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21/09/2015 1633

EDAG - Light Car Sharing

Easy to rent, easy to drive

World premiere of the "EDAG Light Car - Sharing" concept car at the

82nd International Geneva Motor Show, 2012

EDAG, the world's leading engineering company, presents the concept car "EDAG Light Car Sharing" - the third member of the acclaimed 100 % electrically powered Light Car family - at its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show 2012. This concept is one of the EDAG Group's target-oriented answers to the growing market for car sharing fleets, which a large number of manufacturers have recently identified as being a most promising business model.

The "EDAG Light Car - Sharing" is the first vehicle to have been specifically designed to meet the needs of the growing car sharing sector.

Tough design and easy to operate. Maximum space inside, resilient surfaces on the outside. Easy to book and electrically driven. And, completely in keeping with the Light Car philosophy, light has once again been used as a means of communication to - in this case - clearly indicate the leasing status of the vehicle.

"We see car sharing vehicles as being predestined to launch electric mobility onto the market as quickly as possible. After all, electric-powered vehicles are already able to manage the zero emissions and the kind of short distances to be expected in the car sharing business in metro-politan areas," explains EDAG CEO Jörg Ohlsen. "The combination of car share vehicles and electric drive systems would seem to be ideal; particularly with a view to the social trend to-wards a preference for temporary mobility observed among young people."

Robust, self-explanatory space saver

What does a car need to look like if it is to be used on a temporary basis by lots of different people, often just for short trips in the inner city? For leasing purposes, it must at any rate be practical, robust and self-explanatory. "Compared to a private car, we need to take different design conditions into account: a car sharing vehicle must have the potential to act as a city's visiting card. Consequently, top priority goes to a high recognition factor and iconic character," explains Johannes Barckmann, EDAG's head designer.

Even its exterior indicates that the "EDAG Light Car - Sharing" is service-oriented:

Its height of 1.90 metres makes it easy for the customer to get in and out. No-one hiring the "EDAG Light Car – Sharing" needs to worry about bumping the car when they are parking: sensitive spots around the bumper and are fitted with gel pads (Technogel), and these can withstand minor collisions.

Light plays a central role as a communication instrument in this, the third variant of the EDAG Light Car family.

No matter whether the car is being charged, is reserved or available for hire, the LEDs

integrated in the gel pads and "PLEXIGLAS ® LEDs" manufactured by Evonik Industries AG use three different colours to give a highly visible indication of its status.

One further highlight: for the first time ever, a laser has been fitted in a passenger car. When parking the car or opening the doors, the laser integrated in the mirror projects a safety zone onto the asphalt, ensuring that passengers can get in and out in safety. In addition, the rear window can be marketed as advertising space by the fleet owner – provided the car is not be-ing driven.

Besides the two side doors with simple sliding windows, the "EDAG - Light Car Sharing" also has generously proportioned twin rear doors. The interior, which has six folding seats arranged in two rows of three, provides plenty of space for small groups.

Thanks to the folding seats, the customer is also provided with maximum transport capacity, with sufficient space, for instance, to stow a large weekend shop or children's buggy.

There are plans to use only the type of tough materials found in busses and trams in the inte-rior. These are easy to clean, and as they are modular-based, also easy to exchange, e.g. the actual seating surfaces.

A conscious decision was made not to have storage surfaces or fancy door trims in the "EDAG Light Car Sharing", so as to avoid unnecessary dirt accumulation.

And anyway, since the car is only used briefly, the customer will not even miss these features.

The EDAG designers and engineers have placed special emphasis on an intuitive operating concept: aside from the accelerator, brake and steering wheel, the only other control the

customer will find is a lever to work the indicators. There is just one display element which gives rudimentary information such as speed, state of charge, range and navigation.

The simplicity of the features is due in part, but not only to the need for self-explanatory han-dling, for it also offers tangible economic incentives for the potential fleet owner. Dispensing with different types of equipment enables highly economic production concepts to be imple-mented. The entire body concept has been designed to last for a good deal longer than 10 years. Extensive use has been made of a module concept for exterior and interior parts, to permit the rapid exchange of parts which are subject to wear and tear (e.g. cockpit, seats, bumpers, battery and add-on parts). The basis is the EDbase platform shown at the Geneva Show in 2010, which the EDAG Group specially designed for the requirements of electric ve-hicles.

"The EDAG Light Car Sharing was conceived not as a consumer product, but as a capital good for a future operator model," expounded Jörg Ohlsen. "In spite of its being service-oriented, our designers have succeeded in developing an emotional, independent style which the customer may not want to buy, but is happy to hire. The vehicle has the potential to become the style icon of the new versions of car share vehicles – like the London taxi, which was purposely designed more than 60 years ago for taxi operations throughout the British capital.

Easy to book

Parallel to the specific vehicle concept, the EDAG Group is also exhibiting a networked mobility concept for booking the future share car fleet

The Internet, which can already be accessed any time and any place with smartphones, plays a central role for today's customer. The operators of future car sharing fleets will use GPS to locate their vehicles and communicate their locations to potential customers. This means that it will be possible to inform the customer which cars are available, and then guide him to the nearest one by means of the navigation system in his smartphone. The booking will be made via Internet, and the customer can then access the vehicle by means of an electronic "Blu-etooth key". Inductive charging facilities are available for the share vehicles at special car parks.

Here, with its "intelligent charger", an in-house development, the EDAG Group has created a product which, besides performing the actual charge process also sends vehicle information via the power supply system and decides which is the ideal time for charging, taking into ac-count  the availability of renewable energies and mobility behaviour. Is the vehicle fully charged? How great a range is currently available? When is the car next due to be serviced? This means that the operator receives all relevant information on the status of the vehicle online.

One key factor in linking up the vehicle with the infrastructure is a standardised form of com-munication between vehicle and user. New services such as automated legitimation and the selection of individual tariffs or prices per minute are just a few of the options that become available as a result of the energy provider and vehicle being intelligently linked.

This interconnection brings about considerable added value for the entire mobility system.

On the one hand, for instance, it gives the energy provider the chance to make use of energy storage and in this way reduce load fluctuations in the grid due to electric cars being con-nected, while on the other ensuring that there is sufficient resource-saving energy to charge the share vehicles whenever necessary. What is more, the Light Car concept also enables the operator to rent out advertising space on the rear window, which can be used to draw attention to local events, restaurants or shops wherever a car is currently located.

More and more of tomorrow's customers will be booking temporary mobility. This means they will enquire about the quickest way to get from A to B, and the operator will offer a complete and suitable solution. If a trip is to take someone out of town, the system will check all transport connections, such as railway or coach, and besides offering a fully complete schedule, will also make the necessary bookings. Tickets will be transmitted and billed via the smartphone. Usage of a share car will be billed by the minute, and the insurance needed for the journey booked and paid for only for as long as the car has actually been used.

Future: Temporary mobility

The EDAG Group's new, integrated approach to a networked mobility solution defines a new business field for the market serving the automotive industry. The car manufacturers have already pointed the way with their latest fleets of share cars. "Increasingly, future demand is going to be for more mobility solutions rather than just single products. There is great potential in intelligently networking all information and means of individual and public transport via the Internet, especially bearing in mind the fact that there will be more and more customers wishing to purchase mobility when they need it - and only then," explains Jörg Ohlsen.

"However, this does mean that, as a consequence, apart from the production and marketing of vehicles, we will also have to develop operator models. And, of course, re-define vehicle con-cepts which, as is the case with car sharing vehicles, could represent new markets in the major cities."

As a design engineering company, the EDAG Group can offer very real support in the imple-mentation of such concepts. From the development of specific vehicle concepts for leasing services, then the development of interfaces with the vehicle, through to the "intelligent charg-ing" system or the planning and construction of production and maintenance facilities.

From concept to concept car: joint project with the Technical University of Ilmenau

With the conversion of the visionary mobility concept into the full-scale model of the "EDAG Light Car - Sharing" concept car, the EDAG Group once again broke new ground, involving students from the Technical University of Ilmenau in joint activities in the final phase of the project. During production of the concept model between October 2011 and February 2012, three departments (Automotive Engineering, Plastics Technology and Manufacturing Opera-tions) from the renowned university in Thuringia were closely integrated in the work of EDAG's Model Building Department in Fulda. "I am particularly pleased that the protagonists of the Thuringian innovation centre for mobility, "Thüringer Innovationszentrums Mobilität" (ThIMo) based at the Technical University of Ilmenau were involved in this innovation platform. We regard the project as a long-term commitment between our university and EDAG to work to-gether," emphasised Prof. Klaus Augsburg, ThIMo Spokesman and Head of the Automotive Engineering Department.

The Automotive Engineering Department was responsible for the production of the tubular steel base frame, the modification of the serial wheel rims and the concept and production of the electrically powered, steerable axles. The team of students from the Manufacturing Operations Department contributed a number of rapid prototype parts for the EDAG Light Car - Sharing add-on parts, as well as producing light lenses and headlamp diffusers in "PLEXIGLAS ® LEDs" . The Plastics Technology Department helped the EDAG team to produce and integrate the gel pads and implement the LED technology.

This joint project can certainly be described as unusual: generally speaking, projects involving concept cars tend to be subject to strict confidentiality and carried out behind closed doors.

"We were happy to open up the project for the students from the Technical University of Ilme-nau, and give them a practical insight into project work. The development and implementation of innovative technologies while keeping to a tight schedule was a huge challenge, and one that the students and scientists from Ilmenau mastered impressively," summed up EDAG CEO Jörg Ohlsen.


