Covestro: Testing innovative materials for electromobility
For several years now, a highly motivated team of students from RWTH Aachen University and FH Aachen has been working on the question of how to make electric mobility more sustainable. The goal of this Sonnenwagen Team is to develop an electric car powered by solar energy that will compete in the world's toughest solar car race – the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019.
Following the initial successful participation at the race in Australia 2017 as “Best Newcomer” and the third place at the European Solar Challenge 2018, the team now wants to build on these experiences and challenge the next step at the World Solar Challenge 2019. “There we want to take on the challenge of the world's leading developers from Delft, Michigan and Leuven in Belgium,” said Markus Eckstein, first chairman for the Sonnenwagen Team.
As a global provider of materials solutions, Covestro shares the students' enthusiasm and will work with them to make the project a success. Julia Cramer, heading the project at Covestro, explained: “We have been working together with the renowned RTWH Aachen for a long time and, after the successful cooperation in 2017, are now supporting the solar car project with a variety of materials and technical services as well as being the main sponsor”. The primary objective is to test new materials under the extreme climatic conditions of the track.
According to Covestro, global trends such as climate protection and the conservation of resources coupled with increasing mobility are forcing car manufacturers to rethink. Trends such as electric mobility, networking, autonomous driving and car sharing require totally new vehicle concepts and technologies. Lightweight and functional materials from Covestro reduce fuel consumption and play an important role in extending the range of electric vehicles, for example. They also impart the required stability.
Sustainability is a central component of Covestro's corporate strategy, and solar mobility could make an important contribution to climate protection and the conservation of fossil resources, said the company. That is why it is supporting this ambitious project and intensifying its cooperation with the Sonnenwagen Team. One of Covestro's forward-looking goals is to support automotive concepts in which vehicles generate energy while in motion. Another objective is to test materials that could later be used in other applications. The company is also promoting young talent with this project.