Around the world in 80 days – part 1
Every year TMC supports several projects to contribute to meaningful and innovative developments in technology. Recently TMC started with the sponsoring of STORM Eindhoven. In this project a dedicated group of technical skilled students of the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) made it their mission to compete in the “80 Day Race” with the first electric touring motorcycle that has ever been made!
STORM Eindhoven is founded by a couple of TU/e students who wanted to combine their talents and skills in an innovative project. ‘We wanted to turn a concept of an electric motorcycle into the realization of the first electric touring motorcycle using only renewable resources,’ Yuri Steinbuch, one of the initiators of STORM tells. ‘Due to the high costs and specific technical knowledge our project partially depends on sponsoring. I knew Edwin de Zeeuw, director TMC Mechatronics, from an earlier project and I was happy to hear that TMC was willing to sponsor our project.’ The sponsoring includes a donation and the provision of technical knowledge. ‘In STORM we see a future-proof concept that contributes to sustainability in a very unique and innovative way,’ Edwin tells. ‘Moreover, we were happily surprised by the technical and entrepreneurial skills of the students. The multidisciplinary and innovative aspects of the STORM project perfectly meets our way of working at TMC and underlines our vision of “People Drive Technology”!’
So far, the collaboration has been a great success. TMC organised a pizza session to discuss the latest technologies for the STORM project. Besides that, Employeneurs Sanath Ventakesan, Rene Kregting, Artunc Ulucan, Erik Vermeer and Maurice Beusink, have supported the team by sharing their knowledge and skills on subjects like traction control, mechanical engineering, specific software and sustainability. Sanath tells about this: ‘I was especially interested in this project because we needed to develop a control system with a lot of challenging tasks. Since I am the first point of contact for the students, I give advise about technical issues and know how’s. Besides that, I have worked two days a week on the project, until I was committed to a client. I still have very close contact with STORM and attend meetings in which we discuss the progress.’ Rene adds to this: ‘Unlike race motors, this design had to be strong enough to travel long distances in a comfortable way. So after the first concept Maurice and I made some adjustments to decrease the weight of the motorcycle. Working at this project was a very nice experience for both of us, due to the multidisciplinary aspects of STORM and the innovative vision of the students.’
80 Day Race
During the process the STORM team decided to take part in the “80 Day Race”, a Dutch concept that invites companies all over the world to join in a race around the world with a sustainable and self-developed vehicle. The race will be held in April 2017 and it combines speed, strategy and sustainability in a unique way. STORM found this was the perfect opportunity to challenge their electric motorcycle. ‘Electric cars have already become part of our daily practice, that’s why we have chosen to build an electric touring motorcycle,’ Maartje tells. ‘Our motorcycle delivers an outstanding performance with a range of 380 kilometres due to a 28,5kWh battery pack. These batteries are an important part of the innovative modular system for the race, allowing the way of driving to be adjusted to the environment everywhere on the globe. With this design we are able to drive 40.000 km within 80 days and introducing an improved, sustainable and attractive new way of travelling that shows the world what driving in the future looks and feels like!’
Currently, the STORM team is waiting for the last engine parts to arrive, before starting on the assembly of the motorcycle. After that, the first prototype will be tested for the race. Yuri: ‘We are very excited about the race and the fact that – so far – we are the only team who will take part and competes with an electric motorcycle!’ Maartje: ‘Besides that, we’re offering companies and other interested people the opportunity to participate in our project. For this we set up several crowdfunding actions, like adopting a battery cell, block, slice or cartridge.’ With the knowledge and experience of the race, the team hopes to be able to produce the first small series of the motorcycle. With this a dream of the students will come true!
For more information about the 80 Day Race, STORM and sponsoring, please visit these websites: www.storm-eindhoven.nl / www.80dr.com.