Fourteen students at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences have designed a single seater electric vehicle that runs on wireless energy transmission. The car interior is set up similar to a recumbent bicycle with the driver seated in a reclined position.
The students designed the car components “(e.g. steering and braking system, chassis), using high-tech materials.” The outer shell of the vehicle is made from carbon in order to keep it as light as possible. Computers were used to optimize the individual components and to test the virtual finished vehicle in a virtual wind tunnel.
Three teams worked on other aspects of the vehicle. One team made sure that the track, provided by the firm SEW, in Bruchsal, was properly set up. “Two other teams were dedicated to the vehicle’s energy absorption and the safety of the entire system.”
The students have winnowed the weight of the car down to 60kg or 132lbs. The project leader thinks that the weight can be reduced to 40kg or 88lbs.
“With other vehicle types you have a weight ratio between driver and vehicle of 1:10/1:15. We’re aiming for a ratio of 1:2 through further development of the E-Quickie.”
The team drove the E-Quickie 8880 meters or 5.5 miles in the Karlsruhe E-Meile in May.
“The aim was not only to show how quickly you can move around with the E-Quickie, but most of all how energy efficient the car is”, explains Walter. “We went to the start with half-filled batteries and returned with full ones.” For what then are batteries used for in this system of energy transfer? As soon as the car leaves the electrical conductor tracks, the power supply to the motor is interrupted. “Here the small accumulators then jump on-board the E-Quickie as an energy buffer,” explains Walter, “for example when it’s driven into the garage.”
The batteries are much smaller than those used in other electric vehicles since it is used mainly as a buffer. The motor used in their car has only 2kw of horsepower. Still the car can get up to a speed of 31 mph which is fast enough for most inner city driving.
A test track will be built at the University and “Further test drives will be held from the HsKA to the nearby castle or from the city center to the Karlsruhe Research Center (Campus KIT North).” The students will continue to optimize the vehicle and its components while working to reduce the vehicle weight and reduce energy use.
Eventually the E-Quickie may lead to a more efficient less less energy intensive method of transportation at least within municipalities. Like old time trolleys, there would still need to be tracks laid but these tracks would not necessarily alter the driving surface.
The E-Quickie may be a 21st century solution that echoes an early 20th century idea.