Key Hypotheses And Goals

Unlike conventional vehicles, connected electric vehicles enable us to consider more than mobility for mobility's sake. Systematic synergies can be leveraged between vehicles, energy grids, and ICT-based services. Our goal is to understand these synergies in order to start co-developing sustainable solutions for agricultural value chains.

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Energy

Synergies between electric vehicles and mini-grids result in better utilization / uptime and therefore cheaper costs for customers.

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Mobility

Future transport services can be optimized by better understanding current and future mobility demands with data.

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Service & Business Design

Sustainable vehicle operations through context-specific service designs hold the key to successful and long-lasting business models.

Big Challenges are Arising in Sub-Saharan Africa...

The African agricultural sector is in the process of entering international value chains. There has been a lot of talk about sub-Saharan Africa’s mobility needs as a result. Boosting the region’s economic development and creating jobs for its youth will require durable and innovative solutions. However, scattered farming communities suffer from diverse and specific circumstances that make participation in value chains difficult. Said circumstances must be analyzed. Our research therefore begins with a concentrated analysis of regional contexts able to give insights on interaction points and causalities related to mobility.

...We Seek To Tackle These

The aCar Project wants to create long-lasting solutions for sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural sector. We aim to do so by studying and tackling the mobility challenges associated with inputs, farming, processing, storage, and transport.

Project Timeline

Our focus on e-mobility is not just rooted in the environmental friendliness of electric cars. It results from past achievements in the creation and design of an aCar vehicle.

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  • 2013

    Phase 1: aCar Concept Research

    Phase 1: aCar Concept Research

    January 1, 2013
    Phase 1: aCar Concept Research
    Starting from 2013 the first concept of the aCar was researched directly in cooperation with regional communities in Africa.
  • 2016

    Phase 1: Prototype Expedition in Ghana

    Phase 1: Prototype Expedition in Ghana

    January 1, 2016
    Phase 1: Prototype Expedition in Ghana
    An expedition in Ghana was enrolled including the first prototype of the aCar.
  • 2017

    Phase 1: aCar at IAA

    Phase 1: aCar at IAA

    September 14, 2017
    Phase 1: aCar at IAA
    A further developed version of the aCar was shown at the IAA.
  • 2018

    Phase 2: Research of Local Production

    Phase 2: Research of Local Production

    January 1, 2018
    Phase 2: Research of Local Production
    Starting from 2018 the research on on-site production in Sub-Saharan countries for electric vehicles in cooperation with KNUST University began.
  • 2020

    Phase 3: User-Centered Mobility Research in Ethiopia & Cote d’Ivoire

    Phase 3: User-Centered Mobility Research in Ethiopia & Cote d’Ivoire

    September 8, 2020
    Phase 3: User-Centered Mobility Research in Ethiopia & Cote d’Ivoire
    Beginning from 2020 and in its third project phase, we aim to research electric mobility from a user-centered approach. For this sake, mobility is assessed in the target regions in a previously not existing detail.
  • 2021

    Phase 3: Research Implementation in Africa

    Phase 3: Research Implementation in Africa

    June 1, 2021
    Phase 3: Research Implementation in Africa
    We aim to implement new ways of mobility driven by the research results and want to give recommendations according to the different regions. These concepts will be tried out locally to evaluate their potentials and acceptance in the local communities.
  • 2023

    Phase 3: Project End

    Phase 3: Project End

    January 1, 2023
    Phase 3: Project End
    The project will end on January 1st, 2023 according to the current plan.

Partners

Thanks to assistance from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), we are able to research electric mobility in sub-Saharan Africa. Several other partners are helping us complete this task as well.

We are especially grateful for support by the GIZ (executive sponsor) and Menschen für Menschen (NGO).

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Experts working out of Ethiopian and Ivorian universities provide valuable support.

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We are consistently seeking knowledge from specialists. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch!

Our Team

Our core team consists of three fully-funded researchers working out of the Institute of Automotive Technology at the Technical University Munich.

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Clemens Pizzinini

Service

My research focuses on the touchpoints between technology and the customer. I want to know how smart services connected to electric vehicles can potentially lower the cost of transportation.

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David Ziegler

Mobility

My goal is to research mobility patterns in the sub-Saharan region. Through the acquisition of different datasets, I want to implement scientific models able to predict mobility behaviours and demands in new, innovative ways.

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Philipp Rosner

Energy

My research investigates how to supply battery electric vehicles with energy in Africa. Additionally, I determine effects of intelligently coupled operation on decentralized electrification concepts and vehicle design.

Get In Touch

Find below the places we are currently located at.

  • Boltzmannstr. 15, 80747 Garching
  • ftm@ftm.mw.tum.de
  • +49 89 289 10441