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Rear view KAZ electric vehicle
Professor Hiroshi Shimizu of Keio University in Japan has done it again. The father of the Luciole tandem, two-seat electric car has significantly upped the EV performance ante.

KAZ Means Peace... at 300 kph!

Meet the world's first 8 passenger EV capable of a top speed of 186 mph and a range of nearly 200 miles.

By Bill Moore

The KAZ EV (which means 'peace' in Japanese) quickly started generating excited emails to EVWorld within days of its unveiling at the Geneva Auto Show this year. People wanted to know about this new EV with a top speed of 300 kph. Now, courtesy of Gaetan Bayle, the publisher of EVshowroom-fr.com, we can tell you more about this remarkable vehicle.

The KAZ isn't Professor Shimizu's first EV. His team has now built six electric vehicles, including the remarkable Luciole EV, first introduced at EVS 14 in Orlando, Florida in 1997. The handful EV enthusiasts who were able to drive it came away very, very impressed. Resembling more a small, wingless jet fighter, the Luciole offers exciting acceleration and handling, rivaling, maybe even surpassing that of the vaunted EV1.

So, it didn't come as a surprise when EV World learned that Professor Shimizu and Keio University are behind the KAZ. Keio University is Japan's oldest higher education institute, founded in 1858.

Born in 1947, Shimizu is the professor of the Faculty of Environmental Information. According to his bio, he runs the Electric Vehicle Lab where he oversees two teaching staff members, two research staffers, three part-time assistants, eight graduate students and 34 under-graduate, where they work on electric vehicle research and development. In 1991, his IZA electric vehicle set a world record of 176 kph, which was eventually eclipsed by the GM EV1 at 184 mph several years later.

Flexible seating for 8 The technology and experience garnered from Shimizu's previous six EVs has been incorporated into KAZ, which is an eight-wheeled, twenty-two feet long super-EV with flexible seating for up to eight adults. The 6,569 pound gross weight vehicle stands nearly 5.5 feet high and measures over 6 feet wide. Its unusual, eight-wheel configuration prevents both tail squat during acceleration and nose dive at braking. In addition, KAZ makes use of both differential wheel braking and multiple wheel steering giving it, its developer's claim, very stable corning and a surprisingly short turning radius for a vehicle of its size. Shimizu's team has incorporated a tandem suspension system with each two-wheel set hydraulically linked.

The KAZ makes use of three primary component technologies: dual lithium-ion battery packs integrated into the vehicle's 15 cm thick floor pan, in-wheel hub motors to free up more of the passenger compartment, and new inverter technology with very high throughput efficiency. The batteries store 88 amp hours of energy and deliver 55kW of power to each wheel for a maximum vehicle power rating of 440 kW. This lets the vehicle accelerate at a rate of 0-400 meters or the quarter mile in 14.2 seconds. Shimizu claims the vehicle can travel 300 km on a charge at a constant 60 kph. A range extender is also in development that will give KAZ a range of 600 kilometers.

Like Luciole, KAZ is an engineering exercise and concept demonstrator. It shows what is possible when designers start with a fresh sheet of paper and make use of the very latest in EV technology. The KAZ platform can also be used as the basis for various other vehicle types including small buses and delivery trucks.

KAZ EV Side view

Specifications

Vehicle
  Length 6700 mm
  Width 1950 mm
  Height 1675 mm
  Weight 2980 Kg
  Passengers 8
Battery
  Type Li-ion
  Voltage 3.75 V
 Capacity 88 Ah
 Weight 3.75 Kg
 Number of batteries 84 x 2
Motor
  Type 6 Phase Synchronous
  Magnet Nd-Fe
 Maximum Torque100 Nm (without Gear Ratio)
 Maximum Velocity 12000 rpm
 Maximum power55 kW
 Gear ratio4.588
 Number of motors 8
Inverter
  TypePWM
 Output voltage 0-140 V
 Output current0-250 A
Tyres 185/55 R16
Suspension
  Type Double wishbone
 Spring & Damper Hydro Pneumatic
Performance
 Maximum Speed 300 Km/h
  0-400 Acceleration Time 14.5 sec
 Range per charge 300 Km (at 100 Km/h constant speed)

Download PDF version of KAZ brochure

Times Article Viewed: 7593
Published: 10-Mar-2001

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