Inspiro, the metro platform developed by Siemens and the BMW Group subsidiary DesignworksUSA, today won the Federal Ecodesign award in the Products category. This prize is awarded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) for innovations with not only convincing designs, but also compelling environmentally friendly features.
The Inspiro won the award mainly because of the use of state-of-the-art technologies designed to boost energy efficiency and eco-friendliness – in its manufacture, operation and almost complete recyclability – as well its emotional design that places passenger comfort at the forefront.
The innovative lightweight aluminum design of the car body and weight-optimized running gear are decisive for ensuring Inspiro’s high energy efficiency. These features have made it possible to reduce the weight of a six-car metro train by almost 18 metric tons compared to the previous generation. The drive unit is able to convert most of the energy created during brake applications into electrical power and feed it back into the power grid. LED lighting and demand-controlled climate conditioning result in a further reduction of the energy consumed by the vehicle.
Driverless operation of the Inspiro trains makes it possible to reduce energy consumption in the whole system even further through the synchronized control of the fully automatic trains.
During the design phase importance was placed on ensuring easy disassembly of the components and breakdown into individual materials as well as their re-usability at the end of the vehicle’s life. This effort has paid off by giving the Inspiro a recycling rate of about 95 percent.
The sustainable qualities of the Inspiro vehicle design were demonstrated within the context of a product environmental declaration according to ISO 14021.
The vehicle benefits from a bright interior design and the use of warm colors and natural-looking materials. The intelligent interior design helps to create a generous feeling of space together with wide aisles. Instead of the customary handrails, the Inspiro features innovative and unmistakable ways to hold tight in the form of a stylishly branched tree, known as the "Lightree". LED displays on the exterior use an hourglass image to show passengers how much time remains before the doors close. This contributes to smooth boarding and exiting in conjunction with the striking octogonal design of the passenger doors.