Integrating EV charging into the electricity grid

Responsible for some of the greatest automotive designs, Giugiaro lost its place in the spotlight in recent years. But, even though it stopped working with the big automakers outside the Audi Q2 and some Chinese cars, Giugiaro rolled out a few spectacular concepts recently, including the Parcour and the Zerouno. The Italian firm introduced yet another in 2018. It’s called the GFG Sibylla, it’s fully electric, and it was developed in cooperation with Envision, a Chinese company specialized in wind turbines, energy management software, and energy technology services.

Created to celebrate Giorgetto Giugiaro’s 80th birthday, the GFG Sibylla uses Envision’s EnOS energy IoT platform, which allows the car to become intelligently integrated into the wider energy ecosystem. In short, it’s integrating EV charging into the electricity grid, a system that other automakers have been studying for quite a few years now. The Sibylla name was chosen accordingly, as it references a figure from Latin mythology endowed with the ability to provide answers and predict the future. It is also a tribute to Giorgetto’s mother, named Sibylla. Let’s find out more about the concept car in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Giugiaro GFG Sibylla EV Concept.

Giugiaro GFG Sibylla EV Concept Exterior

- * Transparent dome roof
- * Elegant design
- * Sporty front end
- * Clean rear end
- * 22-inch wheels
- * Not ready for production

2018 Giugiaro GFG Sibylla EV Concept Exterior
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The concept car has a unique design as the conventional roof was replaced by a transparent, wraparound dome

The Giugiaro calls the GFG Sibylla a luxury sedan, but it’s more of the notchback variety, as it has a very short deck lid and a steeply angled rear window. It also has a unique design as the conventional roof was replaced by a transparent, wraparound dome. There are no A-pillars, while the B-pillars are almost invisible. Despite this, it’s quite elegant and sportier than the usual four-door sedan. It’s worth mentioning that the dome roof is some sort of trademark design feature for Giugiaro, as it can be seen on several other concept cars from the past.

The roof itself is more than just an exotic design feature. The driver enters the cabin by sliding the windscreen towards the front by 750 mm (29.5 inches) on three tracks. Two are placed on the hood and one on the roof. The central longitudinal structure also has hinges for the second-row passenger windows, which open in a gullwing fashion. The doors open at the same time as the windscreen and rear windows, making ingress and egress effortless. Once the passengers are seated, the cockpit closes automatically.

2018 Giugiaro GFG Sibylla EV Concept Exterior
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The rear fascia is surprisingly clean and simple for a concept car

Design-wise, the GFG Sibylla is quite aggressive to look at. Up front, the grille is flanked by really thin headlamps and aggressive wings on each side. A protruding splitter gives the car a race-inspired look. Unlike other concept cars, the GFG Sibylla is equipped with a front stop light. It may sound ridiculous at first, but Giugiaro explains that the stop signal was added "to give pedestrians visual assurance when crossing the road that the approaching car is braking." Sounds like an interesting feature for future production models.

The side panels look simple but modern. There are no door handles, while the doors are almost rectangular, but an aggressive beltline splits the sides into a wider upper section and a narrower lower area. The side skirts are deeply cut into the body and stand out thanks to their black and red trim. A thick C-pillar and a set of massive, 22-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli tires round off the profile.

The rear fascia is surprisingly clean and simple for a concept car. The taillights are thin and integrated into the outer edge, forming an arch on the edge of the deck lid and the rear section of the fenders. The design is similar to the Maserati 3200 GT from the late 1990s, a car also designed by Giugiaro. The bumper looks a bit more organic though, with a splitter-like lower section and a flat diffuser in the center.

Giugiaro GFG Sibylla EV Concept Interior

- * Four-seat layout
- * Dashboard is a massive display
- * Tablet-like touchscreen
- * Aviation-inspired steering wheel
- * Fine leather
- * Aluminum trim

2018 Giugiaro GFG Sibylla EV Concept Interior
- image 772643
The dashboard is a wraparound design that extends into the door panels and is made of high-resolution displays only

Thanks to the transparent roof, the cabin looks airy and bright. It also looks luxurious thanks to the enormous amount of Poltona Frau leather covering the seats, the door panels, the lower dashboard, and the steering wheel. The carpets also seem soft and inviting. Every inch of leather is finished in brown, giving the cabin a classy look, especially when combined with the black dashboard and the aluminum trim.

