Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Hybrid car makes city driving quick and clean


EUREKA project E! 2512 MINIMOBIL has developed a vehicle specifically designed for life in Europe’s congested cities that uses a hybrid drive combining the environmental benefits of an electric motor with the range of a petrol engine. The compact city car relieves congested roads and reduces urban pollution.

The MINIMOBIL measures a slim two by one metres, and is little bigger than a motorbike. It is ideal for swiftly moving through traffic, while doors positioned at the front and back make parking simple – in fact four MINIMOBILs can fit into a standard parking space.

“MINIMOBIL is designed to cater for the needs of personal city transport where typically one person is travelling only, with options to cater for more passengers, luggage or sports equipment when needed,” explains Jiri Hofman, project manager at Czech lead partner Dioss Elcom Spol.

Low emission solution

Developed by partners from Austria and the Czech Republic, with a budget of €1.05 million, MINIMOBIL is set to succeed where other electric cars have faltered because it has overcome the problems of short operating range, heavy expensive batteries, long charging time and poor heating by using a hybrid drive. The MINIMOBIL can travel 30 to 50 km by battery alone and up to 350 km when using its low emission petrol engine as well.

The hybrid drive is the heart of the MINIMOBIL, combining an internal combustion engine and an electric motor driven by rechargeable batteries. It offers low energy consumption and low emissions as the hybrid drive uses the environmentally clean electric motor for starting and braking – about 30% of the total journey – and can drive the vehicle continuously at speeds of up to 60 km/h. When more power, higher speeds or longer distances are required, the drive switches to the more powerful petrol engine.

If the driver is confident of a recharging source, the electric motor can be used for city journeys of up to 30 km. Alternatively, preference can be given to the petrol engine, not only saving battery power but also recharging it during the journey. This option is ideal for longer journeys or when a recharging source cannot be guaranteed.

Environmental benefits

“Energy consumption and emissions are much lower in a MINIMOBIL, as it cuts pollutants considerably through use of the electric motor,” says Hofman. “Its low weight – half that of an average small car – and compactness ease city driving and parking.”

In addition, the MINIMOBIL is a very flexible vehicle. The back cabin is adaptable and can be adjusted in stages to carry passengers, shopping or luggage. It can also accommodate wheelchairs, or a ski or bike carrier.

A third prototype is currently being produced as further partners are being sought to fill the expected huge demand for MINIMOBIL vehicles. Initial production will be several thousands of cars, and this is expected to grow to hundreds of thousands, once the vehicles are commercially launched.

“EUREKA played a vital role in the development of the MINIMOBIL,” adds Hofman. “It not only helped us to find the partner we needed, but also gave the project increased recognition and credibility. We’ve already had considerable interest from the USA, but want to launch the MINIMOBIL first in Europe.”

Paul McCallum | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht When your car knows how you feel
20.12.2017 | FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

nachricht Did you know how many parts of your car require infrared heat?
23.10.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

A new kind of quantum bits in two dimensions

19.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists have a new way to gauge the growth of nanowires

19.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>