Electric Explorer African Challenge – the first EV expedition across Africa

Polish traveler Arkady Paweł Fiedler is piloting a Nissan LEAF across Africa in challenging conditions

Electric Explorer African Challenge - Photo 01

ROSSLYN, South Africa – The Electric Explorer African Challenge 2018, the first-ever electric vehicle expedition across Africa, has begun. Behind the wheel of a previous-generation Nissan LEAF is famous Polish traveler Arkady Paweł Fiedler, accompanied by photographer Albert Wójtowicz. The LEAF is not modified in any way – it is exactly the same as the car that was recently available in showrooms. (The new Nissan LEAF is on sale now across the world.)

“Traveling across Africa is probably the hardest test for any vehicle, not only an EV,” said Fiedler. “Poor roads, limited charging infrastructure and dramatically diverse weather conditions – from equatorial storms to the scorching heat of the Sahara – these are just a few challenges that we’ll have to face during the expedition. We’re optimistic. As part of the tests, I’ve already traveled over 4,000 kilometers in Poland in a Nissan LEAF, and I’m positively surprised by the driving range offered.”

The expedition started in Cape Town last week and will lead to Europe, along Western Africa, via South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania and Morocco, and finally across western Europe to Poland.

“The Nissan LEAF is the most popular electric vehicle in the world,” said Dorota Pajączkowska, Nissan PR manager Poland. “The first generation of the model was launched on the market as early as eight years ago, and Nissan EV drivers have already done more than three billion zero-emission kilometers in total. The design tested by hundreds of thousands of drivers can be trusted without hesitation, which I believe will be best proven by the Electric Explorer African Challenge 2018.”

Apart from being the first ever electric vehicle journey across the African continent, the expedition also aims to build awareness of electric mobility and new, cleaner technologies among the public in Africa, Poland and the world at large. It’s also important to show that the way of perceiving the world and human choices – such as the means of transport – have a great impact on our environment.

“Care of the environment, home, family starts with us – with our subjective decisions,” said Fiedler. “The journey is also to prove that often something apparently impossible to do can be achieved given appropriate attitude and determination. Owing to the huge challenge of looking for appropriate electric sockets to fill the battery with electricity, which is increasingly less of a problem in Europe year on year, we’ll have to rely on help from people we meet along the way. Without support from Africans, the expedition may fail.”

View this post on Instagram

In about week's time myself and @czosnek78 will be leaving Cape Town and drive the African LEAF north to find out whether it will be possible to cross Africa overland with an electric car. I expect Electric Explorer expedition will encounter unpredictable moments, with regards to recharging points en route which brings me to another point: if you may know of anyone who is willing to share the use of their (power) socket or recommend any reliable places with electricity please let me know in a private message (obviously I will pay for the electricity). The plan is to drive through South Africa, Namibia, Angola, DRC, Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Mauretania, Morocco and possibly Ghana and Gambia as well. Please keep your fingers crossed for the African LEAF. ______________________________ #plugmein #pluggedin #africa #overland #roadtrip #nissanleaf #ev #electriccar #nissan #plugin #adventure #electricity #tourtheplanet #lifeofadventure #instatravel #ig_africa #travelstoke #neverstopexploring #lifeontheroad #overlanding #africanleaf #electricexplorer #evroadtrip #travelgram #wanderout #explorer #podróże #afryka #arkadyfiedler

A post shared by Arkady Fiedler (@arkady_fiedler) on

Expedition participants:

  • Arkady Paweł Fiedler – originator and organizer of the expedition, and driver of the expedition vehicle. Grandson of the outstanding writer and traveller Arkady Fiedler. Passionate for automotive expeditions, producer of travel films, photographer. Originator and organizer of the PoDrodze (On the Way) film-and-travel project. 2009 – Along the Polish Borders in Maluch, 2014 – Across Africa in Maluch (project nominated for the National Geographic TRAVELERS Award), 2016 – Across Asia in Maluch.
  • Albert Wójtowicz – architect by profession, photographer and cameraman by avocation, responsible for video and photo records of the expedition. Photographer of the film and travel project OnTheWay – Across Africa In Maluch 2014 and Across Asia in Maluch 2016.
  • Nissan LEAF – the world’s most popular electric vehicle, with more than 300,000 cars manufactured so far. The generation now widely available for sale, powered by a 30 kWh battery, offers a range of up to 250 kilometers (NEDC). September 2017 saw a new release of the model to be launched in Europe in the first half of 2018.

