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Gordon Murray Design T27 electric car

Gordon Murray Design and Zytek Automotive have announced the development of the T27 all-electric three-seater city car.

It’s claimed it will be the world’s most efficient electric car due to its low weight and ‘clean sheet of paper design’.

The project is being funded through a £4.5m investment from the government-backed Technology Strategy Board. With a total cost of £9m, the new research and development project will allow the consortium to develop four prototypes by February 2011.

Gordon Murray Design says that the target of being the world’s most efficient electric car cannot be achieved by applying a conventional stamped steel construction design, nor with a drivetrain using existing gearboxes, motors or batteries. Instead, an entirely fresh approach is proposed; accepting no compromise in safety, performance, range, space, weight, rolling resistance and ride quality.

By applying iStreamŽ methodology, a new manufacturing process developed by Gordon Murray Design, to the T.27 and fully integrating it with a custom-designed lightweight, highly efficient drivetrain from Zytek, every aspect of the vehicle can be optimised. This holistic approach results in a car slightly smaller than a Smart, but with more interior space.

A similar approach was used by Gordon Murray Design for a three-seater petrol-driven car (T.25) which is receiving significant market interest. The company believes that the T.25 programme provides confidence that the aims of the T.27 programme are 100% achievable.

T.27 will also set new standards in environmental sustainability. High level lifecycle analysis derived from T.25 data predicts life-cycle emissions 63% less than the average car and for the T.27 lifecycle emissions 27% less than the nearest EV rival which is partly due to the iStreamŽ manufacturing approach.

The T.27 focuses on ‘efficient performance’ with all aspects of the drivetrain designed to maximise efficiency and minimise weight. The motor, power electronics and gearbox will form a single, highly integrated unit designed specifically for the performance requirements of the T.27, but offering scalability to heavier vehicles as required.

Zytek has designed and integrated electric drive systems for a wide range of European and US vehicle manufacturers and is currently building electric drivetrains up to 70kW and 300Nm for cars, buses and light commercial vehicles.