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1. WO2020108887 - VEHICLE CHASSIS SYSTEMS

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS

1. A vehicle chassis system comprising chassis components that are a front axle box, a rear axle box and a linking central portion, wherein the chassis components are configurable to provide a vehicle chassis in two different configurations, each of the two configurations having the front axle box and the rear axle box joined by the linking central portion,

wherein in a first of the two configurations a top surface of the linking central portion forms a floor that has a different floor height to the floor defined by the top surface of the linking central portion in the second of the two configurations, wherein the floor height is defined relative to the height of a top surface of one or both of the front axle box and the rear axle box.

2. A vehicle chassis system according to claim 1 where in the first configuration, the height of the floor of the linking central portion is substantially the same as the height of the top surface of the one or both of the front axle box and rear axle box, so as to form a substantially flat, top chassis surface on top of the respective chassis components.

3. A vehicle chassis system according to claim 1 or claim 2 where in the second configuration, the height of the floor of the linking central portion is lower than the height of the top surface of the one or both of the front axle box and rear axle box.

4. A vehicle chassis system according to any of claims 1 to 3, where the linking central portion and the one or both of the front axle box and rear axle box are arranged to allow mounting to each other at different respective heights, wherein one such height gives rise to the first configuration and another such height gives rise to the second configuration.

5. A vehicle chassis system according to any of claims 1 to 3, where the linking central portion comprises a selectively removable portion which in the first configuration at least partially covers or fills a void bounded by a remainder of the linking central portion below, the front axle box to one side and the rear axle box to the other side, and in the second configuration is removed to expose the void.

6. A vehicle chassis system according to claim 5, wherein the removable portion is a battery arranged to at least contribute to power delivery to one or more systems of a vehicle incorporating the vehicle chassis system.

7. A vehicle chassis system according to any of claims 1 to 3 where the linking central portion and the one or both of the front axle box and rear axle box are arranged to allow mounting to each other both where the linking central portion is inverted with respect to the one or both of the front axle box and rear axle box and where it is non- inverted with respect to the one or both of the front axle box and rear axle box, and where mounting with the linking central portion one of inverted and non-inverted gives rise to the first configuration, and mounting with the linking central portion the other of inverted and non-inverted gives rise to the second configuration.

8. A vehicle chassis system according to any of claims 1 to 3 where the linking central portion and the one or both of the front axle box and rear axle box are arranged to allow mounting to each other both where the linking central portion and the one or both of the front axle box and rear axle box are inverted and where they are non-inverted, and where mounting the respective chassis components one of inverted and non- inverted gives rise to the first configuration, and mounting the respective chassis components the other of inverted and non-inverted gives rise to the second configuration.

9. A vehicle chassis system according to any of claims 1 to 3 and 8 where the chassis system with the front axle box and rear axle box joined by the linking central portion is invertible and when one of inverted and non-inverted the chassis system gives rise to the first configuration and when the other of inverted and non-inverted gives rise to the second configuration.

10. A vehicle chassis system according to any of claims 1 to 3 and 7 to 9 where vehicle upper body attachment points are provided on one or more of the chassis components in a manner so as to permit a vehicle upper body to be selectively attached to the respective chassis components with the vehicle upper body extending upwards regardless of whether or not the relevant chassis components are inverted.

1 1 . A vehicle chassis system according to any of claims 1 to 3 and 7 to 10 where one or more vehicle seat attachment points are provided on one or more of the chassis components in a manner so as to permit vehicle seats to be selectively attached to the respective chassis components with the vehicle seats extending upwards regardless of whether or not the relevant chassis components are inverted.

12. A vehicle chassis system according to any of claims 1 to 3 and 7 to 1 1 where one or more vehicle wheel attachment points are provided on one or more of the chassis components in a manner so as to permit vehicle wheels to be selectively attached to the respective chassis components with the vehicle wheels extending downwards regardless of whether or not the respective chassis components are inverted.

13. A vehicle chassis system according to any preceding claim, where the linking central portion comprises a battery box arranged to house a battery arranged to at least contribute to power delivery to one or more systems of a vehicle incorporating the vehicle chassis system.

14. A vehicle chassis system according to any preceding claim, where the linking central portion substantially carries the load of joining the front axle box and the rear axle box.

15. A vehicle chassis system according to any preceding claim, where the front axle box and/or the rear axle box form a structural component of the vehicle chassis system.

16. A vehicle chassis system according to any preceding claim, where the vehicle chassis system is assembled in the first configuration.

17. A vehicle chassis system according to any of claims 1 to 15, where the vehicle chassis system is assembled in the second configuration.

18. A vehicle comprising the vehicle chassis system according to any of claims 1 to 17.

19. A method of assembly of a vehicle chassis system comprising chassis components which are a front axle box, a rear axle box and a linking central portion, the method comprising:

i) selecting between first and second configurations in which the front axle box and rear axle box are joined by the linking central portion, where in the first configuration a top surface of the linking central portion forms a floor that has a different floor height to the floor defined by the top surface of the linking central portion in the second of the two configurations, wherein the floor height is defined relative to the height of a top surface of one or both of the front axle box and rear axle box;

ii) configuring the chassis components according to the selected configuration.

20. A method according to claim 19 where configuring the chassis components according to the selected configuration comprises selecting between different respective positions for the linking central portion and one or both of the front axle box and rear axle box, wherein one such position gives rise to the first configuration and another such position gives rise to the second configuration, and mounting the front axle box and rear axle box to the linking central portion accordingly.

21 . A method according to claim 19 where configuring the chassis components according to the selected configuration comprises selecting between incorporation or non incorporation of a selectively removable portion of the linking central portion, which in the first configuration at least partially covers or fills a void bounded by a remainder of the linking central portion below, the front axle box to one side and the rear axle box to the other side and in the second configuration is removed to expose the void, and incorporating or not incorporating the selectively removable portion accordingly.

22. A method according to claim 19 where configuring the chassis components according to the selected configuration comprises selecting between mounting the linking central portion and one or both of the front axle box and rear axle box where the linking central portion is inverted with respect to the one or both of the front axle box and rear axle box and where it is non-inverted with respect to the one or both of the front axle box and rear axle box, where mounting with the linking central portion one of inverted and non-inverted gives rise to the first configuration and mounting with the linking central portion the other of inverted and non-inverted gives rise to the second configuration, and mounting the linking central portion to the front axle box and rear axle box accordingly.

23. A method according to claim 19 where configuring the chassis components according to the selected configuration comprises selecting between mounting the linking central portion and one or both of the front axle box and rear axle box where the linking central portion and the one or both of the front axle box and rear axle box are inverted and where they are non-inverted, where mounting the respective chassis components one of inverted and non-inverted gives rise to the first configuration and mounting the respective chassis components the other of inverted and non-inverted gives rise to the second configuration, and mounting the linking central portion to the front axle box and rear axle box accordingly.

24. A method according to claim 19 or claim 23 where configuring the chassis components according to the selected configuration comprises selecting between inverting or not inverting the vehicle chassis system with the front axle box and rear axle box joined by the linking central portion, where when one of inverting and not inverting the chassis system gives rise to the first configuration and the other of inverting and not inverting gives rise to the second configuration, and inverting or not inverting accordingly.