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German Premiere Showcases Development of the "EDAG Light Car"



Together with its open source partners, the EDAG Group will be hosting the German premiere of the EDAG “Light Car – Open Source” and presenting the next stages of development of the cooperation with the open source partners at the 63rd International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt.

More economical, emotional and individual: This year, at the 79th Geneva Motor Show, EDAG presented its vision of the car of the future, the “EDAG Light Car – Open Source”.

 The car features completely new materials, power train, lighting and operation concepts At this year’s IAA in Frankfurt (Hall 4.0) the EDAG Group and its open source partners will, as part of the German premiere of the Light Car, be presenting further developments to the EDAG Light Car, and giving a preview of a test vehicle, the implementation of which is planned for the Geneva Motor Show in 2010.



With the exhibition in Frankfurt of further technical innovations from the fields of vehicle development, production systems and plant engineering, along with examples of applications from EDAG’s low-volume production, the EDAG Group is once again underscoring its claims to being an all-round partner to the mobility industry.

IAA 2009: EDAG and open source partners present development stages of the EDAG Light Car.

The open source concept

Lightweight construction, electric drive system, rolling chassis and – last but not least – the innovative lighting concept offer great potential for a new vehicle concept. Many of the technologies shown today are still in the early stages of their development. For this reason, EDAG set this up as an open source project, approaching other companies with which it could work on the development of the Light Car. EDAG made a deliberate decision to address itself to a wide circle, thus enabling new notions to be absorbed in the car of the future. With EDAG’s expertise in vehicle and production plant development, and the integration of system suppliers in complex complete development projects, the Fulda company successfully took the leading role in the development of the open source project.

The lightweight construction concept



With the choice of materials for EDAG’s “Light Car – Open Source”, the emphasis is on innovative solutions. Working with several open source partners at the IAA 2009, we will be using not just ASA.Tec’s basalt fibre, but also other completely new technologies and innovative materials in the Light Car, all of which are expected to boost our efforts to reduce weight and material.

Thin-walled cast steel

CX Group is, in cooperation with Zollern, to display a new thin-walled cast steel process which will make it possible to use extremely thin-walled steel. In addition, the material has a high degree of rigidity, with less distortion than aluminium.

Partially tempered steel

Components made of partially tempered steel, which combine an extremely high degree of rigidity with great formability, will be presented by Linde+Wiemann for applications in the underbody, door sill and front end, and are to be used in the Light Car in the next stage of development.

Aluminium and magnesium components

Honsel, Specialists in lightweight construction concepts, will be showing some of their processing technologies, namely casting, extrusion and rolling aluminium and magnesium components.

RIVTAC® process

For the first time ever, Böllhoff will be showing a newly developed joining method.

This makes it possible to join together and produce a close fit between high-strength composite materials. For the first time ever, joints of aluminium, steel and plastic – but also mixed, multiple-layer and hybrid joints – can be joined and an outstanding fit achieved at high speed.

The drive concept

Using a a 100% monovalent electric drive system, the drive concept of the Light Car is such that no emissions are produced. Protean Electric Ltd., based in Alton, England, provide the power units. Two wheel hub motors in in the rear wheels in conjunction with a powerful lithium-ion battery (made by GAIA Akkumulatorenwerke GmbH) integrated in the chassis are responsible for propulsion. The EDAG Group is attending to the engineering of the battery package, including production optimisation, with the aim of achieving a maximum system performance of 152 HP / 750 rpm in the future, with a maximum speed of 140 km/h and a maximum range of 150 km. In addition, the use of a direct rear wheel drive and a steered rear axle provides the basis for a lightweight and extremely manoeuvrable Light Car.

The lighting concept

In the glass panes, (O)LED lamps mark out the outlines of the headlights and rear lights. In the same way as a multimedia installation is configured, the headlight design of the Light Car can also be individualised. With the aid of (O)LED technology, the transparent tailgate can be used as a projection screen, providing simple and effective car-to-car communication for 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.

The interior concept

At the IAA, EDAG will be submitting the “power dock”, a future-looking concept to allow the customer the greatest possible degree of individuality when it comes to equipping the interior of his car. Like today’s PCs, one’s own components can be added and permanently upgraded as necessary, by means of various interfaces. This opens up the way for “component plug-ins”, meaning that, depending on one’s own personal taste and requirements, additional speakers, iPod docking stations, an external navigation system, or even a bottle warmer for the baby, can all be retrofitted. By means of the power docks, the desired components are mechanically connected to the car, in whichever position the customer prefers. The power supply is provided by means of the power docks and by integration in the vehicle’s own electrical system (power and control). The concept of power docks also opens up the chance of cross branding, to generate new fields of business for the after sales market via third party suppliers.

In cooperation with the other open source partners TESTA MOTARI (supplier of lighting technology) and Proof Design (composite solar module specialist), the EDAG Group will be integrating all the concepts shown in an EDAG Light Car test vehicle, and presenting this vehicle at the next Geneva Motor Show, in spring 2010.

Partner to the international mobility industry

The world’s largest independent development partner, the EDAG Group will, at the IAA 2009, be presenting its combined technical innovative know-how in the fields of vehicle development (electric mobility, power docks, automotive lightweight construction, rear wheel drive), production systems and plant engineering (Vario-Picker) and examples of applications from EDAG’s low-volume production (module responsibility for add-on parts, organo sheet material).

