible foundation to customize the area to specific user needs.

An evaluation of the results using concept scoring show that compared to the old vehicle, improvements have been made regarding functionality, but mostly within identity and ergonomic aspects. The most important work that should be done when taking the concept further is an evaluation towards users to ensure that their needs are fulfilled and practical tests on a physical prototype to ensure that the vehicle is safe when driving.

The new design utilizes the strengths in the original vehicle and adds additional value to the vehicle and the brand through a thought through design with a characteristic expression and good ergonomics. The vehicle requires further definition, but is realisable witin a near future and customizable in a way that should suit many potential markets.

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