On Friday, September 2nd, after a total assembly time of eight weeks, the first StreetScooter prototype was completed, generating a great deal of excitement in the auto industry.
Although StreetScooter is not the only electric car being developed in Germany, it is keenly followed by media and industry because of its radically forward-looking and innovative approach to technology and manufacturing.
Assembly of the prototype began on July 3rd when the tubular steel frame for the first car was delivered to the StreetScooter workshop in Aachen, Germany. To avoid excessive tooling costs and to ensure maximum flexibility in creating variants for different purposes, the makers of StreetScooter chose to adopt a welded steel-frame construction covered by fiberglass body panels.
The steel frame was developed by three partners. The central part of the chassis used to house the battery pack comes from ThyssenKruppSteel Europe, Germany’s leading steel manufacturer. The front section—especially designed for the electric engine and cooling unit—was developed and designed by lightweight specialist Kirchhoff, and the rear part of the frame comes from Gedia, a specialist in lightweight-body steel parts such as engine sub-frames, roof and door frames, and bumper mountings. The welding of the three components was undertaken by Heggemann Autosport, a company that specializes in the assembly and preparation of racing prototypes.
When the welded and painted body structure arrived in the StreetScooter workshop in early July, a busy process of assembly, disassembly, modification and reassembly began. Mechanics mounted the electric motor and cooling unit. In an effort to cut down cost, front-wheel-drive transmission and steering standard parts were used from a conventional small car.
Once the major parts of the drive train and chassis were in place, body panels manufactured in Romania to StreetScooter’s specifications were fitted, along with the electrical harness for the high-voltage and low-voltage system, dashboard and specially designed lightweight seats.
A number of finishing touches were added to make sure everything fitted neatly together, but the StreetScooter team was able to immediately reconcile design modifications made during assembly.
After a total assembly time of approximately two months, on Friday September 2nd, the car was ready for the test track in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
StreetScooter will be presented to an international audience this week at the German International Auto Show IAA. According to insiders, a number of institutional customers who are looking for cheap and clean delivery and commute vehicles for inner city traffic are ready to sign contracts for delivery of several thousand StreetScooter vehicles.
The StreetScooter project aims to demonstrate that electrical vehicles can be produced at a competitive price in small batches by a network of supply-chain partners without the need for sustained government funding.
For more about StreetScooter’s approach to product development, visit the PLM Resource Center