From left：Toyotaka Kozuki, Yoshihiro Hirata, Kinam Yong (Chassis Development, Mechanical Engineering department)
|The Model Ci easily disassembles into three parts, and fits in the trunk of most vehicles. We interviewed the three people who worked on the blueprint to develop the disassembly function of the Ci.|
Disassembly function a result of Model A customers’ feedback
The Model Ci project started in April 2015. We received feedback from Model A users, including “I want to put it in my car” and “It doesn’t fold up.” Thus, the concept behind the Model Ci was portability. We started to envision and develop a product that could be easily disassembled, left by a narrow entrance or in a car trunk, or stowed wherever it’s convenient for users.
|How to Disassemble the Model Ci
Pull the lever underneath the seat, then lift the seat by the arms, set aside. Next, pull back the lever on the rear drive base to disengage it from the front drive base. That’s all it takes to disassemble the Model Ci!
We started product development with the goal of making a device that anyone would be able to easily take apart and put back together.
Disassembly made easy: minimizing multitasking.
Aside from lifting the seat off the rear base, our goal was for users to be able to dissemble everything using just one hand. Parallel work, or multitasking, doing two or more different things at a time, is not accessible for all. The rear wheels and anti-tip bar support the main body from tipping when disengaging the two drive bases. To assemble the Ci, all you need to do is line up the front and rear bases, push back into place, and it’ll automatically lock the pieces. Lastly, put the seat back on, and pull down the lever underneath the seat to secure.
Eliminating user errors
To assemble most other mobility devices, you need to connect parts with many screws and pins. Small pins and screws are easily misplaced or mishandled during disassembly. To minimize such troubles, WHILL eliminated these steps and small parts. There are magnetic connectors between the seat and main body, helping to guide the power connector back into place.
Portable and stable
Usually, vehicle stability and ease of disassembly are opposing functions. It was a challenge to create a personal EV that featured easy disassembly and a stable ride. After a lot of perseverance, we overcame this obstacle, solving the issue of shaking and rattling at the connection point between the seat and main body.
|Chassis Development Group, Mechanical Engineering Department
Yoshihiro Hirata, Group Leader
Toyotaka Kozuki, Mechanical Engineer
Kinam Yong, Mechanical Engineer