Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
If one enters the term “electro-mobility” together with the sentence fragment “completely new possibilities” into a search engine, one gets an astonishing number of hits. With one click numerous quotations appear, expressing the spirit of optimism surrounding the electric car. Spokespersons from energy companies extol the sales opportunities for electricity, suppliers of automobile parts see business potential in the field of battery development and engineers rave about the options in vehicle construction. Although the subject is by no means new, electro-mobility now seems to have been positively received on a broad scale, now that the political will to implement it is at hand.
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
For example, Lutz Fügener in an interview entitled “New Possibilities”. The automotive designer is convinced that “electric cars [sooner or later] will have their own unique design language”, http://www.berlinonline.de/themen/auto-und-motor/autotechnik/1003157-61213-kühlervoneautosschaffenplatzfürideen.de.html, accessed: 19.05.2012.
The latest headlamp technology traditionally plays a role here. Cf. “Des einer Freud, des anderen Light”, in: Auto Motor und Sport, No. 13, 2012, p. 124 ff.
At Volkswagen, for example, the Polo, Golf, Passat and Phaeton model series constitute a vertical product family; at BMW the 1-series, 3-series, 5-series, 6-series and 7-series, etc.
The term “artist’s habitus” is fundamental: Ruppert 1998.
The comparatively strong orientation of car designers towards the artist’s habitus is expressed, among other things, in the fact that they work in the medium of expressive drawings or volume models, especially at the beginning of product development. In these media, the character of the object ranks before the character of the product; what is conveyed is an “automotive” expression rather than depicting an already completed car. This expression is only transferred to the technical artefact “car” in the product development process.
Representatives of the automobile industry postulate—albeit in abstract form—a connection between the development of purpose-designed electric cars and an imminent change in mobility culture. For example, BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer is quoted in a broadsheet newspaper article on the status of electric car developments: “Tomorrow’s mobility will be different from today’s”, Süddeutsche Zeitung of 12–13 January 2013, p. V2/11.
Stefan Rammler, Director of the Institute for Transportation Design (ITD) at the University of Fine Arts Braunschweig, in an interview in Design Report, issue 3/ 2012, p. 31.
The architecture critic Niklas Maak points to the connection between car design and urban culture. In his perception, the design of modern SUVs is calculated to symbolically transform public space into “battle zones”. Niklas Maak: “Die heisse und die kalte Stadt”, in: TU München and Bayrische Akademie der Schönen Künste (ed.): Die Tradition von morgen. Architektur in München seit 1980, Munich 2012, p. 29.
Unfortunately, the marginalization of the aesthetic-symbolic dimension of creative work in the German discourse on design remains a stubbornly entrenched cliché. In the design report (Issue 3/ 2012: Electro-Mobility), for example, there is an illustration that is accompanied by a particularly unfortunate comment by the editors: “First the concept, then the form: sketches for a small van with electric drive” (ibid. p. 32). Apart from the fact that there can be no concept without form, this cliché persistently ignores the reality of the dynamics of creativity, within which ideas can emerge in an intuitive play with forms and images, the content of which goes beyond the purely pictorial.
The charging of the BMW i3 as an icon of e-mobility was indicated at an early stage in the form of its media representation. For example, in a large-format article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on the status of the “Electric Offensive” (12–13 January 2013). The article is illustrated with a total of four illustrations, whereby the BMW i3 is shown several times larger than the electric cars of other manufacturers. the stylistically comparable i8 model was also euphorically commented on in the design report as early as 2012: “Innovation in the fast lane: the BMW i8 Spyder as an elaborately designed image carrier” (issue 3/2012: Elektromobilität. p. 38).
In the test phases of technical development, test drives in public spaces are always carried out using externally heavily disguised prototypes (so-called “Erlkönigen”).
In the words of automobile designer Lutz Fügeners: “After all, […] [the customers] have been used to conventional cars for many decades and need some time to get used to [electric cars]”, http://www.berlinonline.de/themen/auto-und-motor/autotechnik/1003157-61213-kühlervoneautosschaffenplatzfürideende.html-und-motor/autotechnik/1003157-61213-kühlervoneautosschaffenplatzfürideende.html Access: 16.10.2019.
Unless otherwise stated, the following quotes are taken from this interview: http://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/news/adrian-van-hooydonk-im-interview-der-bmw-designchef-ueber-die-e-zukunft-3815578.html
The VW Golf, introduced in 1974, weighed 810 kg and had a DIN consumption of 5.2 l/100 km at 90 km/h (model variant Formula E).
