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Five-day eco friendly car could become a reality

Written by maryp posted on Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

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This could change everything. The European Union project team, ILIPT, (Intelligent Logistics for Innovative Product Technologies), in partnership with 27 partners, (including BMW), had a very ambitious goal. By 2015 to build an eco friendly car in only 5 days. That is manufacturing in only 5 days! The idea was initiated by the University of Bath School of Management, Professor Andrew Graves. The idea had been in the works for decades but it is now apparent that it is possible.

Obviously, the group had to take a detailed look at not only construction and manufacturing processes, but also how the various suppliers and parts get the job done. This would be a very radical way of doing business. The upside would be a happy customer who only had to wait 5 days for the car that was ordered, (custom), cost savings for the manufacturers, and a reduced carbon footprint.

At this time it is called the ModCar or the virtual Five-Day Car. The idea is that the vehicle will consist of an internal load bearing frame, covered with panels that are cosmetic. Right now, what most of us might think of as the car’s body or exterior, is actually performing some of the load bearing functions, (not just looking good). Made out of a flexible polymer, the body panels would have a special film that would make the paint shop a non-issue.

The ILIPT group findings are to be published. The book will be called, “Build to Order-The Road to the Five-Day Car”. It should be especially interesting to engineers and also management types. Mmmm…..maybe even someone in Detroit?

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