Speaking of the dashboard, it’s a wraparound design that extends well into the door panels, and it’s made of high-resolution displays only. There are no buttons, no knobs, and no A/C vents. There’s a display in front of the driver that acts like an instrument cluster, another one in the middle, probably for infotainment purposes, and another one on the passenger side that displays information about the car’s drivetrain. One of these screens also displays data about weather, driving conditions, and the nearest charging point. Because the background is black all over the place, the dash appears to be a massive screen from one corner to the other.

2018 Giugiaro GFG Sibylla EV Concept Interior
- image 772642
The aircraft-style steering wheel is pretty exotic too, as it features touch pads at thumb level

The area that extends into the door panels include touch-screens too, and it seems that they can be used to adjust the seats. A sixth displace is place above the center console. This screen is vertically oriented and gives access to a wide range of features. The smartphone place on the tray in the center console suggests that the concept is equipped with inductive charging.

The aircraft-style steering wheel is pretty exotic too, as it features touch pads at thumb level. I’m not sure this design is very comfortable to use, but it’s definitely different from what I’ve seen in other concept cars. The completely flat floor design enables Giugiaro to place four identical seats inside the cabin, meaning that the rear section must be very comfortable for two passengers. The inside of the backrest of each seat is fitted with an innovative sensor made by Japanese company Delta Kogyo Co, which detects sudden changes in passengers’ blood pressure variations and heart rate.

The innovative packaging also allows space for suitcases, bags, and garments behind the rear seats, so the trunk can remain free for larger luggage.

Giugiaro GFG Sibylla EV Concept Drivetrain

- * 100-kWh battery
- * Four electric motors
- * AWD layout
- * 536 horsepower
- * 0 to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds
- * 279-mile range
- * Integrates EV charging into the electricity grid

2018 Giugiaro GFG Sibylla EV Concept Exterior
- image 772652
The AWD sedan benefits from a total output of 400 kW, which converts to around 536 horsepower

The GFG Sibylla has an all-electric drivetrain that brings together a powerful, 100-kWh battery and four electric motors that send 100 kW to each wheel. This means that the AWD sedan benefits from a total output of 400 kW, which converts to around 536 horsepower. No word on torque yet, but the oomph is enough to send the GFG Sibylla flying from 0 to 62 mph in only 4.5 seconds. Top speed is rated at "over" 200 km/h, which converts to 124 mph. That’s not much for modern standards, but it’s enough to cruise comfortably on the highway.

As far as range goes, Giugiaro claims that the concept car covers 450 km, or about 279 miles, on a single charge. The sedan runs on a pair of innovative Pirelli Cyber tires that feature internal sensors that provide information on tire and road conditions, as well as vehicle performance.

2018 Giugiaro GFG Sibylla EV Concept Exterior
- image 772654
The car can connect to a network of renewable energy and share energy with other vehicles, homes, and buildings

Although there aren’t too many details to run by, Giugiaro says that the GFG Sibylla was also developed as an exercise for integrating EV charging into the electricity grid, which has been one of the biggest challenges for the auto industry in recent years.

Giugiaro goes on to explain that an electric car with a 75-KWh battery can store as much electricity as an average European household consumes in a week and that integrating the car into the energy system means that the vehicle "can be both an energy source and help contribute to stabilizing the energy grid, a critical link between energy supply and demand."

Using the EnOS system, the car not only connects to a network of renewable energy, but it can also communicate and share energy with other vehicles, homes, and buildings, enabling "clean, secure and affordable electricity in a flexible and smart future energy system." Well, let’s hope that this EnOS gadget will make it into production in a few years to make EVs more sustainable.