Shareability 2.0!

“EDAG Light Car Sharing” – pure, temporary mobility

With its acclaimed EDAG Light Car concept, the EDAG Group has for the last two years been working on its vision of the electrically driven car of the future. For this year's motor show in Geneva, the developers at the world's leading engineering company have created a fundamentally new mobility concept which will break down barriers between private and other transport systems, and provide the customer with an additional form of mobility. At the core of this integrated mobility solution is the "EDAG Light Car Sharing" vehicle concept, featuring an electrically powered vehicle which everybody will want to hire, but nobody needs to buy.

  • A vehicle which ensures the customer's mobility exactly as and when he needs it, and only needs to be paid for during this period.
  • A vehicle which is accessible to the general public, straightforward to operate, and still makes individual travel in big cities possible.
  • A vehicle which offers the customer perfect mobility without any further obligations once he has finished using it.
  • A vehicle which, through the integration of Internet services, is intelligently linked to the use of other means of transport.

The positive response of all groups of society to this exciting concept for electric cars has shown that people are willing to consider new forms of mobility. As a design engineering company, we need to keep a careful eye on social trends, to ensure that, in the long term, we are in a position to develop the right vehicle concepts and technologies for our customers,“ explains Jörg Ohlsen, EDAG Group CEO.

Surveys aimed at the younger generation show that values relating to status symbols are being re-defined. For instance, 80 percent of the 18 to 29-year olds asked indicated that there was no real need for them to have a car of their own in town. And an amazing 90 % of 14 to 29-year olds cannot imagine life without a mobile or the Internet - but can envisage life without a car easily enough.

"Living for the moment" and "being contactable anywhere" is the credo of the new generation.

Last but not least, the increasing traffic problems in the major cities are making us change the way we think on mobility issues; merely discussing alternative, clean drive systems is simply not enough.

"With the "EDAG Light Car Sharing", we will be presenting not only a new, powerful and up-to-date vehicle concept at the Geneva Motor Show, but also a new attitude to mobility. A vehicle concept specifically designed for effortlessly getting from A to B, and moreover one which can easily be booked and combined with other means of transport via mobile Internet solutions. Due to the high cost of electric cars today, electric mobility could well take the form of vehicle sharing in the immediate future, and I view vehicles for this purpose as capital goods rather than consumer goods. We invite our customers from the automotive industry and potential market partners to join the discussion on this different form of mobility, and seek out future business models," says Ohlsen.

"EDAG Light Car Sharing" - integrated, rentable mobility 

Like the 2009 version of the "EDAG Light Car, the new member of the "Light Car family" communicates with its environment by means of large illuminated surfaces on its plastic body. This time, however, the designers and concept engineers have not just placed the adjustable lighting design in in the spotlight, but also enable the car to clearly indicate its status. The "EDAG Light Car Sharing" shows whether it is available for use or has already been reserved by another customer, as well as giving details of its present range. The vehicle concept uses an electric drive system, with the battery pack in the sandwich floor presented last year, where it is safe from collisions.

The Internet, which can already be accessed any time and any place with smartphones, plays a central role for the customer. The operators of future car sharing fleets will use GPS to locate their vehicles and communicate their locations to potential customers. This means that it will be possible to inform the customer which cars are available, and then guide him to the nearest one by means of the navigation system in his smartphone. The booking will be made via Internet, and the customer can then access the vehicle by means of an electronic "Bluetooth key".

The share vehicles are to be induction charged: here, with its "intelligent charger", an in-house development, the EDAG Group has created a product which, besides performing the actual charge process, also sends vehicle information via the power supply system and decides which is the ideal time for charging, taking into account the availability of renewable energies and mobility behaviour. Is the vehicle fully charged? How great a range is currently available? When is the car next due to be serviced? This means that the operator receives all relevant information on the status of the vehicle online.

One key factor in linking up the vehicle with the infrastructure is a standardised form of communication between vehicle and user. New services such as automated legitimation and the selection of individual tariffs or prices per minute are just a few of the options that become available as a result of the energy provider and vehicle being intelligently linked.

This interconnection brings about considerable added value for the entire mobility system. On the one hand, for instance, it gives the energy provider the chance to make use of energy storage and in this way reduce load fluctuations in the grid due to electric cars being connected, while on the other ensuring that there is sufficient resource-saving energy to charge the share vehicles whenever necessary.

What is more, the Light Car concept also enables the operator to rent out advertising space on the rear window, which can be used to draw attention to local events, restaurants or shops wherever a car is currently located.

