ZEV-UP: Introducing a modular, frugal, zero-emission electric vehicle with a swappable battery system to make urban mobility more sustainable

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The ZEV-UP project officially embarked on an innovative journey towards greener urban mobility. This EU-funded project aims to develop a user-centric, modular, and fully zero-emission battery electric vehicle (BEV). The vehicle will target passenger transportation but will also address goods transport needs. The ZEV-UP vehicle is designed to feature a swappable battery system, providing convenience, flexibility, and lower operational costs. This adaptable and frugal electric vehicle seeks to redefine electromobility, paving the way for a more sustainable and user-friendly transportation landscape.

Launched as part of the 2Zero Partnership, ZEV-UP (Frugal zero-emission vehicles concepts for the urban passenger challenge) addresses the urgent need for sustainable mobility solutions and aligns with the European Fit-for-55 objective of reducing CO2 levels by 2030 and achieving climate neutrality by 2050. The project aims to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission vehicles by developing BEVs with unique features for both established and emerging markets, including market studies in Asia and Africa.

The ZEV-UP frugal vehicle concept will be implemented across three variants tailored to diverse user requirements. These ultracompact variants are designed to meet the daily mobility needs of customers who make regular, short-distance urban trips, while also saving parking space. The modular microcar will share common components to ensure durability, safety, and minimal operational and maintenance costs. The primary variant is a compact two-seater tailored for urban use, while a longer wheelbase four-seater variant caters to family transportation needs. Additionally, this longer wheelbase variant can be converted into a two-seater commercial vehicle with a dedicated cargo area to transport goods. ZEV-UP’s swappable battery system will offer the advantage of minimising downtime by enabling quick and convenient battery swaps, enhancing user convenience, and extending driving range. Demonstrations of the vehicles will be conducted with real users in various conditions and environments in Budapest and Istanbul to validate user acceptance and evaluate the design and technological innovations of the vehicles.

Emin Aliyev, ZEV-UP Project Coordinator, stated: “ZEV-UP is a unique project that represents a significant step forward in redefining urban mobility with its innovative approach to zero-emission vehicles by emphasising the principles of frugality, modularity, and swappability, which are essential for creating sustainable and adaptable transportation solutions for our cities.”

ERTICO – ITS Europe coordinates the ZEV-UP project, which brings together 17 partners from 11 countries, along with international cooperation partners in South Africa and Pakistan. ZEV-UP runs from 1st January 2024 to 30th June 2027.