EDAG presents Car with Basalt Fibre Body and OLED Technology
2009-01-28 - EDAG will be presenting the world premiere of "Light Car - Open Source", a vision of an environment-friendly, future-orientated vehicle at this year's International Motor Show in Geneva. For its body concept, the German provider of engineering services used for the first time in automotive engineering, ASA.TEC's innovative basalt fibre, a lightweight, stable and 100 percent recyclable material. Propulsion is taken care of by intelligent, electric drive systems in the wheels, which feature a high degree of efficiency to get the power of the lithium-ion batteries onto the road and provide greater creative scope for the vehicle package. In addition, with its innovative light concept, the car will be one of the first to utilise Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) technology as an individually adaptable design and communication element.
Apart from the glass surfaces or alternatively Makrolon, the structure of the vehicle is predominantly of an innovative, industrially standardised basalt fibre (ASA.TEC fibre). This 100 percent recyclable and almost infinitely available raw material is not just lighter and less costly than aluminium or carbon, but also has practically the same strength properties as conventional materials. This new quality of basalt fibre, which is to be utilised in the construction of rotors for large-scale wind power plants in the future, can now be put to systematic use in the automotive industry. This type of basalt fibre therefore has the potential for becoming a main structural element and thus being used as a future lightweight material in cars for the high volume market. The body concept of the new car is based on a rolling chassis, a genuine, universal platform to which the modules for various bodies can be added. This enables vehicle derivatives to be developed more quickly and at lower cost.
The drive concept of the car is based on an all-electric, monovalent drive system with a range of up to 150 kilometres. The matter of propulsion is taken care of by intelligent, electric drive systems in the wheels, which not only feature a high degree of efficiency to get the power of the lithium-ion batteries in the rolling chassis onto the road, but will also provide considerably greater creative scope for the vehicle package. This is made possible by a system integrated in the wheels, which consolidates a number of functions: steering, brakes, drive and suspension.
In the glass panes, OLED lamps mark out the outlines of the headlights and rear lights on the vehicle featuring a boy that looks as though it is made of glass. The driver can design the outlines of the lights to his individual taste to give the car a unique appearance, something he is already used to doing, from setting up his PC desktop. He also has a free hand when it comes to arranging the cockpit as far as size, position and style of the instruments is concerned. With the aid of OLED technology, EDAG uses the transparent tailgate as a projection screen, making car-to-car communication visible and usable to all motorists. For instance, the braking force can be communicated to the next vehicle by means of an illuminated scale on the back of the car. Other information, such as a distance reading or if there is the tail end of a traffic jam ahead, can be clearly displayed on the back of the car, even if the vehicle behind does not have a car-to-car communication system of its own. Further, the driver of the car behind can see the information straight away, without needing to take his eyes off the road.
The new lightweight material, standardised basalt fibre, an electric drive system, rolling chassis and the innovative lighting concept offer great potential for a new vehicle concept. Many of the technologies shown at the Geneva Motor Show are still in the early stages of their development. For this reason, EDAG regards this as an open source project and approaches other companies with which it can then work on the development of the light car.
Author(s): Bettina Merkelbach