ELMAR - concept
Mannheim/Geneva, February 24th, 2010: Zero-emission vehicles are being widely discussed by politicians, automotive industry, and the public these days. The 28 students of the Project Engineering Department of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University in Mannheim, however, do have a totally different perception of what is currently being offered by the established car manufacturers. In essence, their offers represent nothing else than HP-strong replacements of the old fashioned horse-drawn carriage. By contrast, the students’ concept vehicle ELMAR epitomizes the consistent use of progressive technologies starting with batteries, to novel motors and advanced composite materials. This new integral vehicle design approach will be introduced to the public on the Green Pavilion’s largest booth at the Geneva Motor Show from March 4th until March 14th, 2010.
Within ten months only, in parallel to their regular studies and training on the job in their companies, the students have managed to put their ideas of a trendsetting future vehicle into action. The very first look at the vehicle already indicates that they have ridded themselves of conventional design principles. The vehicle’s structure in particular with its core component, the so-called “centerpiece”, draws one’s attention right away. It does not only connect the wheel carrying carbon fiber reinforced riggers but also carries the passenger cell hinged to it underneath.
What may at the first look like some creative design idea reveals a sturdy advantage: The specific properties of the lightweight carbon fiber reinforced plastic enable the integration of various functions into one single component thus reducing the overall weight of the vehicle. Unlike in a conventional car, the functions of load-carrying, mass suspension, and shock absorption are not exerted by separate components but are integrated into the riggers instead.
The newly developed wheel rim motors and an independent suspension eliminate the need for traditional wheel hubs creating another exceptional design effect. No gimmick! There is a reason behind this idea as well: The electrical motors are integrated into the wheels’ rims and generate the torque exactly where it is needed. Moreover, the motors are also used as breaks making environmentally polluting lubricants or breaking fluids superfluous.
In order to provide an overall coherent concept for sustainable driving, the students did not only supply their ELMAR with high performance batteries. A solar carport comes with the vehicle allowing to recharge the batteries within eight hours in an eco-friendly way.
Summarizing, the students do not consider themselves as techies. ELMAR’s radical overall concept rather underlines their self understanding as pioneers paving the way for a change in automotive engineering. Hence, ELMAR exemplifies the innovative power of the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region and the high potential curriculum of the Project Engineering Department at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University in Mannheim. It enables the interdisciplinary team work with other departments of the dual university and establishes the basis for a successful cooperation with partners of various industries. Within this ideal environment, the students have been able to enthuse with their creative ideas several renowned companies to support them constructing ELMAR’s prototype. They convinced the organizers of the Geneva Motor Show to offer them a platform for ELMAR’s presentation in the Green Pavilion, booth No. 3001.07.
Mannheim/Geneva, February 24, 2010: As the result of a student design project 28 students of the of Project Engineering Department at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University in Mannheim have developed a trendsetting electric vehicle. From March 4th - 14th, ,the Green Pavilion of the Geneva Motor Show offers them the opportunity to present their integral design approach to a professional international audience, and to demonstrate: great driving pleasure and zero-emissions do not contradict each other.
Zero-emission vehicles are being widely discussed by politicians, automotive industry, and the public these days. However, the fundamental concepts of automotive engineering have not changed over the past decades. By contrast, the students of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University pave the way for a radical change in the design of future vehicles. Without being under the constraint of having to sell the final product they ridded themselves off the conventional design principles and developed the concept vehicle ELMAR. By the integration of multiple and different functions into one single part only, the newly developed wheel rim motors, state of the art light weight materials, and batteries which can be charged using the also included solar carport, show their idea of how to revolutionize automotive engineering.
In April 2009 the project was initiated by the head of the Project Engineering Department Professor Dr. Carsten Seidel . He briefed the students “to design and build a trendsetting electric vehicle using a minimum of traditional materials and components”.
Ever since, the students have been working on the project ELMAR, in parallel to their regular studies and training on the job in their companies. They have organized themselves in seven teams - Construction, Energy, Design, Steering, Power Train, Marketing and Support - and have worked on the overall concept and realization of their vision: Creating a mobile, sustainable future. They are supported and guided by several instructors of the Cooperative State University but in the end they make their own decisions. “In order to make these decisions we need to practically apply the theoretical knowledge gained in our engineering and management classes to a real life project” says Marjus Seubert, the student project manager.
Hence, the ELMAR project exemplifies the innovative curriculum of the Project Engineering Department at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University in Mannheim. It grants students the unique opportunity to use their theoretical interdisciplinary skills in real life projects. The deputy vice chancellor of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University in Mannheim and dean of the technical faculty, Dr. Dirk Saller, describes the concept: “The teamwork that is necessary to successfully carry out these projects and the close cooperation with various business partners gives our students a jump start ahead and serves as an important practical experience of how to use their management skills in the real world.”
Besides the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University in Mannheim, the students have also been able to enthuse renowned companies to support their project. The close cooperation with these partners is one of the key success factors of the project. According to Stefan Orschiedt, head of the marketing department of the Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar GmbH (Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region), ELMAR exemplifies the high potential and innovative power of the whole region.
Thus, the future engineers together with their industrial partners have managed to put their ideas of a trendsetting, mobile and sustainable future into action: ELMAR will be presented to the public in the Green Pavilion of the 80th Geneva Motor Show.