Tulip EV Concept - the Future of Modern Day Transportation through a Different Lens

Written By: Assen Gueorguiev

Tulip EV Concept by Ognyan Bozhilov

There is little doubt that the Global Auto Industry is heading in a new direction. Higher standards and increasing competition will lead us to expect more and more innovation, efficiency and quality from the manufacturers.

We have an exciting few decades ahead of us, and no matter whether PHEVs, BEVs or FCEVs prevail, the future is right behind the corner and it will be a whole lot greener! Alternative energy sources, high performance batteries, solar carports…will all become a part of our daily lives, and we will gradually forget how we even lived without them!

Green Pastures and Flying Green Cars? Not so fast!

While we continue to naturally evolve in certain areas due to technology, others will become harder and harder to manage – poverty, overpopulation, depleting resources and more by-products than our recycling facilities can even handle.

Population density will reach new heights in the larger cities, as there’s no sign that the younger generations will stop migrating. Traffic jams and very limited parking will continue to get even worse.

The modern day consumer

Unless your ancestors were pirates and left you tons of gold, or you happen to be blessed with an amazing job and wealth, chances are buying a new vehicle is still a big deal for you.

On one hand, you may be an extreme environmentalist who would love to live in a solar-powered home with an electric vehicle parked up-front. While the reality is, you have a bike or a 20 year old car that you just can’t afford to replace.

On the other hand, you may be a part of the diminishing middle class that likes to replace their vehicles every 3-4 years. You usually end up with something shinier and a little better than your neighbors’, even if it’s border-line affordable.

How was the idea born?

This beautiful concept is the creation of Ognyan Bozhilov, an Engineer and Transportation Designer from Sofia, Bulgaria. Faced with terrible traffic and pollution in his own city, he decided to no longer be a bystander. Riding his bicycle to work every day was simply not enough! He saw the need to make a drastic change in our social patterns, so that we can achieve more sustainable lifestyles.

In his eyes, a society living in a jammed and polluted environment is far from efficient. One way to find a solution is to view the car as an outdated concept and to go back to the drawing board with an open mind. And so he did!

The Tulip - Time to Push the Auto Industry in a Brand New Direction

What is the Tulip?

It is the ultimate vehicle for the modern day city. It is an ultralight, zero emission, small and nimble transportation machine that you can use for your daily commute or short recreational trips.

While the Tulip would definitely not be for everyone, it would close a huge gap that the market currently has. Five seat vehicles are often too large and expensive for the single driver, while motorcycles are too unsafe and are suitable only for a small consumer niche.

A Vehicle that Evolves with You

The tulip proposes an entirely new business model:

  • Instead of trying to artificially create a never-ending demand for brand new vehicles, it introduces a viable alternative - selling only a very durable, high quality substructure and drivetrain that you can upgrade throughout the years

  • It allows the owner to adopt the idea of a vehicle that is their own highly customizable creation, rather than a simple replaceable object. Examples:

  • If you live in a rural area, you would invest in better suspension for the dusty roads

  • Have a child and want extra safety? No Problem! You can install an extra seat and even airbags for extra protection!

  • Are you a bicycle enthusiast? There’s something in store even for you. You can add the pedal-generation system and feed power into the battery, turning it into a human-electric hybrid

  • Like to arrive to evening events in style? Choose stylish wings that make the Tulip look even more glamourous at night

  • Did a new battery technology just come out that offers even better range? Just get the battery swapped at a low cost, as soon as it becomes available for the Tulip

  • It would create amazing opportunities for smaller companies in a wide spectrum of industries

  • It would allow us to change the current consumer mindset - possessing something practical and unique that is at the cutting edge of technology will no longer have to mean buying a new vehicle and breaking the bank. You will simply be able to upgrade your Tulip, and it will always represent “you”!

Let’s Get Technical

The Tulip relies on quite a few features to achieve maximum efficiency and reduce power consumption: light weight, precise aerodynamics, low tire rolling resistance and regenerative breaking are just some of them.

Let’s explore a few aspects of its conceptual design:

  • Saving Weight - this probably the most important factor as the Tulip is conceived mainly as a city vehicle, where speeds are generally low but you have a lot of acceleration in stop-and-go traffic. The idea of long lasting vehicle rather than one to be replaced every couple of years, prompts the use of some more expensive and durable materials. The space frame which is the core of the design is made out of 6069 aluminum - an alloy with magnesium and Silicon notable for its low weight, corrosion resistance and ease of processing. The aluminum is extruded into tubes with variable thickness to concentrate material where the mechanical stresses are greater and shed weight from non-important areas

  • Battery - the power is stored in last generation 3kWh Li-ion battery with high specific energy that is good for a range of about 100 km (62 miles)

  • Motor - The 7kW motor and inverter are combined in a single housing unit to save space, and placed together with the battery at the bottom of the space frame in order to keep the center of gravity low. For the same reason the wings and body panels are made out of carbon fiber/CFRP plastic and bonded together with structural adhesives and self-piercing rivets

  • Aerodynamics - The importance of aerodynamics is not to be forgotten even in city environment. The wings incorporated in the design and covers for all three wheels ensure smooth airflow and low drag coefficient. To reduce the road friction, the Tulip has a near-slick rear driving wheel and narrow front tires. Pressure gauge allows the tire inflation to be controlled at all times, which alone can improve the efficiency by 3 to 5 percent.

Where to Next?

While the Tulip is currently in its concept phase, its creator Ognyan Bozhilov definitely hopes to take things to the next level, if an opportunity arises.

From here on, Best Green Cars will follow very closely the Tulip’s path. When an idea so simple, yet so revolutionary is born, we can offer nothing less of our full support!

What are your thoughts on this unique concept?