Basic Utility Vehicles for Rural Transportation

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BUV Design

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120x90design.jpg One of the exciting things about this vehicle is the fact that it was developed from the ground up for the developing world. Many automotive manufacturers offer or try to offer vehicles for this market by taking an existing product and pulling out features and options to try and achieve a lower price point. The reason this approach is ineffective is that the level of features for items that do not add as much value as they do cost for the developing world are still too high and not necessary. These costs, represented in the white section, are certain convenience features, comfort, safety, style, warranty and dealer service. Although some of each of these features is important, in the developing world, items such as cruise control, air conditioning, anti-lock brakes and body panels add more cost then they do value. Unfortunately the items most important in the developing world (represented in the yellow section of the graph) such as good gas mileage, ease of maintenance, hauling capacity and the ability to handle the rough terrain are typically decreased along with the other features when trying to lower costs. Items such as 4 x 4, heavy duty leaf springs, rugged tires and diesel engines are stripped out to save costs making the vehicle more affordable but less effective. The contrast in approach to saving costs by traditional manufacturers and the approach used to develop the BUV are illustrated in the two graphs below.

 

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The BUV was developed to only add features and options that are needed and value added for the market it is serving. This is a similar approach taken by Tata Motors in its development of the Nano. This vehicle was developed for the growing urban markets of China and India. You can see that it added only options that the low income urban market needs and stripped the features needed for the rural and medium income markets. This focused product design allows both the BUV and the Nano to hit a price point unprecedented in the current automotive market while actually performing better in the areas of importance to the target consumer.

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The design of the BUV offers several key advantages:

Features

  • Affordable: $5000 US($)

  • Durable: automotive parts

  • Utility: power water pump, mill, compressor, etc.

Service / Maintenance

  • common “off-the-shelf” parts

  • easy access to engine and drivetrain

  • 95% less parts than a typical car

Specifications

  • 10 hp engine - diesel or gas

  • 1050 lb vehicle weight and low ground pressure

  • 12’ length x 63" width

  • 2-wheel drive with differential

  • automotive hydraulic brake

Performance

  • 1200 lb payload

  • 40% gradeability - high torque

  • 30+ mpg (50+ diesel)

  • Turns sharp like a scooter

  • 20 mph max speed

Automotive Grade Components

  • axle / tires / wheels / hubs

  • brakes / suspension / frame

  • expected life: 20+ years for auto parts

 

Safety

  • Low center of gravity

  • Excellent driver visibility

  • Controlled speed - 20 mph max

  • Hydraulic brakes

Article provided by Vytrak