2012 – 2016, funded by DAAD
Answering to the renewed research call “A New Passage to India” by DAAD the project “Indo-German Automotive Life Cycle Engineering” was launched in 2012. With two extensions in 2014 and for a short term period in 2016 the project lasted 4 ½ years and therefore has been the longest of the cooperation’s projects so far.
It started with the idea to develop a concept of green and electric “Campus Mobility” for BITS Pilani, and aimed, in a broader context, to compile green transportation systems for India in a whole. “Campus Mobility” ought to be an application scenario to think about sustainable, energy-efficient vehicle manufacturing for a country differing from Germany in terms of standards, requirements, and infrastructures. India seemed all the more the perfect match as it is a country with the world’s highest concentration of megacities and quickly increasing mobility needs. The consideration of local articularities of a product‘s and a vehicle’s life cycle, respectively—different conditions of its development, production, utilisation, recycling—was as crucial to the project as the concept of an adaptable vehicle. A comprehensive vehicle concept should be developed that would work for both of the country-specific mobility scenarios, in economic and ecological ways, and that could be adapted to the particular characteristics of climate, availability of resources, quality standards, price level, etc. The identification and comparison of two very different mobility concepts constituted the ideal framework for the development of an adaptable vehicle concept, multi-variant, but efficient and effective in production.
As the project progressed the aspect of energy supply became more and more important. It was to assure, for instance, that the use of e-mobility would not just shift the problem of CO2 emissions from traffic to power generation. Starting with a concrete scenario the project was extended to make visible the complexity of sustainable mobility concepts.
Besides IWF and BITS Pilani, the Institute for Engineering Design (IK—Institut für Konstruktionstechnik) of TU Braunschweig, Vel Tech Dr. RR & Dr. SR Technical University (Vel Tech) in Chennai, and the Automotive Research Association India (ARAI) in Pune were partially involved as they were working on similar topics.
More than 30 students and researchers of IWF and BITS took part in the project and its exchange program learning about cultural differences by exploring the diverse, country-specific conditions of mobility.