Lightweight, environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient vehicles

FlexiTrain commuter vehicles will be electrically driven, powered by whatever clean energy source is appropriate.
Currently this would be a NiMH battery pack, weighing less than 120 kg. This would be sufficient for a range of 60 km in an urban commuter cycle, with a top speed of 70 km/h.
In the future other energy sources such as hydrogen fuel cells could be used in conjunction with a storage device

This is a way of future-proofing the vehicle: The drivetrain would remain as is but the expected improvements in energy storage devices could easily be incorporated as they became affordable.

Vehicles have drive-by-wire controls.
The hardware is standard across the range - individual models are fine-tuned by software adjustment of microprocessor controls. This makes the vehicle far cheaper to build and maintain by minimising the parts count across the range.
Because the controls are intelligent, they can easily be made to accommodate slightly different requirements in a train.   

Vehicles will be operated by using a Smart Card system. This will securely open the car, start it, and keep track of distance travelled, as well as power consumption.
This allows easy billing for

  • time spent in a train
  • charging or discharging (credit would be given for  power drawn from the vehicle in a train)
  • vehicle rental applications, either short- or long-term.