To follow Arkady’s journey, click on the following social media links:

Source

Research campus ARENA2036 – The event “Tomorrow” provides an outlook on mobility and production of the future

group-3

  • For the ARENA2036 research campus, the University of Stuttgart supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has constructed one of the world’s largest, most modern and most flexible research facilities for production and mobility.
  • In the research areas production and work as well as mobility in the context of digitisation, new ideas are being created for the cutting-edge scientific and technological developments of the day after tomorrow.
  • At the event “Tomorrow” 800 prominent guests from the sciences, industry and politics will be able to experience the future at the ARENA2036 research campus.
  • Part of the show will be panel discussions with EU Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger, the Minister President of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, the Rector of the University of Stuttgart, Prof. Wolfram Ressel and the Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Dr. Dieter Zetsche, as well as scientists and future researchers in the fields of mobility and production. 

Stuttgart. In the context of digitization in the automotive industry, the ARENA2036 research campus has become a lighthouse institution in the fields of production, work and the mobility of the future. ARENA2036 is the world’s largest and leading research campus for transformable production including functionally integrated lightweight construction. Approximately one year after moving into a state of the art building complex, and some five years after its formation, ARENA2036 will hold the two-day event “Tomorrow” on 22th of February 2018 to present the results and visions achieved to date: On invitation of Prof. Wolfram Ressel, Rector of the University of Stuttgart and Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, politicians, representatives of the automotive industry and scientists will discuss the production and mobility of the future with experts from various disciplines. These include Günther H. Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, Winfried Kretschmann, Minister President of Baden-Württemberg, Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Dr. Michael Bolle, Head of Research and Advance Engineering at Robert Bosch GmbH, and Bernd Becker, Chief Technology Strategist of automotive supplier FARO. Afterwards, ARENA2036 will give an insight into the four research areas of Production2036, Work2036 and Mobility2036 as well as Digitisation2036 as a cross-sectional topic. On the second day, 23 February, the exhibition will be open to the public.

“ARENA2036 not only strengthens the Stuttgart region and Germany as an industrial cluster with its inter-disciplinary research, but also ensures an optimal technology transfer with its innovative and pioneering model of cooperation under one roof. It is good to see so many guests coming to our research factory at the University of Stuttgart to witness the results from the first five years of fascinating shared effort”, Prof. Wolfram Ressel commented on the event referring to the positive experiences and results of the first phase in these joint projects.

“With their innovations, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz have started a mobility revolution all over the world. In Baden-Württemberg, we have great opportunities for innovation with a unique cluster of cutting-edge technologies that is unique in the world: suppliers, technology companies and automobile manufacturers. Nowadays, with digitisation profound changes are happening extremely fast. The global automotive industry therefore needs strong and unconventional answers to the visionary questions of mobility and the future of work. One of them is ARENA2036,” explained Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, and patron of ARENA2036.

Important meaning for Germany as a scientific and industrial location

At ARENA2036, 31 partners working under one roof on the Vaihingen campus of the University of Stuttgart, where they combine fundamental scientific research with industrial application. On some 10,000 sq. m. all partners are working on pre-competitive solutions, which they will eventually use in their own applications. The interplay between a wide range of disciplines and areas of expertise creates scope for innovative ideas. The event “Tomorrow” provides a unique insight into topics and projects of the partners.

“ARENA2036 shows in an exemplary way how a successful cooperation between university research institutions and the automotive industry can find innovative answers to the challenges of mobility of the future across industry boundaries,” said Minister President Winfried Kretschmann. “Politics can provide incentives for technological developments and promising networks. For this reason, for example, the state government has also initiated the strategic dialogue on the automotive industry in order to contribute its share to shaping the future of mobility.”

