“Electro mobility will shape the future”
The expansion of renewable energies and electro mobility go hand in hand. Markus Spiekermann is convinced of this. He has personally owned an electric car for some time and is confident that in the next few years electric cars will no longer be exotic items on our roads.
“I have been preoccupied with the topic of electro mobility for some years now – both professionally and in my private life. I have been working for the carsharing provider “Move about“ since 2010. The special aspect here: anyone registering with our company will only drive an electric car. Users can book our vehicles via an app and collect them at marked stations. Charging points are integrated in these stations. We therefore ensure that the electric car is fully charged.
Some things have happened in regard to electro mobility in the last few years. In Bremen, for example, there are now various housing construction projects which make provision right from the start for parking spaces including a charging station for electric cars. The tenants therefore profit from a good infrastructure. This also means that carsharing is an option for more people.
Electro mobility and renewable energies are inextricably linked
Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly more attractive for us private users. That’s because the prices of batteries have dropped dramatically. The costs for solar panels through which electric cars are charged are also decreasing. In addition, an increasing number of plus energy houses are being built.. That’s important. Because I believe that electro mobility and renewable energies are inextricably linked. Many people do not even realise that a solar area of just 20 square metres – roughly the size of a car port – can produce enough electricity every year to drive a car for 15,000 kilometres fully electrically. Another major development is that an e-mobile was solely charged with 220 volts around six years ago. It therefore took twelve hours until the battery was fully charged and the vehicle was ready to drive again. Quick charging systems now mean that this process takes just under one hour. In order to continue promoting electro mobility, the charging infrastructure must be extended enormously. In an ideal scenario, a car can be charged at work in future. That would be an option for those people who do not have a charging point at home.
Electric cars will be a common sight on roads
In my opinion, electro mobility will shape our future. I am a father and want to leave the world to future generations in a reasonable state. It’s wrong for us to consume valuable raw materials which actually took 150 million years to form. Use of an electrically powered vehicle is one way to conserve our oil reserves.
I am certain that we will predominantly drive electric vehicles in around ten years time. That’s because the cost of an electric car declined enormously in the past. This trend will continue and become more widespread. Electric cars can therefore compete against conventional models. I regard this as the breakthrough. There will also be an even more radical rethink in society. . There could be driving bans in an increasing number of cities. In other words, conventional vehicles will no longer be able to enter city centres and it will be more difficult to actually register them. In my opinion, these are excellent prospects.”
Electric car design today and tomorrow – Interview with Paolo Tumminelli
The electric drive makes a new car design possible. However, many manufacturers are taking their time in presenting entirely new forms. In this interview, design professor Paolo Tumminelli explains why this is so, and what design concepts will shape the future.
Design professor Tumminelli: At present, many car producers are imitating the design of their combustion engine models in their electric cars.
What characterises today’s electric car design?
At present, many car producers are imitating the design of their models with combustion engines in their electric cars. This is the case, for example, with the E-Golf from VW and the Renault ZOE. They are without doubt clever designs – though more as a model with a combustion engine. Which in future no car will any longer need. With the electric car, designers and engineers have much greater freedom, as the electric drive takes up much less space. An entirely new car architecture will thus become possible.
Why aren’t car makers using these new possibilities yet?
A good example is the radiator grille. This feature is characteristic of conventional cars – whereas electric cars really don’t need it. Many manufacturers must gradually move away from the idea of a bulky engine bonnet as a symbol for the power of the brand. This will take time. Car designers are still rather restrained, as they do not want to frighten their customers.
We are currently in a phase of revolutionary character. Today is similar to 120 years ago, when the change from the design concept of a carriage to that of a real car took some time. The lanterns that were common on carriages back then were fitted on cars for a long time before taste was mature enough for modern headlamps.
When will we see a completely new design of car on the roads?
The car makers must first successfully provide one or two generations of electric cars for their customers. They need the certainty that the cars will be bought. Only then – in around ten or twenty years – will the design undergo any significant change. Not only on account of the electric drive – autonomous driving also presents a challenge for the designers. Because this will result in a change in the form of use of the car, which will influence both the outer shape of the car and the interior fittings and equipment.
If, for example, only appropriate speeds are allowed, the cars will no longer need thick tyres or spoilers. If the car drives itself, the driver will no longer need to sit on the front seat and wear a seat belt. Completely new space concepts can be developed that allow new forms of use for cars, thus completely changing how we define the fun of driving in contrast to today’s feeling of being in a race. In particular in the urban context, such innovative interior space concepts can become a compelling sales argument. For at any given time, 94 per cent of cars are parked. During these periods of rest, electric cars can serve as an extension of living space, which is becoming increasingly restricted anyway. The car can be transformed into a kind of extension of the living room or even bedroom.