Conclusion

2018 Giugiaro GFG Sibylla EV Concept Exterior
- image 772651

The GFG Sibylla is definitely one of the most intriguing concept cars launched in 2018, but there’s very little chance that it will go into production. The sliding wraparound roof would be very expensive to produce, while all that technology that could integrate the car’s drivetrain into the energy system would need an infrastructure that’s not exactly feasible for a small company like Giugiaro. Sure, Envision might have the resources to do it, but it wouldn’t make much sense for the Chinese company to invest in a grid for a potentially expensive car like the GFG Sibylla. In all, it’s a good design exercise for Giugiaro, but the tech behind the GFG Sibylla must be built in a much more affordable vehicle. If Giugiaro and Envision manage to do that in a few years, the electric car market might make an important step forward.

  • Leave it
    • * Won’t make it into production
    • * The tech is too expensive for now

References

2014 Giugiaro Parcour High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 495353

Read our full review on the 2014 Giugiaro Parcour.

Italdesign's Zerouno Supercar Is A Home Run Of A Debut Offering Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop Wallpaper quality
- image 708861

Read our full review on the 2018 Italdesign Zerouno.

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Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

Press release

Today, at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, GFG Style and Envision
unveil a new concept electric vehicle that brings together beautiful design with beautiful
energy, to signpost the future of mobility.
The GFG Sibylla is a smart electric sedan developed in collaboration with Envision, a leader
in smart energy management. The vehicle uses Envision’s EnOS™ energy IoT platform to
integrate with its surrounding energy infrastructure, allowing the car to become intelligently
integrated into the wider energy ecosystem. The design is functional and ergonomic,
echoing the seamless integration of EnOS™.
2018 marks Giorgetto Giugiaro’s 80th birthday; this car is a celebration of a lifetime dedicated
to iconic automotive design. Giugiaro has made a tradition of presenting his prototype
models at the Geneva Auto Show. In recognition, his classic Chevrolet Corvair Testudo
Bertone, first unveiled in Geneva in 1963, is displayed alongside the Sibylla today.
A four-door luxury sedan, the car incorporates innovative solutions in terms of accessibility,
functionality, and aesthetics. It revisits classic themes; it is elegant, with generous
dimensions (over 5 metres long and 1.48 metres high). The choice of electric propulsion
enhanced the interior space and allowed Giorgetto and Fabrizio Giugiaro to revolutionise
accessibility and exploit this space by introducing rational, functional, ergonomic solutions
both inside and outside of the vehicle.
“The integration of EV charging into the electricity grid is one of the biggest challenges for
the automotive industry today. Sustainable mobility can only become a reality once sufficient
clean energy is integrated into the energy system to charge millions of EVs, and for that to
happen the world’s transport and energy systems need to merge into one ecosystem. We
joined forces with GFG Style to address this challenge,” said Lei Zhang, Founder and CEO
of Envision.
An electric car with a 75 KWh battery can store as much electricity as an average European
household consumes in a week. Integrating the car into the energy system means the car
can be both an energy source and help contribute to stabilising the energy grid, a critical link
between energy supply and demand. With EnOS™, the car not only connects to a network
of renewable energy assets, but also communicate and shares energy with other vehicles,
homes and buildings, enabling clean, secure and affordable electricity in a flexible and smart
future energy system.
The Sibylla will be unveiled at Geneva Motor Show at 14:30 CET, on the GFG Style stand,
located at Booth 1044 Hall 1.
Details of the cars architecture and interior are included below.
The name
The name Sibylla was chosen in reference to the figure from Latin mythology endowed with
the ability to provide answers and predict the future. This connects to the ability of the
EnOS™ platform to make the car smart within the wider energy ecosystem, able to provide
data from the external world and support the future of e-mobility. It is also a fitting tribute to
Giorgetto’s mother, named Sibylla.
The architecture
Out innovations in the car’s design allow seamless entry and exit of the cockpit, making it
surprisingly accessible, luminous and panoramic.
The drive enters by sliding the windscreen towards the front by 750 mm on three tracks: two
on the bonnet and one on the roof. The central longitudinal structure also has hinges for the
second-row passenger windows, which open in a gullwing fashion. The doors open at the
same time as the windscreen and rear window; once seated, the cockpit closes
automatically. Both the wrap-around windscreen and rear window can be adjusted at will,
