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Continental develops frontal impact safety system for the EcoCarrier electric truck

Continental has announced that it is equipping the electrically powered EcoCarrier light truck with a passive safety system. The vehicle is manufactured by EcoCraft and is already available on the European market. By the end of 2011, its specification will include an occupant safety system, consisting of airbags for the driver and front-seat passengers and three-point seat belts. Continental is supplying the airbag electronics and adapting the software to the EcoCarrier light truck.

The front-seat passenger airbag for the three-seater truck is bigger than the usual car airbag, because it is designed for two passengers sitting next to each other on the front seat bench; so, in the event of an accident, both front-seat passengers are protected. Continental is also equipping the EcoCarrier with an additional three-point safety belt for the inner front passenger seat, which has so far only been provided with a lap belt. The company’s vehicle safety development center provides development and testing processes to meet the special requirements of electric vehicles. The close collaboration between systems development and simulation staff at the center’s test facility means that vehicle safety systems can be developed and tested quickly and effectively to meet the specific needs of electric vehicles.

In addition to ensuring optimum airbag deployment and testing its ability to cope with extreme sizes of vehicle occupant, another central feature of Continental’s development work at its Alzenau facility, has been its investigation of the behavior of the EcoCarrier’s basic structure, as well as designing the front-seat passenger airbag deployment flap on the vehicle’s instrument panel. Managing director of Continental’s safety engineering division, Dr Gunnar Jurgens, explains, “To date, airbags have not been a legal requirement for this vehicle category and are, therefore, rarely installed. As a result of our development, the electric truck now meets safety standards for head-on collisions comparable to those of passenger cars. This is an important contribution by us to the passive safety of drivers and occupants of electric vehicles.”

 

March 11, 2011

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