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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
17-Jun-2013

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Contact: Daniel Borrmann
daniel.borrmann@iao.fraunhofer.de
49-711-970-2030
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
@fraunhofer_en

Making electric vehicles smaller and more comfortable

The vehicle looks like an electric scooter and zooms by almost without a sound. Its driver masters tight corners first and then safely brakes to a halt. He doesn't need to put his feet on the ground because the two rear wheels provide plenty of stability. Daniel Borrmann is satisfied with the first test drive of the Electromobile City Scooter. The new three-wheeled electric vehicle from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO in Stuttgart is designed to open up new possibilities for the urban transportation of tomorrow. "Although electric scooters offer many advantages, a lot of motorists either cannot or do not want to make the switch for trips into town. They simply lack the experience of traveling on two wheels," says Borrmann. This is exactly where the Electromobile City Scooter comes in.

Thanks to the additional wheel on the rear axle combined with a special chassis, the electric vehicle manages to be both stable and nimble. To enable it to lean into curves despite having two rear wheels, the IAO researchers suspended the rear wheels separately and supported them in the frame by means of air springs. In fact, the model is scarcely any wider than a regular two-wheeled scooter. Following initial drafts, the scientists worked out detailed specifications, which the engineering firm GreenIng subsequently implemented on a conventional two-wheeled electric scooter. "We demonstrated that our idea works on a real scooter. In the next step, we want to make the vehicle even more comfortable. For example, by means of systems for riding helmet-free, for protecting riders from the elements, and for luggage storage," says Borrmann, summarizing his team's objectives, before getting back on the scooter and zipping off into a new round of tests to the sound of the engine's gentle hum.

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