November 24, 2012
The task at hand was: “Find and develop creative suggestions related to the Green Charge project that support sustainable means of transportation in south-eastern Sweden for its inhabitants”. In addition, one of our main goals and challenges is to make this affordable and user friendly, meaning the user does not need to be a tech-guru to use it.
In the course “MT2502, Creativity for Product- and Service Development” (Master programme in Mechanical Engineering) students Gustav Müller Lundgren, Daniel Petersson, Martin Nilsson-Lind, Erik Petersson (all Mechanical Engineering) and Itziar López (MSPI) took on the task of looking at solutions around the Green Charge project.
In their report “Development of a PSS for the Green Charge Project in South-Eastern Sweden” they go through the ideation and creation of the solution. The full report is available upon request.
The process of generating ideas was divided into two phases, it was not intended at first but it ended up working very well. We decided to take a pretty casual approach and went with a classical brainstorming session since we felt most comfortable using this method. The ideas we came up with was everything from solar-panels on the roof of cars, charging while driving or even earning money by biking. This bunch of creative ideas would not work on their own, they were “un-polished” so to speak and we decided that we needed to take another crack at our already existing ideas and build up on the ones that were promising.
Cheap, appealing and reliable were three terms that popped up as relevant to our project. As a result we made a forced relationship among these terms and the initial ideas of charging while driving and earning money while biking. That is how our final concept came out.
Our concept, e-charge is a service that interconnects various electric mobility systems within the city and intercity, through a gaining-loosing points system.
The basic idea behind it is to reward user’s usage of environmentally friendly means of transport, while giving them an incentive to use public electric transportation. Our system, in the present status, consists basically of three means of transport: urban buses, cars and bikes; though, it can also be implemented in trains, boats, taxis, etc.
First of all, the user gets registered in the e-charge system and receives a multi-transport e-card, which is common to all means of transport. This card integrates a system that converts money into e-points, and can be charged in two different ways:
-While riding an electric bike, our own movement generates electricity, which is accumulated in the bike. When the user returns the bike to an e-point, the amount of energy generated is calculated by the system and its correspondent in points is charged in user’s e-card. These points can later be used to pay the bus or to take a car.
-Users that do not ride bikes can charge their e-card with money in order to use it for buses or cars. This system should work as an incentive to use bikes as long as the weather and distance is adequate and at the same time. It should also provide a multi-transport system to easily reach every part of the city.
Also view a stopmotion video of the solution.
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