An electric car for Africa – aCar – dubbed as an ‘all-rounder’

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aCar
CREDIT: Chair of Industrial Design, TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF MUNICH (TUM)

Scientists in Germany have developed a special electric car capable of sustaining in the conditions in Africa. The car is called ‘aCar’ and scientists called it an ‘all-rounder’.

Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and partners have spent months working on aCar and its prototype will finally be shown off at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt from September 12 to 15, 2017.

The aCar is primarily intended for transporting passengers and cargo, with a total load capacity of one ton. The battery offers a variety of other possible applications, either as an energy source or as a drive for high-consumption applications, for example as a winch. A number of various modules have been designed for the cargo bed which can be used on a modular basis. Additional modules can turn the vehicle for example into a mobile physician’s office or a water treatment station.

The 20 kWh battery capacity gives the vehicle an electric range of 80 kilometers. The battery can be loaded from an ordinary 220 volt household wall socket within 7 hours. Solar modules mounted on the roof of the aCar gather energy throughout the day. Optional solar collector sheets can be unrolled to significantly increase the amount of solar energy produced for self-contained battery charging.

The scientists produced the first prototype in May 2016 and conducted initial tests in Germany. However, to make sure the aCar also meets all the demands placed on it on location, they shipped the vehicle to Ghana, where they tested the technology and concept under local conditions in July 2017.

The aCar has also undergone considerable further technical developments. The team was working among other things on optimizing weight, on electrical systems and software, acoustics and ergonomic seating and visibility.

To make sure the idea of the aCar becomes more than just an idea and actually makes it to series production, Sascha Koberstaedt and Martin Šoltés have founded the company “Evum Motors GmbH”. The first vehicles are to be manufactured in a model factory in Europe.

“We’ll have to master all the technical procedures before the car can be made in Africa. Then we can train people from Africa who can in turn pass on their knowledge there.”

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