even when travelling at moderate speed. These solutions eliminate the side structure,
allowing driver and passengers to enter like in a spider.
The large transparent roof dome is wraparound. Without the A-pillar it starts from the bonnet
and reaches the B-pillar. The upper part of the side rises towards the confluence of the roof
dome with the rear window. In the middle of the side, a bold, dynamically and optically “dry”
dihedral breaks the surface; it connects to the big, protruding wheel arches, adding
sportiness.
The generous 22-inch wheels are fitted with the innovative Pirelli Cyber Tyres, which, thanks
to an internal sensor, provide essential information on tyre condition, road conditions and
vehicle performance to both the driver and the car control unit. Innovative “stellar” wheels
ensure a constant surface balance.
The low part between the wheel arches (in the sill zone) is recessed and facilitates exit from
the seat centre and lightens the side. An edge that rests on the rear spoiler starts from the
rear door, while the same door generates the line that envelops the rear window and the
boot lid cut-line.
At the front, a precious grille enhances the trim aligned with the bonnet, showing the GFG
logo. The horizontal headlights, seamless with the bonnet edge, are slim and feature a
recognisable and distinctive illuminated pattern. Two spoilers and two air intakes are carved
out of either side of the grille. An additional spoiler is to be found in the middle under the
grille and joins up with the side spoilers.
At the far end of the front, at the confluence with the side, there is a slot with a front stop
light. This device, which has never been fitted by any manufacturer or contemplated by
lawmakers, is a preventive stop signal that would give pedestrians visual assurance when
crossing the road that the approaching car is braking.
The bonnet with the two-windscreen slide-ways is well characterised and confirms the car’s
aggressive appearance, while supporting the sliding movement of the windscreen. Two
cameras on each side act as a rear-view mirror and for controlling parking manoeuvres. The rear view proposes lighting that follows the side panel section. The central logo masks
the electric charging plug. The generous bumper proposes two spoilers in harmony with the
patterns at the front.
At the rear, the trunk fits into the kamm tail designed for aerodynamic efficiency. It opens by
leaving the rear window fixed as with classic sedans but with a particularly generous
luggage compartment access.
The interior
The Sibylla has airy, panoramic spaces emphasised by a dashboard that develops crescent
fashion over the entire windscreen cross member, four identical seats, two equal and
independent central cabinets and an innovative space behind the rear seats.
In detail, the dashboard is equipped with displays and monitors that communicate data, with
the most advanced information, empowered by Envision’s EnOS™ platform. Consistent with
its name, the Sibylla offers a whole series of data to the drive from within the car and its
outside environment, from the weather, to driving conditions, to the nearest charging point–
through a LED display positioned at the front of the car under the bonnet.
The Sybilla offers an aircraft-style yoke steering wheel. Touch pads are positioned on the
wheel at thumb level to allow the best control with minimal distraction from driving.
The completely flat floor accommodates four identical seats with the same settings and
services.
The surrounding space has been handled according to the best ergonomic criteria. In the
middle, the two spacious, identical centre cabinets run on slides anchored to the seats to
improve accessibility. A monitor is hinged to the front of the cabinets for access to the
devices on the dashboard. The plate rotates and can be fully reclined to allow the user to
move to the other side in case of need.
Due to the dome-type roof, the channel for the traditional window opening has disappeared
and a very large recess in the door panel has been created. Above the armrest, a flap also
allows access to a document compartment that replaces the one normally provided under
the dashboard, which is rather inconvenient.
The generous dimensions of the cockpit have also made it possible to obtain space for
suitcases, bags and garments behind the rear seats: this service is usually provided by the
overhead compartment but with less privacy. The base of the luggage compartment is
equipped with a sliding shelf, which moves 25cm outwards when the bonnet is raised to
facilitate storage manoeuvres.
The interiors are finished with prestigious Poltrona Frau leather. The inside of the backrests
of the four seats come with an innovative sensor device, engineered by the Japanese
company Delta Kogyo Co, which detects sudden changes in passengers’ physical condition
(blood pressure variations, heart rate, etc.).
The Sibylla is equipped with a large luminous display inside the grille able to “communicate”
with the outside world, providing information on the charge status of the batteries, giving
movement alerts, signalling certain manoeuvres of the car as for example when braking or
turning.

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