- Posted by Vinay Yadav
- On July 12, 2021
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An overview of the development of electric vehicles in Germany.
The topic of electric vehicles has become extremely popular and more relevant than ever. It is rapidly gaining momentum in the global media, economic and political aspects are closely intertwined in it. We have already touched on it many times and, obviously, we will return to it more Sports Bike 2015 Archives – et.4-health.store than once.
In the meantime, we offer the reader another news review on this hot topic from Germany, where recently at least one billion euros a year has been allocated from the budget to stimulate the development of electric vehicles and their distribution.
Street scooter grows and gets fat.
Thanks to the “revolution from above” – the large-scale support of the German government for the introduction of electric vehicles into the country’s transport system, the Germans can boast of some real successes. With just another € 9.5 million in financial support recently, Deutsche Post DHL Group’s StreetScooter GmbH has prepared a new model of a delivery van called Streetscooter Work XL for serial production in just two months. This time, the engineers chose a simple solution: they abandoned the development of a completely new car, and teamed up with the Ford Motor Co. concern, taking as a basis a conventional Ford Transit car.
At first glance, the choice of the base model seems somewhat unusual, given that the German firms Volkswagen and Daimler have already created their counterparts, but, probably, this became the decisive argument in favor of cooperation with Ford due to the unwillingness to become dependent on potential competitors.
The Work XL, unveiled to the public in August, was an unexpected sensation, followed by the announcement of deepening collaboration between two outsiders in the commercial vehicle market in Germany. Steven Armstrong, head of the European division of Ford, and Jürgen Gerdes, board member of the Deutsche Post DHL group, responsible for the delivery of correspondence and parcels, confirmed their serious intentions: “Together we put the novelty on wheels in record time! Thus, the StreetScooter GmbH division has expanded its program to three models of electric vans. The company has a profit on the consequences of the “diesel scandal” that broke out in Germany and is going to soon put into operation another plant. The plans are to bring production up to 30 thousand instead of the promised 20 thousand electric vans per year.
Gerdes promises to replace all diesel mail delivery vans in the country (and there are about 50 thousand of them in the Deutsche Post DHL fleet) with electric ones within several years, and also sees “huge demand” from third-party carriers for their products. “The vans are almost sold out,” says Streetscooter chief Achim Kampker. The first 150 Work XL electric vehicles will go to the post office this year, with 2,500 units slated to be produced next year. The innovation also serves as a means of pressure on such competitors in the field of parcel and parcel delivery as DPD, GLS, Hermes, UPS, Fedex …
Streetscooter Work XL, created on the basis of the Ford Transit van, can carry 1350 kg of cargo, the range on one battery charge is up to 200 km. The car body is equipped according to the German Post standards. Work XL is the optimal conveyor for delivering parcels and small consignments of goods in cities.
Kübelwagen for Africa.
It is no secret that the German automotive industry has long been heavily dependent on export markets. Having delayed the proposed expansion into the rapidly growing markets of electric vehicles in the United States and China, where local companies outstripped Germany and left it almost no chance, the Germans turned their eyes to Africa. And again, it was not a large automobile concern that came up with the initiative.
And not even a small one, and not at all a representative of the automotive industry – this time the novelty was presented at the just-held International Automobile Exhibition in Frankfurt (IAA 2017) by the Technical University of Munich (Technische Universität München, abbreviated as TU München or TUM). He also received a “piece of the pie” from the German budget for the development of alternative ecological transport and, it seems, not in vain.
The university has built an electric car for rural Africa called aCar and has already tested it in Ghana. Specialists of various profiles, students and partners from different African countries were involved in the development. The task set – a cheap, unpretentious and economical electric car, according to numerous experts – was performed perfectly, the result exceeded all expectations.
The aCar cannot be called beautiful. However, the more than pragmatic design of the car, reminiscent of the classic German Kübelwagen, is based on a modular assembly technique. It was developed by Wotan Wilden, a researcher at the TUM Industrial Design Department. The compact electric car with a length of only 3.70 m and a carrying capacity of one ton is built rationally and utilitarian.
Behind the primitive two-seater cabin is a fairly roomy cargo-passenger body. The basic module is an onboard platform with folding seats. It is possible to install various bodies for using the machine as a special vehicle, for example, a mobile doctor’s office.
The basic version of the car has four-wheel drive, although a version with a 4×2 wheel arrangement has also been developed.
The 48-volt electric drive of each axle uses a small 11 hp motor. The total power is 22 hp. (16 kW), which is sufficient for driving at a maximum speed of 60 km / h. The power reserve is 80 km on one recharge of the battery connected to the mains by means of an ordinary household cable. The solar panels installed on the roof of the cab provide the possibility of constant recharging while driving or in the parking lot. Professor Fritz Frenkler, Head of the Department of Industrial Design at TU München, explained the main purpose of the design: “To create a modern and therefore durable design by reducing the elements to a minimum.”
Tests in Ghana lasted several weeks and showed the reliability of the design. The project manager, engineer Sascha Koberstaedt, believes that the aCar meets absolutely all operational requirements in Africa. The production of electric vehicles is planned in the countries of the Black Continent, only some components will be imported, for example, electric motors. The relatively primitive design and assembly technology of the “Kübelwagen” is due to African specifics.
Blanks of parts can be cast in sand or earthen molds. Aluminum hood and cab panels can be produced on a simple bending machine, alternatively, plywood panels can be installed. The retail price of the finished car will not exceed 10 thousand euros, which is not so cheap for Africa.
It is recommended to raise funds in village communities for the collective purchase of a truck.
Skeptics rightly fear that Chinese firms will be able to offer a similar design much cheaper. The Germans have only one chance in the not yet created African market for electric vehicles – through gratuitous aid and concessional loans for development, to finance the “electrification” of the third world countries themselves. We can add to this: German taxpayers are no strangers to paying for the ambitions of their government …
And evil tongues say that the car was created with the expectation of the “bright future” of the European Union.
Big concern toys.
In 2011, Angela Merkel frivolously promised to bring the number of electric vehicles in Germany to one million units by 2020. Meanwhile, the largest concerns are in no hurry to follow the instructions of the Federal Chancellor. For them, financial support from the government is a drop in the ocean, and the future of vehicle electrification is still undecided.
We talked about some commercial electric vehicles Mercedes-Benz, MAN and Volkswagen. While these are still experimental and pre-production cars, and words are still ahead of deeds. However, two main directions of design thought are already clearly visible: the creation of electric vehicles based on conventional cars and the development of completely new avant-garde concepts.