Today, transportation both to/from city-centres and within peri-urban areas, is unsatisfactory in terms of congestion, environmental and societal aspects. To answer identified needs, the Easily diStributed Personal RapId Transit (ESPRIT) project aims to develop a purpose-built, light weight L6 category electric vehicle that can be stacked together to gain space. Thanks to pioneering coupling systems, up to 8 ESPRIT vehicles can be nested together in a road train, 7 being towed for an efficient redistribution of fleets and a smartly-balanced and cost efficient transport system. Within the project, 2 user scenarios are foreseen: a one-way carsharing system within city centres and a last-kilometre personal mobility system to existing public transport infrastructures in peri-urban areas. These will be tested through 3 different geographical use cases (Glasgow, Lyon and L’Hospitalet de Llobregat near Barcelona).
This innovative transport system concept will be demonstrated to TRL5 though state-of-the-art developments of diverse technological bricks (including vehicle and road train architecture, coupling and guiding systems, kinetic and dynamic behaviour management systems, efficient energy supply and rapid charge battery strategies). To prove the ESPRIT concept, the project will also work on modelling and simulation tools to predict, once ESPRIT vehicles are deployed, the economic, social and environmental benefits as well as key operating strategies.
This concept will incite citizens to use public transport and carsharing solutions rather than their private vehicles leading to seamless intermodal transport, decongestion, significant reduction of noise and air pollution. To reach all stakeholders, the ESPRIT project will not only rely on its technical expertise but also on the knowledge and network of its end user community represented by several partners as well as the Advisor Board which includes carsharing organisations, public authorities and transport operators.