Tomorrow's customers will be booking mobility. This means they will enquire about the quickest way to get from A to B, and the operator will offer a complete and suitable solution. If a trip is to take someone out of town, the system will check all transport connections, such as railway or coach, and besides offering a fully complete schedule, will also make the necessary bookings. Tickets will be transmitted and billed via the smartphone. Usage of a share car will be billed by the minute, and the insurance needed for the journey booked and paid for only for as long as the car has actually been used.

Powerful, practical and rentable mobility 

The vehicle concept

What does a car need to look like if it is to be used on a temporary basis by lots of different people, often for short trips, in the inner city? EDAG concept developers and designers asked themselves this question, and translated their ideas into the "EDAG Light Car Sharing". Even from the outside, the car is unconventional. With an overall height of 1.9 metres, the vehicle concept makes it easy for customers to get into and out of the car; the higher drag coefficient this causes can be more or less disregarded in town, as can range and maximum speed, which have been set at 100 km and 100 km/h respectively.

Fibre composites and lightweight plastic parts are planned for the outer panel parts. Any parts of the EDAG Light Car Sharing which might get dented in city traffic, the bumpers for instance, are fitted with shock-absorbing plastic pads that can be straightened out again. The thinking behind this is that the body concept has been designed to last for a good deal longer than 10 years.

Extensive use has been made of a module concept for exterior and interior parts, to permit the rapid exchange of parts which are subject to wear and tear (e.g. cockpit, seats, bumpers, battery and add-on parts).

The basis is the refined EDbase platform, which the EDAG Group specially designed last year for the requirements of electric vehicles (purpose design).

Besides the two side doors with simple sliding windows, the EDAG - Light Car Sharing, which can seat up to six passengers, also has a rear entry. The generously proportioned twin rear doors provide easy access to the six folding seats inside the car. The seats are in two rows of three, and arranged back-to-back. This centrally arranged seating position is on the same level as the B-pillar, and also has structural properties, whilst at the same time being lighter than conventional, individual seats.

"The fact that the seating system folds down is particularly noteworthy, as this maximises the luggage space if the seats are not used," explains Andreas Verwold, project manager. For the actual seating surfaces, which are particularly susceptible to dirt, easy to exchange padded modules are integrated in the seating structure.

"When defining a vehicle for a sharing system, we need to do a total re-think and apply completely different standards to the formal and functional aspects of the car," explains Johannes Barckmann, EDAG's head designer. "Anyone using a car for just a few hours at a time will have very different expectations to those of a private car owner. The design must satisfy the requirements imposed on public transport and represent a certain image. Sheer usefulness is also of prime importance.“

For this reason, the "EDAG Light Car Sharing“ features neither storage surfaces nor fancy door trims. Aside from the accelerator, brake and steering wheel, the only other control the customer will find is a lever to operate the indicators. There is just one display element which gives rudimentary information such as speed, state of charge, range and navigation. Sensors automatically control the heating, windscreen wipers and lights. Additional functions such as entertainment, Internet access etc. can be booked as optional extras, if desired, or brought into the car and then used there as applications on a mobile device.

The focus was on simple, intuitive handling and booking with the help of a smartphone application which is also linked up to other transport providers. Other priorities were that the "EDAG Light Car Sharing" should be“ robust and easy to clean, and wear parts easy to change. Even surfaces in the passenger cabin, and complete seating modules that can be assembled and disassembled using just a few screws are just some of the solutions for the technical implementation of these standards.

The concept for a one hundred percent car sharing vehicle was designed as a standardised product. Even from a marketing point of view, it is quite conceivable to dispense with any variants: after all, the customer, who only uses the car for a limited time, values a high recognition factor and intuitive handling more than anything else. This opens up the way to highly  productive manufacturing concepts which can enable such fleets to be produced most profitably.

New mobility with new business fields

 The EDAG Group's new, integrated approach to a networked mobility solution defines a new business field for the market serving the automotive industry. And also a change of outlook regarding business models. "Increasingly, future demand is going to be for more mobility solutions rather than just single products. There is great potential in intelligently networking all information and means of individual and public transport via the Internet, especially bearing in mind the fact that there will be more and more customers wishing to purchase mobility when they need it - and only then," explains Jörg Ohlsen. "However, this does mean that, as a consequence, we will have to give some thought not only to the production and marketing of vehicles, but also to the matter of operator models. And, of course, to re-defining vehicle concepts which, as is the case with car sharing vehicles, could represent new markets in the major cities."

As a design engineering company, the EDAG Group can offer very real support in the implementation of such concepts. From the development of sturdy electric cars and interfaces with the vehicle, through to the "intelligent charging" system or the planning and construction of production and maintenance facilities.

The 125-year history of the automobile has shown that the automotive industry has always been successful whenever it has addressed the mobility desires and needs of society. With its "EDAG Light Car Sharing" concept, the EDAG Group intends to present new prospects for the future development of the automobile.

source: EDAG

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2011  Geneva
2012  Geneva
2015  Frankfurt

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