In cooperation with the start-up company Share Your Bicar University of Applied Science in Zurich (Switzerland) GEM motors is developing a unique Bicar project, an original concept of urban mobility that will make a significant contribution to reducing pollution and facilitate mobility in urban areas. This year, the project was also supported by EUREKA, an independent European program which promotes cross-border cooperation projects to conduct market-oriented industrial research and development and is aimed at boosting productivity and competitiveness of the economy.
GEM motors, a Kamnik based company, has developed an innovative multi-phase electric motor with permanent magnets that is fully integrated into the wheel and operates on the basis of patented modular technology. Their solutions are used by major international manufacturers of light electric vehicles, worldwide. Their customers come from Europe, South America, India, Canada, Indonesia and other countries.
One of the latest projects the company is involved in is Bicar, a pioneering project and a unique concept of urban mobility that is user and environment friendly. A three-wheel drive electric vehicle has been developed in cooperation with the start-up company Share Your Bicar of the Applied Sciences University of Zurich and represents a unique solution for places that are experiencing traffic congestion due to the use of personal vehicles. For the Bicar vehicle, GEM motors has developed an advanced and ultra-compact propulsion unit with greater efficiency and modular design. The propulsion technology combines an electric motor, a controller, a control unit on the vehicle and a battery pack and all the sensors on the vehicle. During the project, the propulsion technology will be upgraded with communication technology, which will enable the constant flow of vehicle information and connection with smart applications, which will allow the user to easily use the vehicle in urban transport.
Bicar, with its light weight of only 120 kilograms and small dimensions, greatly contributes to reduced energy consumption. Due to the electric propulsion, it has 140 times less carbon dioxide emissions per kilometer than an ordinary car, it is quiet and reaches a speed of up to 45 kilometers per hour. Vehicles looking for a parking spot today account for up to 45% of all urban traffic , and because of its compactness and small size, Bicar will contribute to the efficient use of parking space, as it is much smaller than a regular car. In addition, it offers full protection to the driver against weather and rain, allowing the vehicle to be used every day of the year.
»The development of Bicar, with a predicted market release in Switzerland in 2020, was a technologically challenging project. It is based on the state-of-the-art technological knowledge in the production of lightweight composite materials and a unique mechanism for tilting the vehicle. The development of the concept of the vehicle was based on the needs of end users and, as such, is actually a pioneering project in the European Union. We are convinced that our drive technology and solutions will successfully pass the challenging phase of testing and deployment in Swiss cities, and thus becoming a model example of the development of the system for the sharing of small electric vehicles in the urban environment. The system will be available to the user throughout the day, every day of the week, and users will be able to book the vehicle using a mobile application, Simon Mandelj, director of GEM motors, adds: “We believe that the system of efficient urban e-mobility will also be adopted in other European cities, thus contributing to solving urban environmental congestion. Bicar is an ideal solution for cities that are already preparing for the introduction of environmental zones, i.e. Zero Emission or Low Emission Zones, where the use of harmful emission vehicles will be prohibited.«
By 2050, fossil fuel vehicles will disappear from cities
By 2050, more than 70% of the world’s population will live in cities and urban settlements , which will be reflected in an increasingly concentrated traffic. Air pollution, which is also contributable to urban traffic, accounts for more than 3 million deaths annually, with 96% of people living in large cities exposed to pollution levels above the recommended values . Therefore, the use of passenger cars, representing as much as 70% of urban mobility in Europe and other parts of the world, has to be significantly reduced and replaced by light and small electric vehicles. Consequently, more and more countries are preparing measures to reduce or even prohibit the use of fossil fuel vehicles in cities. The European Commission intends to halve the number of fossil fuel vehicles in towns by 2030 and ban them completely by 2050.
Without electric mobility, there are no sustainable cities
The Energy Concept of Slovenia, a strategic document with guidelines for the transition to a low-carbon society, prepared by the Ministry of Infrastructure this year, envisages, among other things, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 and by 80-95% by 2050. Among the priorities are the transport policies that lead to the provision of transient mobility and the transition to 100% electric mobility.
»The speed of the development of the use of e-mobility and the systems of sharing small and light electric vehicles also depends on the infrastructure, the investments of the municipalities and the state, and above all the mentality. It is necessary to understand that electric mobility is not only a trend, but an urgent solution for quality living in the urban environment,« adds Dr. Mandelj.
Dr. Simon Mandelji, founder and CEO
GEM motors is an innovative Slovenian company, focused on the development and production of innovative and genuine propulsion solutionsfor electric mobility. It is a member of the Ljubljana University Incubator and cooperates with various research institutes and partners in the field of electric drives. Based on the years of research and development, the company has introduced an innovative multi-phase electric motor with permanent magnets built into the wheel and operates on the basis of patented modular technology. GEM motors is also the first Slovenian company to win the “Fast Track to Innovation” tender, and acquired European funds of 1.99 million euros for the development of serial production, which makes it one of the most innovative companies in Europe.
More information about the Share Your Bicar project is available at this address.
The investment is co-financed by the Republic of Slovenia and the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund. »The project is co-financed in the amount of 248.366,00 €. More at www.eu-skladi.si.«
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 Donald Shoup, The High Cost of Free Parking, 1st Ed. 2011.
 Lim, S. S. et al. Lancet, 2012, 380, 2224–2260.
Keywords: innovative solutions, advanced, urban, e-mobility