Building innovative electric cars: that is what TU/ecomotive has been doing over the past few years. This forward-thinking student team at the Eindhoven University of Technology aims for sustainable goals, such as clean transportation, low energy consumption, and a recyclable car. In this blog, Cas Verstappen shares some details on the team’s projects and vision.
Nova and Lina: strong foundations for further success
“Last year, 22 students joined forces to produce Lina, the first car with a bio-based platform,” says Cas. “We’ve used strong, sustainable materials, bundling fibers and creating composite.” The result of their efforts was a 3.5-meter-long, fully electric car, which, in terms of gasoline, can drive the equivalent of 1 liter per 400 kilometers. After passing the required test with flying colors, this highly efficient vehicle was officially allowed to enter public roads.
In short, Lina was a major success, which could also be said of the team’s former model, Nova. “This model was fully modular,” Cas explains. “It could be upgraded as required perpetually, meaning you’d never have to buy a new car. We took Nova’s successful elements to build Lina, and now we’re taking the latter’s achievements to create our next concept.”
New concept in the making: design process and vision
‘What urban mobility issues will be relevant in the (near) future and how can we best address them?’ This is the question that drives TU/ecomotive’s new concept. As the design process is currently in full swing and the team prefers to keep things under the wraps until the design presentation in early February, Cas cannot tell us an awful lot about the project’s contents. He does, however, indicate that the team consciously decided to refrain from taking part in the Shell Eco-marathon this year: “In previous years, we always participated with our cars, but now we feel that we wouldn’t be able to take full advantage of the materials due to certain competition restrictions. We decided to opt out, so we can focus on the design process and the subsequent production stage instead.”
An important part of the current design process is In Summa Innovation’s MSC Adams software. “It allows us to test our materials and see how the car reacts to them, which makes it indispensable to us,” says Cas. “Using this tool, we are a significant step closer to our goal: create strong proofs of concept to inspire the automotive industry in particular and society in general to adopt materials and concepts such as these.”
An engineer by heart, but equipped with a commercial mindset. Mathijs has gained experience with new, exciting technologies like metal, composite, and plastic Additive Manufacturing, but he also loves the conventional, robust ways of getting things done. Also, he is a huge fan of rugby.