The order came from Norway, but the entire engineering and design conception is Portuguese. The project for the creation of a new car for Elbil Norge company represented over a year’s work for the Centro de Excelêcnia e Inovação na Indústria Automóvel, CEIIA, (excellence and innovation centre in the automobile industry), at TecMaia. It involved more than 20 thousand hours of engineering and 30 technicians from several areas, ranging from designers, product and process engineers, prototyping, assembling and finishing experts.
“The development project of the new model, MetroBuddy, started in May 2008 and it is supposed to deliver the first 15 operational prototypes. Five of these have been produced so far. The two first ones were sent to Norway last week”, José Rui Felizardo, the CEO of CEIIA, explained.
In addition to CEIIA-CE (Engineering Centre), responsible part for the program management of the new electric vehicle, this program enabled several national companies to show their competences and abilities within the development of complex products, such as EV-Iberia, Yasaki Saltano, Ropico, IETA, Forma3D, Robertrónica, Pamel, IPETEX, Usimeca and Imfu.
“This collaboration with the industry foresees a high percentage of national incorporation when the time to introduce MetroBuddy in the European market comes and the possible creation of an assembling unit in Portugal”, stated José Rui Felizardo.
CEIIA-CE was involved in the entire phase of development of the new vehicle, from style through production and prototyping, also including components and moulding engineering, according to the Elbil Norge’s requirements. The 2009’s new developments of the car are focused on the production improvement, cost reduction, quality rise and adjustment for the users (less weight and fewer batteries).