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ACar: Electric cars for Africa are being built in Munich

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 | Gadgets

A prototype of the aCars will be shown at the Frankfurt International Motor Show. This commercial vehicle for Africa is to be powered purely by battery and is developed at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The compact vehicle is intended for passenger and freight transport, is off-road and can carry loads of up to one tonne.

Since the aCar has a modular design, it can be converted with different superstructures, for example, to water treatment. The battery capacity is only 20 kWh, which should allow a range of about 80 kilometers. The rechargeable battery is charged via a household socket within seven hours. On the roof of the vehicle, solar modules are attached, which should also contribute to the energy supply. Optionally there should be a tarp with solar cells.

        
    ACar (Picture: TUM Munich)

According to the researchers, an all-wheel drive is required on most unseamed roads in Africa. They decided not only for the electric drive, but also because it is more low-maintenance than a combustion engine. The battery can also be used for other purposes for supplying power to external electric motors. The engines have an output of twice 8 kW. The top speed is indicated at 60 km / h and the unladen weight at 800 kg. The vehicle is 3.7 meters long, 1.5 meters wide and 2.1 meters high. As the Renault Twizy belongs to vehicle class L7e, the researchers thereby circumvent permissible hurdles for passenger cars.

The aCar is designed in such a way that, apart from the battery and the electric motors, many mechanical components can also be manufactured or repaired locally. The entry price should be less than 10,000 euros.
A first prototype of the aCars already went smoothly in Ghana under local conditions. Now the vehicle will be shown at the IAA in Frankfurt (Hall 4.1, Stand A11). The researchers have founded the company Evum Motors to market the vehicle. In a model factory, the first vehicles will be built in Europe in order to optimize the technical processes. Later, employees from Africa are to be trained so they can take over the production on site. The Munich researchers are of the opinion that the aCar could also be used here, for example, in urban enterprises for transport purposes, for the maintenance of green areas or for the management of alpine pastures and vineyards.

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