RWTH Aachen and e.Volution present EV for circular economy

The RWTH Aachen and spin-off e.Volution have developed a circular economy electric vehicle that is expected to last 50 years thanks to modular upgrades. It is already their second model.

The founder of e.Volution GmbH is Professor Günther Schuh, who founded StreetScooter and e.GO. According to the announcement, he wants to show that future production concepts “can make e-vehicles significantly cheaper and more sustainable to manufacture and operate”.

The “next generation vehicle production concept” calls for new modularity of cars by replacing the self-supporting body with a durable chassis and replaceable shorter-life exterior and interior components. The basis for this is the electric drive because, according to e.Volution, it “lasts 4-5 times longer than an internal combustion engine”.

e.Volution presented its first two vehicles based on the Oscar chassis: the Meta, which was introduced last year as a corporate shuttle (6-7 seater) with multimedia office workstations for commuters, and the Space with a short and long wheelbase (5- and 7-seater) as a company car for long-distance drivers or as a family car.

e.Volution does not rely on a pure battery electric drive but on an additional fuel cell range extender to achieve “real ranges” of 750 kilometres and more. But: The hydrogen range extender will only be available for the first refresh cycle in a few years: “As green hydrogen is not yet available in sufficient quantities”, a two-cylinder engine running on LPG will initially be used as a range extender. But thanks to its modularity, it can be easily replaced.

The Oscar chassis (“Open Source Car Architecture Research”) is based on aluminium profiles. That should “drastically reduce” the development and homologation effort for a new EV, and the standard interfaces should also increase the economies of scale for the components.

While the Meta was already shown at the Greentech Festival in Berlin in 2022, the start-up just now premiered the Space at the Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium (AWK). Together with e.Volution, the WZL of RWTH Aachen also showed part of the “upgrade re-assembly factory”, where vehicles can be industrially renewed and updated every five years.

While the aluminium profile frame should not be touched during the vehicle’s lifetime – if possible – “almost all innovation-carrying and design-relevant components such as displays, sensors, vehicle computers, batteries, headlights, exterior, seats, and interior” can be replaced in a re-assembly factory. “Niche vehicles and additional customization by special vehicle builders and third-party providers become economically viable,” e.Volution writes in the statement.

Suppose the battery is also exchanged for a newer one in one of the re-assembly factories, e.Volution plans to offer the retired battery modules as second-life home storage.


about „RWTH Aachen and e.Volution present EV for circular economy“

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *