For many off-road drive lovers, planning a journey to Tibet is the ultimate dream. However, the eco-system there is quite sensitive and fragile. In this project I try to design a sustainable vehicle that could make us enjoy an expedition to Tibet while protecting such precious environment.
Research about future trends, about the environmental conditions, about emerging powertrain technologies and the Jeep brand helped me to establish my design concept. Package study, ideation sketches and clay modelling were used to develop both styling and functionality aspects of the vehicle. Digital modelling supported the fabrication of a quarter scale model. Storytelling was used to explain the concept and the situations that Jeep E-pic drivers could meet during their expedition.
The result is a self-powered all-terrain vehicle designed to carry two occupants and their expedition gear and equipped with various tools to handle eventual maintenance and rescue situations.
Inspiration and Method
My aim of this project is to find a balance solution, which design a zero emission vehicle that leave no carbon foot print in Tibet, but without lose the DNA that makes a Jeep Jeep. The process of the project can be divided into two sides. By starting with the research of the Tibet off-road environment and off-roaders’ preference and lifestyle, I made up my mind to design a wild and tough all-terrain SUV, which can give those off-road lovers everything they want for any adventures they take in Tibet. Besides, the fragile and sensitive ecosystem inspired me to think what if this off-road journey will do no harm to the local environment. Basic on this setup, I looked into the potential scenario and functions of the concept such as environment protection features, the supporting service around this journey, the application of clean energy, which were then merged into the frame of that all-terrain SUV. When comes to the styling part, I intended to take the Jeep brand into a new era by incorporating the iconic Jeep cues but abandoning the old stubborn and gasoline-consuming image. To approach that aim, many sketch doodles and clay model were made to find a suitable interpretation for the spirit of Jeep E-pic.
The result of Jeep E-pic is an all-terrain SUV, which has the ability to conquer the crucial and extreme environment in Tibet. The design of E-pic heritages the classical Jeep DNA while moving a step forward with a sleek surface and sculptural form. This rebellion change gives E-pic a modern style with a higher fuel efficiency. The high ground clearance enables the vehicle to have a good trafficability characteristic. To solve the different emergent situations people may meet while traveling across the Tibet, Jeep E-pic is equipped with some necessary tools like winch, jack and first-aid package. They are well designed and located in the right place could be easy to obtain. By applying the honeycomb structure tires, the wheels of E-pic are maintenance-free, which greatly improve the adaption in bad road conditions. Besides, the design of the wheels shows the caring of the ground with the wide grooves in the middle of each wheels, which could reduce the pressure of the vehicle for the ground. On the eco-friendly side, the rain collector in the front hood can transfers the water into the hydrogen for the fuel cell engine, which collaborates seamlessly with energy hub service provided by Jeep support the drivers to have an epical journey in Tibet but leave no trace.