Boutique German electric carmaker e.Go Mobile will use communications technology to optimise production of its compact zero emissions vehicles, after being kitted out with state-of-the-art 5G by Vodafone and Ericsson.
Based in Aachen and headed by mechanical engineering professor Günther Schuh, who is also known as co-founder of Streetscooter which supplies electric delivery van to Swiss Post, e.Go is not one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the European nation but certainly has big plans.
With 130 employees, e.Go has been producing a small electric car called E.Go Life in Factory 1 in Rothe Erde, Aachen for just a few weeks now, and is offering the vehicle in its cheapest variant at 16,000 euros ($A26,200) – to put that in context, Opel will be offering its small electric Corsa soon for almost double that at around 30,000 euros ($A49,000).
The EV maker says the 5G network will allow it to operate an autonomous production line that will see automated robots record every step in the build process.
“Data is an important fuel for modern automobile production,” Schuh said in a statement.
With 36 mobile phone antennas able to process 10 gigabytes per second with a latency of just milliseconds, all materials for production of the e.Go electric cars are automatically identified immediately on delivery via a special RFID interface then recorded in real time via wifi to the carmaker’s online system.
Using the same RFID technology, vehicles are recognised at the start of production and then assembled according to a customer’s configuration using the same process to identify required materials for the build.
“Our automotive industry needs a fast network right where the latest and most innovative automotive concepts are built,” said Vodafone Germany boss Hannes Ametsreiter in a statement.
“Data is an important fuel for modern automotive production, which makes it all the more important that this data never leaves the production hall.”
“Our Factory 1, e.GO Life’s assembly plant, is a true Industry 4.0 factory, meaning that it is fully networked in terms of information technology, connectivity links the physical and digital worlds, and Vodafone’s 5G network enables us That these processes can be implemented even faster and more reliably in real time, ensuring access to relevant information at any time and allowing immediate intervention,” says Schuh.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.