Dr. Georg Schütte, State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, acknowledges ARENA2036 as an outstanding example for close and long-term collaboration between science and industry: “With the Research Campus Initiative, we are promoting a new type of strategic cooperation between science and industry at selected locations in Germany. In Stuttgart, the ARENA2036 research factory redesigns and implements the entire value chain of the fully digitised vehicle. In this way, the future of mobility and production will be fundamentally re-imagined. We consider this a groundbreaking model and will expand it to other areas of research as well.”


Also read:

Automotive Startups: Accelerator program for startups working on future of mobility

Porsche joins “Startup Autobahn” platform


ARENA2036 research campus: fast-moving development during the first project phase

ARENA2036 is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the programme “Research campus – public and private partnership for innovations”. The BMBF supports the research campus, which was chosen by an independent jury, with up to two million euros annually over a period of up to 15 years.

ARENA2036 was already founded in 2013 by the following seven founding members: the University of Stuttgart, the German Institute for Textile and Fibre Research in Denkendorf, the German Centre for Aerospace, the Fraunhofer Society, Daimler AG, BASF SE and Robert Bosch GmbH. Since then, the number of partners has increased to 31 – from suppliers and IT service providers to automobile manufacturers and research institutes. Under the roof of ARENA2036, science and industry work hand in hand and inspire each other. In line with the motto “Industry on Campus”, the partners of ARENA2036 “join.create.move.”.

The research portfolio has developed at breakneck speed since 2013. Around 90 research projects have been initiated during this first sponsoring phase. Experts employed by the partners are now researching in a highly modern working environment. The construction cost of around 30 million Euros for the research campus was equally financed by the University of Stuttgart and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union. ARENA2036 will enter the second project phase this year. An initial outlook is given at the topic bays presented at the event.

Themed worlds – ARENA2036 researches into mobility, production, digitization and work

Peter Froeschle, General Manager of ARENA2036, finally took the guests into the future – illustrated by the four topic bays Production2036, Work2036 and Mobility2036 with Digitization2036 as cross-sectional topic. These are all interlinked, and have project-related interfaces. Within the individual research areas, interaction and the exchange of project results lead to new concepts, technologies and follow-up projects. The research and development for modern Industry 4.0 applications and intuitive technologies focusing on human beings also play an important role.

The research area Mobility2036 focusses on innovative, vehicle-related technologies – from the development of functionally integrated and intelligent components to future-oriented materials and connectivity for the customer. Vehicles of the future will be lighter in weight, consume less energy and consist of fewer components. Structures, functions and design will change. The focus is always on the needs of users. Current technology aspects such as connectivity, autonomous driving, sharing services and electric drive systems are the starting point for the future research activities of ARENA2036 in the area of Mobility2036. Fundamental research also provides a basis for the development of new mobility concepts.

Another research area of ARENA2036 is dedicated to fully digitise process chains and their simulation. All the stages are digitally represented, from component development and every production stage to the use of a vehicle by the customer. This means that data from each individual process step can be automatically transferred and used for improvements. In the future, intelligent components will therefore communicate with production machinery, employees and customers – so in the production environment of the day after tomorrow, all components, machines and employees will be connected. The aim is to predict impending challenges more rapidly, and to optimise the quality of processes and products. In this way digitisation and Big Data will become the drivers of innovation activities.

Communication between people and machines – with and amongst each other – is the subject matter of the research area Work2036. Artificial Intelligence will become the interface bringing two worlds together with different languages, and helps them to understand each other. Research into semantic inter-relationships will enable human knowledge to be linked to databases throughout the world. Particularly where information from other sectors is concerned, Artificial Intelligence will help people to select, transform and implement mobility and production research. Another research aspect of Work2036 covers the way in which we work together – more interactively, internationally and creatively.

The Production2036 area shows perspectives for future innovative production. The idea: The Industry 4.0 production comprises a modular structure with a wide range of workstations that are intelligently networked by sensors. Within the workstations, employees can flexibly combine different machines. In this way they can design their production environment themselves. They can arrange tools, robots and machines in accordance with their own needs and the continuously changing production program. In this way the workplace of the future will be more flexible and demand-related. Intelligent components will communicate with production machinery and employees, exchanging information within a virtual network.

Source