Electric mobility at University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hanover

Practical experience with Pedelecs and electric VW vans

From electric cars, to Pedelecs, or modified VW vans: electric mobility is strongly represented at HsH. In this film we are demonstrating the differences between a regular e-bike and a Pedelec. We are watching  students of mechanical engineering transform an old VW combustion engine van into an electric car, and we are presenting the Pedelec-Café. The rental station’s design was drafted by two students of the interior design department.

Transcription: Practical experience with Pedelecs

Transcription: Practical experience with Pedelecs

Pedelecs are bicycles equipped with an electric motor. Unlike an e-bike that has a turning handle like a moped, the Pedelec’s motor only kicks in once you start pedalling. The Pedelec just makes pedalling much easier. This is our roller test bench that helps determine the Pedelec’s power consumption to find out which components should be more efficient. We primarily test the batteries to improve them accordingly.  This drive motor simulates the pedalling cadence. The brake motor simulates resistance, e.g. wind resistance, roll resistance, or gradient resistance.  We enter all these factors into the computer to initiate the simulation. Then we turn on  the Pedelec  and make further adjustments. Now we choose a profile and start the machine. The white line represents the target speed. The red line shows the actual speed.  In addition, this current clamp tells us how much power and voltage we’re currently using. Based on this, the computer  calculates the motor’s effective power, i.e. how much battery power is currently being used. And this shows the bicycle’s performance. Finally, all values are saved and we can calculate the bike’s actual power consumption.

Presently there are 4 rental stations in Hanover where you can rent a Pedelec. One of them is located at the university on Bismarkstraße 2 at the Pedelec-Café.   Before a Pedelec can be rented, the station’s staff goes through a checklist to make sure everything’s okay in order to avoid minor accidents. Then you’re good to go.   You don’t have to struggle with inclines or headwinds anymore. That’s what makes riding a Pedelec so much fun. It immediately becomes apparent how much less effort you need when you overtake people on regular bikes. The demand is enormous. People recognise the advantage of not having to rely on a car. And getting around Hanover is much faster on a Pedelec than by car, tram, or bus.

Transcription: Practical experience with the Volkswagen T3

Transcription: Practical experience with the Volkswagen T3

I’m Andreas Deschka. I am studying mechanical engineering at the Hanover University of Applied Sciences and ArtsMy name is Alexej Tkacenko. I’m studying  mechanical engineering at  Faculty Two at Hanover University,  currently in my sixth semester.  

The initial idea was to turn a regular car into an electric car.

We wanted to replace  the combustion engine with  an electric engine. The goal was  to create a purely electrically driven car which could be driven in normal traffic without any problems. First we had to find a suitable car to convert. We opted for the VW T3, as it provides enough room for 34 batteries.  

The van meets our space requirements. The electric motor and power electronics can be easily and safely fitted into the engine compartment.  That’s why the T3 was the perfect choice.  The project has been running for 4 semesters now. We started on a half-finished car handed down by previous teams. Many components were already on site, some of them even installed.The first challenge was getting acquainted with the project’s current status which is crucial in the installation phase.

Another challenge was integrating all these components in the van to ensure it had a purely electrical drive and was properly running on electrical power. Professor Gusig and my company are the founding fathers of this project. I was just curious to find out how complex the topic of electric mobility really is.

The initial idea was to turn a regular car into an electric car.

We wanted to replace  the combustion engine with  an electric engine. The goal was  to create a purely electrically driven car which could be driven in normal traffic without any problems. First we had to find a suitable car to convert. We opted for the VW T3, as it provides enough room for 34 batteries.  

The van meets our space requirements. The electric motor and power electronics can be easily and safely fitted into the engine compartment.  That’s why the T3 was the perfect choice.  The project has been running for 4 semesters now. We started on a half-finished car handed down by previous teams. Many components were already on site, some of them even installed.

The first challenge was getting acquainted with the project’s current status which is crucial in the installation phase. Another challenge was integrating all these components in the van to ensure it had a purely electrical drive and was properly running on electrical power. Professor Gusig and my company are the founding fathers of this project. I was just curious to find out how complex the topic of electric mobility really is.

Transcription: Practical design experience

Transcription: Practical design experience

It’s wonderfully innovative to have a café for our students right here.  Another novelty is that the Pedelec Café is actually functioning.  Students can rent bikes free of charge, which is great.  And all that in a pleasant atmosphere. So it’s no longer just a lab but a cosy location for students where they can hang out and take in their surroundings.

Some of my colleagues involved in the project asked if we had any students who could come up with designs for their Pedelec Café. That was great, we love doing such projects. I had my doubts whether the students would be willing to work during semester break. But 15 people signed up who then competed with one another in 7 groups.

It was exciting right from the start because there always was a chance that our idea would be realized  which is not the case with many projects. I was intrigued by the project’s limited duration and its guaranteed implementation.

We carefully assessed all 7 drafts that were presented by the students. It didn’t take long to choose the 3 ideas that most appealed to us. The challenge was combining three ideas into one. I was really happy, although I knew it wouldn’t be easy to blend the concepts and ideas of 3 drafts.

The café and rental service are quite popular with students and staff who really make use of this new infrastructure. Lots of people like to come here. The bikes are always booked out and the café is highly appreciated as new element of our department.

Students and staff members like to drop in between, before, and after lectures to get a cup of coffee. I’m thrilled that it’s gone over so well. That’s awesome. What could be better than achieving something like this?