The 2011 Volkswagen NILS Concept EV represents a single-seat electric concept vehicle that provides a new form of minimalist mobility, featuring free-standing wheels, wing doors and an aluminum space frame. NILS is a very compact car that requires extremely little space in traffic with a length of 3.04 m, which is 50 cm shorter than the new Volkswagen Up. The result is dynamic performance and zero emissions.
Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, member of the Board of Management and Head of Development for the Volkswagen Brand, stated that NILS anticipated the future and their goal was to research a technically concrete and economically feasible vehicle concept for microbility which restructured individual transportation in order to make it more efficient and environmentally compatible based on electric drive technology. NILS reaches a maximum speed of 130 km/h and a range of 65 km, which makes it an ideal vehicle for most of the German commuters, whose specific requirements are fulfilled by the emissions-reducing electric drive technology. In terms of style, designer Thomas Ingenlath, the centre's director, said that NILS was specially designed to transport a vision of the automotive future to the present and he was pleased that they had managed to implement the concept of the two glass wing doors as it allowed them to create large transparent surfaces. NILS provides driving pleasures due to its lightweight body of 460 kg. The body in white is produced from extruded aluminium, cast aluminium and sheet aluminium. The headlights are striking bi-xenon modules, while the indicator lights and daytime running lights are white and yellow LEDs. The centrepiece of the electric drive system is the lightweight 19 kg electric motor together with its transmission and battery. The steering is purely mechanical , while the electric motor produces its maximum torque of 130 Nm from standstill, via a one-speed transmission. Safety was not neglected and for this reason an automatic distance control system fits the NILS by using radar sensors to scan the space in front of the vehicle over a distance of about 200 metres.
Aiming to save on weight and costs, certain functional elements and controls do without electrical assistance. The side mirrors, for example, are adjusted manually.
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