FOMM is a lithium-ion battery driven small-sized car. In the IRRSG new year anniversary lectures “Lithium Battery; It’s the past, the present, and the future” on January,29 from 14:00,the developer himself will be asked to give a talk about the inside story. Prior to the date, we made an direct interview with Mr. Hideo Tsurumaki,President ,FOMM which developed the electric car for four passengers accommodation. The car is designed in concepts of environment friendliness and affordability for people in newly developed countries where car penetration is still rather low.
FOMM is with four passengers accommodation despite a size smaller than K-cars in dimensions of L2495XW1295XH1550mm.The body weights light at 460Kg, almost half of that of K-cars. Saving weight, one of Mr. Tsurumaki persisting initial concepts for development prototype is to feature water proof capability against water interventions by flood hazards etc.
Mr. Tsurumaki is a former engineer in Toyota Group engaged for development of mono-post electric car. “COMS” employed for home delivery by Seven Eleven today is actually one of his babies .In the background where President Tsurumaki independently established FOMM despite his long experience in electric car development, he always recalls one of sceneries arisen in Tohoku earthquake disaster 3.11. Heart-breakingly he witnessed a scenery where people concealed in cars attacked and flowed by Tsunami in Tohoku as well as Kanto sank out of sight. The tragical memory driven him to decide himself to develop unsank cars. Further he extended his development concepts to build affordable four passenger cars for poor people struggling purchase cars in newly developed countries. Then FOMM was born at the foci.
Right now FOMM is not planned to launch in Japan. Thai is the first comer than Japan where scheduled to launch end of 2018.And he is ramping up a local production line in Thai. Why first production in Thai, not in Japan? Mr. Tsurumaki noted; Legal regulations to permit commercially available FOMM for running on regular roads is considerably strict in Japan. But Government of Thai quickly reviews the legal regulations to permit FOMM for running on regular roads in Thai. Also Government of Thai released a plan to facilitate 200 recharging stations for lithium-ion battery in Thai to extend FOMM convenience for freely running in the land.
Since number of components of FOMM is about 1,600 almost one digit smaller than that of general cars, the production line for it is much shorter than one for general cars. This is one of the reasons to offer lower price of FOMM. Simultaneously the production line of FOMM is designed to produce 10K cars a year while regular car production designed for mass volume. Mr. Tsurumaki emphasized that if 100 facilities of the same production capability with one in Thai are established, one million a year output should be available.
FOMM for Thai market employs 4units of lithium-ion battery (LIB), two built in under the front seat and another two aft. The battery unit is using China made cells and assembled in Singapore. FOMM did not cling to newest LIB with quick rechargeability which Japanese automotive makers usually require. FOMM’s LIB need to stay 6hours at recharging station with 200V AC. Despite, to provide other solution than recharging LIB at stations, FOMM is designed to allow usual users to easily detach and plug in the charged LIB units for quicker exchange. To enhance FOMM convenience, Government of Thai devises to stock charged LIB units at stations. Thanks to these highly integrated collaborations between the government actions and development concepts for the electric car, FOMM comfortably offers run distance of 160Km as well as 100Km under air conditioner working at fully charged mode despite cheaper Chinese LIB cells. Even 100Km run distance should be enough if 200 recharging stations are available in the land.
Further FOMM employs in-wheel-motors. While the motors are out sourced, the development and design are conducted by FOMM. And steel panel is completely deleted from the body, instead mainly PP plastic is employed as well as partly aluminum for frames and covers of in-wheel-motors for weight saving and easy processing. By employing in-wheel-motor, drive shaft usually employed in normal cars becomes to be unnecessary thanks to which driving body can be fully covered. Thanks to this devise, FOMM can float even on the water. The story will be talked by Mr. Tsurumaki himself in the lecture January,29.
While FOMM is designed and built at such light weight as well as low cost, FOMM fully meets the requirements defined in the framework of L7e for ultra small sized cars formulated by EU committee. To prepare for all possible occasions, restlessly evaluation and countermeasures for FOMM’s quality and safety are conducted. You can only rely on Mr. Tsurumaki, former Toyota engineer,
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(IRUNIVERSE S. Aoyama)