The automotive industry is extremely energy and resource consuming along the international value chain. A longer service life of passenger cars is therefore of great ecological and economic advantage. The innovative solution of the reusable open source kit for electrically powered pool vehicles of the “KOSEL” project contributes significantly to resource conservation and recycling management through remanufacturing and reuse.
While rail vehicles and aircrafts are usually in daily use for over 30 years, passenger cars are exported or scrapped after an average of 15 years of use. By doubling the mileage, German automotive customers alone could reduce the continuous energy demand in vehicle production by several gigawatts and also significantly reduce the required raw materials. For this reason, the development of particularly durable modules, built of fiber reinforced materials, which are very corrosion and fatigue resistant, is applied in “KOSEL”. This leads to extremely demanding technical, economic and ecological project goals are emerging.
Reusable vehicle platform
The objectives in the technical area are the design and prototypical implementation of a modular, reusable e-vehicle platform for operating periods of up to 30 years and mileage of up to one million kilometers in changing operating scenarios. In the field of economics, advantageous business models for fleet operation with novel vehicles made of reusable modules are identified and cost saving potentials compared to classical models are proven. The main target in the ecological sector is to proof the significant resource savings through remanufacturing and reuse of complex vehicle modules.
Results and their use
If the sustainable “KOSEL” mobility concept is successful it will become a model and push further similar developments in the mobility sector. Especially with an elaborated, recyclable e-vehicle platform as a standard solution the development costs and risks can be reduced. By providing open source interfaces, it will also be possible to provide suitable standard components to various suppliers.
The leading company EDAG sees new business opportunities in supporting young companies in the rapid and cost-effective development of vehicle products. The new resource-efficient modular solutions help to achieve this. Röchling Automotive plans to develop new types of sustainable products for e-vehicles, for example a battery system with functionally integrated battery housings. For the participating fleet operator BSMRG GmbH, the planned longer operating times and reuse options lead to cost reductions in vehicle operation and thus contribute to competitiveness. For INVENT GmbH, sensor integration and condition monitoring are of particular relevance. This is mainly done by know-how transfer from aviation sector to automotive applications. The business interest of Röchling Engineering Plastics is to be able to supply customers with more durable and robust products and thus open up new markets.
The Department of Industrial Environmental Economics at the Technical University of Dresden will develop a method for ecological-economic optimization using life cycle assessment for the new vehicle and mobility concept. The results developed within the scope of this project, including the integral axle module, are an important intermediate step for Fraunhofer IWU on the way from basic research to concrete implementation in practice, i.e. technology transfer. The results expected from this project form the basis for a foreseeable future utilization by different contract partners in different fields, such as the automotive industry and aviation. In addition, licenses will be granted to interested third parties without project reference if possible.
Picture credits: ©EDAG Engineering GmbH