Wheels and tub

13 Mar

In the design of the African Solar Taxi, we aim to use as many off the shelf components as possible, to minimise the time, effort and expense of making custom components. In essence, we seek to ‘mash up’ the best readily available components into a new design and to strive for elegant simplicity.

When seeking to avoid reinventing the wheel, it is appropriate that the first major component we have selected is the wheel. At last night’s design workshop we considered a range of ATV, motorbike and downhill mountain bike wheels and we agreed that we’d use lightweight ATV tyres on pressed aluminium ATV rims, like this:

Wheel and tyre

We were fortunate last night to have another final year mechanical engineering student join the design team. Amanda will work with George in helping to design the chassis and the suspension. 

We made further progress on the design of the structural tub. As with the construction of Trev several years ago, we may again use lightweight composite sandwich panels. The passenger seats could be incorporated as structural components of the tub, and could be made of the same lightweight composite sandwich panels.

We are toying with a tub design which is inspired by the Mini Moke, with long pontoon box assemblies down both sides. These would add structural strength, would provide some measure of side protection and could provide storage volume for batteries and luggage. Perhaps something like this sketch of Mic’s:

Chassis concept Mic

The two final year industrial design students, Justin and Andrew, will now make wooden mock-ups of the tub to get a better idea of the overall vehicle dimensions.

One Response to “Wheels and tub”


  1. Meet our motors | African Solar Taxi - September 26, 2013

    […] we’ll be mounting the motors to All Terrain Vehicle rims, we need to make custom longer axles for both motors. Last night at St Patrick’s College we […]

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