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Title:Using industrial design to motivate change toward electric vehicles
Author(s):Suh, Ik Jun
Advisor(s):Reeder, Kevin
Department / Program:Art & Design
Discipline:Art and Design
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Electric Vehicle Design
Abstract:Abstract Throughout the 20th century, there have been many advances in technology that improve our daily lives. These improvements have only tapped the surface of the transportation industry. Although the idea of “green” or eco-friendly technologies have become welcomed in society, electric cars still lack momentum in the industry. Since our remaining oil reservoirs are becoming depleted, drastic change must be made to manage the consumption of our remaining resources. There have been breakthroughs in alternative transportation technologies, but none of them have hit the mass market due to society’s fear of change. In my research, I will analyze electric vehicle technologies and discuss their pros and cons. Along with that, I will explore the psychological factors preventing the public from transitioning effectively to green technologies. Analyzing the data I collect, I will use it to design a system that will fulfill the needs of consumers to allow for a pain free transition. The prime focus of my thesis is to create a user friendly interface for electric vehicle charging stations. There are a few variations of charging stations out on the market that lack an intuitive interface. This makes these systems confusing and hard to use, repelling potential adopters of the technology. Along with these issues, there are other concerns that deal with security, convenience and efficiency. Since the electric vehicles need time to charge, they are left unattended, allowing vandals to unplug vehicles at any time. When it comes to convenience, the act of using these charging stations every time you exit a vehicle is a big hassle. Preventing unnecessary steps in the charging process is always a benefit. In the efficacy category, I will address the lack of power management in our current systems. The three current methods of charging an electric vehicle include 120 volt, 240 volt and 480 volt systems. From my research, I have found that increasing the charging voltage by 1% will increase energy consumption by 0.297%. This means that the higher the voltage, the more energy is wasted, thus increasing the cost of the charge. Proper management of power will save consumers money at the charging stations, making the transition to electric vehicles more appealing.
Issue Date:2013-02-03
Rights Information:Copyright Eric Suh 2012
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-02-03
Date Deposited:2012-12

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