1. Electric mobility

Quick loading capacity, non-contact charging, bi-directionality, integration of new functions (charge state, charge scenarios) in the vehicle are all keywords that have been developed by EDAG into core competencies under the heading of “intelligent charging system”. Taking into account the existing infrastructure, we implement, by modular means, the charging of electric cars, feedback into the power mains where applicable, and the integration in the complete car. Energy efficiency means greater range. By and large, achievement of this efficiency depends on the quality of the battery management system. On this subject, EDAG offers hardware for vehicle batteries in the loop simulator. For the first time ever, this permits high quality simulation of the electrical properties of separate cells or complete cell groups. Due to the vehicle’s limited storage capacity, electric energy is in short supply. Cutting the vehicle’s energy consumption increases its range and considerably reduces vehicle weight and/or the cost of batteries. This is where we come in, optimising the energy flow within the entire vehicle. With the EDfuse measuring system, EDAG permits high precision recording of the energy flow in high- and low-voltage vehicle systems, whilst taking into account the special requirements in hybrid and electric cars.

2. Lightweight automobile construction / organo sheet hybrid components

As an engineering specialist and all-rounder, EDAG is constantly working on employing new materials and technologies to develop new, lightweight construction potential. By combining engineering competence and technological consultancy, we generate tangible advantages for our customers, applying new materials and developing suitable production processes by means of which the positive properties of these various materials can be amalgamated. The service package is completed by our know-how in the field of hybrid processes. One of our accomplishments on show at the IAA 2009 is a storage compartment door from a truck cab, made of a conventional steel outer panel combined with an organo interior panel. The technology offers enormous potential for lightweight construction, and can bring about a weight reduction of up to 60 percent. EDAG’s objective is to extend the use of this technology to all add-on parts such as doors, covers and gates.

3. Active rear axle steering

The greatest challenge in chassis development lies in the maximisation of driving comfort, road safety and vehicle dynamics. Active rear axle steering contributes to this aim. Greater vehicle agility, a reduced turning radius and smaller steering wheel angle make it easier to drive in city traffic. EDAG’s active rear axle steering includes a complex control concept for higher speeds, which, from additional monitoring of steering wheel angle speed, yaw rate, yaw and lateral acceleration, calculates the rear axle steering angle that needs to be set. Stabilising the vehicle when braking at high speed in bends, when there is a difference between traction coefficients for the right- and left-hand wheels (μ-split), and when driving to stability limits improves road safety. An early indication of limits being reached and an increase in the agility of the vehicle when it is in a stable driving condition serve to improve vehicle dynamics without neglecting safety aspects. Within physical limits, the active rear axle steering permits variable gear ratio steering, as well as selectable yaw amplification rates and side slip angles.

4. Modular responsibility

EDAG combines the development and manufacturing know-how of the Group through to responsibility for the production of complete modules for add-on parts. The group-wide cooperation involving the various EDAG business divisions shows how the customer profits from the synergies within the EDAG Group. This means that we can offer our customers not just separate component elements, but also a process-spanning service from development, then tool and plant production, through to complete master projects, including responsibility for the production of the series.

Compared to the conventional approaches of the past, use is made of new automation and tooling concepts, and also early-stage product development which is geared to manufacturing needs. As an example of the company’s competence, the EDAG Group is showing the engine hood of the BMW ActiveHybrid X6, manufactured at our Eisenach plant, as part of a low-volume series.

5. Vario-Picker

As an example of our competence in production technology, the EDAG Group is presenting the “Vario-Picker” welding tool. This process, for which a patent has been applied, is used primarily on crimped flanges made of steel, such as doors, engine hoods and gates. With this version of the spot welding process, the electrode is positioned on the crimped flange of the outer panel, and the earth contact on the inner panel, to create a substance-to-substance bond.

The main advantages lie in the substance-to-substance connection of interior and exterior parts to the inside of the flange, and the elimination of the need for gelling to affix the interior part. Also, with the Vario Picker Welding, there is no heat distortion on the outside of the flange, and no emission into the visible area. The process permits great flexibility regarding the position and number of fixing points, and can be used on table top and roller-hemmed flanges. No component adjustment is necessary, and the system can easily be fitted into existing processes.

The process has already been put to successful use in the series production of the front hood for the VW T5, replacing the conventional gelling procedure.

With this display of competence at the IAA 2009, the EDAG Group is underscoring its all-round ability as an engineering partner for vehicles and production plants, through to implementation in low-volume series and plant construction.

EDAG- Partner to the international mobility industry

The world’s largest independent development partner, EDAG develops tailor-made concepts and solutions to meet the mobility requirements of the future. The development of complete modules, vehicles, derivatives, and production plants is just as much a part of the service portfolio as the construction of models, prototypes, special vehicles, and small-series production. Besides engineering services, EDAG offers to implement complete production systems for body in white construction and vehicle assembly, through to the low volume production of modules and special vehicle series, from a single source.

EDAG is represented at over 35 locations in 17 countries and on 5 continents worldwide. The company, founded in 1969, offers mature solutions optimised for production from its intermeshed business divisions Product Development, Production, Manufacturing Equipment, and Aerospace. EDAG’s focus is on the automotive, aerospace and rail industries, but also the regenerative energy industry. In 2008, the Group had turnover of more than 700 million euros, and employed a worldwide workforce of over 5,600.

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