The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is expanding its ongoing electric car project called ‘Visio.M’ in its quest to create the ideal EV for today’s mega-cities.
The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research is funding 10.8 million euros (US$14.2 million) into the project, while big players from the domestic auto industry such as the BMW Group, Daimler, Siemens and TUV SUD, will also take part in TUM’s efforts.
The project calls for the development of an exceptionally lightweight but structurally safe city car with a maximum weight of 400kg (882 pounds) without the battery, motivated by small electric motor producing around 15kW (20PS).
At last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, TUM students displayed an early prototype created under the Vision.M initiative called ‘Mute’. The small city car tipped the scales at 500kg including the battery package and featured several novelties such as an active suspension to compensate for the thin low-rolling résistance tires and a specially developed electronic stability control.
“More weight requires higher battery capacity for the same range and thus generates significantly higher costs,” said Markus Lienkamp from the Chair of Automotive Technology at TUM. “More weight also means inferior dynamics for a given level of motor power. But what we are aiming at is an affordable car that is fun to drive.”