mardi 5 décembre 2006

Hummer 02 le 4x4 qui respire - The Hummer that breathes

Le studio de création de General Motors (General Motors Advanced Design) vient de remporter le concours de design du Los Angeles Auto Show avec le Hummer O2 en relevant le défi du thème de cette année: concevoir une auto respectueuse de l'environnement et entièrement recyclable au bout de cinq ans.

Ce concept-car va plus loin que le simple respect de l'environnement.

En effet, en plus de ne pas polluer, le Hummer O2 [équipé de quatre piles à combustible (une dans chaque roue)consommant de l'hydrogène et ne rejettant que de la vapeur d'eau] contribue à améliorer l'environnement en relâchant de l'oxygène.

Le concept-auto est composé d'une coquille phototropique: les panneaux de la carrosserie sont remplis d'une algue marine vivante permettant la photosynthèse(transformation du dioxyde de carbone en oxygène). Ces panneaux fonctionnent comme des feuilles et nettoient l'air environnant. Un astucieux système de valve bi-directionnelle situé dans le coin de chaque panneau contrôle la quantité de CO² dont l'algue a besoin tout en optimisant la production d'oxygène. Les algues usagées sont ensuite recyclées comme biomasse pour produire à nouveau de l'hydrogène.
Enfin, les pneus "Active Tread" changent de forme suivant le terrain.


GM Advanced Design has won the Los Angeles Auto Show’s Design Challenge for the second year in a row!
(from General Motors Press Release) GM HUMMER O2

In approaching this year’s LA Design Challenge, General Motors Advanced Design, California debated whether absolute efficiency and recycle ability are the only measure of a vehicle’s environmental benefit? Thus launched the basis of our studio’s efforts, a study of whether the daily use of a vehicle could result in a “Net Gain” for the environment? The team drew upon inspiration by growing trends in green architecture and the concept of reducing one’s “Carbon Footprint”. We asked ourselves, “If the typical Los Angeles automobile spends 95% of its time out doors, why can’t that same car give back to the environment?”The Hummer O2 epitomizes the ethos of the true Southern California outdoors enthusiast with rugged capability, a “tread lightly” contact system and construction methods that promote safety, accessibility, and post-consumer reuse.

Why can’t a car give back to our environment? We are each responsible for a damaging and non-productive “carbon footprint”- the effect our daily lives have on the earth’s environment. The Hummer O2 is an automotive concept which explores the use of basic science principles that would result in a reversal of our daily toll on the surrounding environment. The Hummer O2 represents the first time a vehicle has been designed to give back to our environment, in essence, an environmental NET GAIN over the lifespan of the vehicle. The Hummer O2 concept features a revolutionary phototropic body shell that produces pure oxygen throughout the lifespan of the vehicle. It’s actually quite simple, algae-filled body panels transform harmful CO2 into pure oxygen that issubsequently released back into the environment. To further reduce environmental impact, the O2’s construction specifies the use of 100% post consumer materials like aluminum (frame), VOC-free finishes (seats) and PETE (glazing).

PHOTOSYNTHESIS: The phototropic body panels function as the “leafs” of the O2. Each one containsan optimized photobioreactor where a solution of algae and water transformstoxic carbon dioxide into pure oxygen. The oxygen is then released back into theenvironment as well as inside the cockpit. Oil changes are replaced by annualalgae replacement. The used algae are then recycled as biomass for theproduction of energy.

BREATHING: The flow of Co2 and oxygen is regulated by a two-way valve system (“MisticDevices” TM) in the corner of each panel. These sophisticated devices controland monitor the amount of CO2 and source nutrition needed for the algaecultivation and optimize oxygen production and distribution.

STRUCTURE: A central aluminum “tree” creates a perfect hexagonal structure that bothprotects the central hydrogen tank and supports the external structural bodypanels. The stiff body panels transform the tree intro a safe enclosed spaceframetaking care of side impact protection. Front and rear caps connect thepowertrain and suspension (“roots”) firmly to the “tree”.

ENERGY: Four modular and self-contained fuel cells power the hydraulic motors attachedto each wheel. New water-based hydraulic fluid is used. The hydrogen tank isfound in an ideal central location for both safety and structural purposes,becoming this way the literal and metaphorical “heart” of the vehicle.

Active Tread TM tires provide optimum low resistance when driving on thehighway while still allowing good off-road progress as their shape changes,adapting to and protecting the soil.

General Motors Corporation Advanced Design, California


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