The GPSM Friend aCar mobility project of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) received this year’s price for electromobility awareded by the Bavarian state government. The aCar concept seeks to provide sustainable electromobility to rural and disconnected areas in in developing countries, focusing particularly on Subsaharan Africa.
And this is the novelty of the project. So far, electromobility has been put forward as a sustainable alternative in urban contexts of industrialized countries, which dispose of a well developed and dense infrastructure. aCar shifts this usual approach by proposing a cross-country, multiple-use electric vehicle which can be charged with solar energy. Thanks to a modular composition with different vehicle superstructures, aCars are able to transport people as well as cargo and can serve different purposes such as agriculture or energy storage while remaining affordable.
For the multidisciplinary team from TUM, it is of particular importance that aCars are adapted to local realities. Therefore, the concept was developed together with scientific partners in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania and aCars will be produced locally in order to build local value-creation chains. aCars, everybody thus hopes, will contribute to reducing migration to cities and support rural development. A first prototype of the aCar was presented to the public in spring of this year. For next year the construction of a second prototype is planned. The GPSM network is looking forward to hearing more good news from this promising project.
Photo credit: Acar-Mobility Project