London Electric is a proposal for a municipal transport network of electric cars that addresses a broader range of issues than the familiar green arguments. Based on the idea that every design decision can address a multitude of needs, London Electric addresses issues ranging from how to re-use abandoned car factories to how to make our cities quieter and more pleasant environments.
Each London Electric car is based on a simple, robust plaform combining small, sophisticated components imported from abroad mounted into a sturdy, straightforward body that can be produced within the London metropolitan area by existing industries. London Electric vehicles can be privately owned, used as part of a public transport scheme, or provided by large businesses with governmental partnership. Because they are small, light and quiet, vast amounts of real estate within the city that is currently occupied by roads can be reclaimed for other uses.
Design solutions don’t have to begin and end with the consumers; inherent in every manufactured item is a vast network of jobs, economies and material resources. Embracing this messy, far-flung complexity moves design out of the simplistic realm of chasing desirability and turns it into a useful tool for finding novel solutions to questions of policy, economics, social welfare and technology.