aCar : TU Munich develops electric car for Africa


TU Munich scientists created the electric car “aCar” specifically for application in rural areas in Africa.

Five years ago, scientists at the TU Munich began building a car that is supposed to improve mobility in developing countries within the course of a research project, thus opening a new possibility of mobility especially for rural regions with bad infrastructure. Driven by two electric engines and a power of 8kW/ 11 HP, the car can reach a maximum speed of approximately 60 km/h.

Graduate Engineer Sascha Koberstaedt and graduate engineer Martin Soltes, heads of the aCar project
Graduate Engineer Sascha Koberstaedt and graduate engineer Martin Soltes, heads of the aCar project

With a vehicle load capacity of one ton, the aCar offers space for both passenger and cargo transportation, thereby allowing for a better access to health care, education, and information in remote areas. Development was not only focused on cross-country mobility, but also on a simple and robust body and the electrified power train, due to which not even the uneven streets, gravel paths, and hills present much of a problem anymore. It was also important to facilitate maintenance through the simple body. Besides Bosch, a few more companies, such as the suppliers Mahle and Dräxlmaier, participate in this project. The technologies and their combination can be selected modularly. If required, the frontal e-machine can be disconnected, for example. This diversity is what makes this car interesting, not only for African, but also for European regions, e.g. for foresters, gardeners, or mining companies. The car can be charged at any Schuko socket and will include a fast charge option in the future. Moreover, there are solar cells on the roof that guarantee an extra distance of five to eight kilometers. The aCar, which received an award by the German state of Bavaria in the category “Sustainable Product & Mobility Concepts”, is supposed to come onto the market at the end of 2019 and be available in eleven markets by 2025. In Africa, the car is supposed to cost less than 10,000 euros and for potential buyers in Europe it will be around 22,000 euros.

You can find out more about the aCar in a current report by WirtschaftsWoche: Das Billig-Elektroauto aCar (German)