The best known example of this is probably the NSU RO 80, introduced in 1967 and designed by Hans Luthe (cf. Aicher 1984: 41).
The earliest example of this would be the “streamlined form”, symbolically charged as early as the 1930s, which quickly became an aesthetic cipher for the fascinating intoxication of speed. For some time it had a style-forming character in automobile design, and this although it had in fact produced no noteworthy advantages—the “Volkswagen” developed by Ferdinand Porsche around 1930 (the later KdF car or VW Beetle) is certainly the most prominent example of an automobile designed in the spirit of the streamline.
The statement that “the driver is virtually sitting on the battery and the electric motor” is misleading, since according to the published illustrations the motor is positioned above the rear axle.
On the other hand, it can be assumed that the i3 will be higher than a comparable gasoline-powered car due to the superimposed arrangement of drive, energy storage and the passenger compartment. This could mean that a larger number of such cars, especially when parked in confined urban spaces, could obstruct the lines of sight and appear bulky. A similarly regrettable phenomenon can be observed in connection with the current proliferation of luxury SUVs in inner-city locations.
The images published pre-release are computer representations and photos of prototypes that had been presented at road shows since 2011.
The front of the Audi E-Tron, for example, lights up blue when the battery is being charged, http://www.berlinonline.de/themen/auto-und-motor/autotechnik/1003157-61213-kühlervoneautosschaffenplatzfürideende.html, accessed: 19.05.2012.
The commentary accompanying one of the photos with which the BMW M1 homage car was presented on Spiegel Online in April 2008 explicitly referred to its aggressive appearance: “Düsterer Kumpan: bei dieser Beleuchtung wirkt das BMW M1 Hommage Car beinahe furchteinflößend”. [“Grim sidekick: with this lighting equipment the BMW M1 homage car looks almost fearsome.”]. http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/bmw-m1-hommage-car-keil-fuer-die-zukunft-fotostrecke-31014-6.html, accessed: October 2, 2012.
This striking formulation, concerning the connection between aesthetic experience and feelings, comes from the conductor Rupert Huber. In a radio interview he described Richard Wagner’s compositions as music that releases “egoblähende Kräfte” (ego-bloating forces) and provokes in the listeners an emotional “detachment” from their fellow human beings. Deutschlandfunk, April 2008.
Multiple answers were possible.
This term was coined by Wolfgang Sachs, in: Die Liebe zum Automobil. Ein Rückblick in die Geschichte unserer Wünsche. Reinbeck near Hamburg, 1990.
One example of such an approach is the “EO smart connecting car” project, which was developed at the Bremen site of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). The concept is based on the daring assumption that the drivers of electric cars are willing to give up their individual driving experience in order to link their vehicle with similar vehicles of other drivers to so-called “road trains”. The advantage of this solution would be lower energy consumption (shifted to the individual vehicle) and a greater range.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung reports on the former SAP manager Shai Agassi, for example. In an almost full-page interview on March 15, 2010, the newspaper presented him as a business pioneer who had recently succeeded in acquiring $700 million in investment capital for his e-mobility company, Better Place. On October 13, 2012, the newspaper reported under the heading “Battery Empty” that Agassi had to resign from his executive position at Better Place because the company had fallen far short of the sales forecasts for electric cars in Israel and Denmark.
The Renault 4 was produced from 1961 to 1992. With a total volume of over 8 million units, it is one of the best-selling automobiles ever.
In the words of an R4-driving personnel manager (45): “A certain bizarreness—I don’t want to say ugliness—also ensures great individuality and timelessness. R4 design is ultimately good design, because even after 30 years, it doesn’t look embarrassing at all.” Quoted in an article in Motor Klassik magazine, issue 7/2011, p. 64.
The advertising campaign for the Fiat Panda, for example, illustrated this expression in the slogan “The Wonderful Box” (“Die tolle Kiste”).
In his study “Criticism of the Car”, the influential communication designer Otl Aicher expressly praised Giugaro’s achievements: “The Golf was already striking, but the Uno has an overarching aesthetic character. It is even elegant” (cf. Aicher 1984: 46).
go back to reference Geertz, Clifford (1987): Dichte Beschreibung. Beiträge zum Verstehen kultureller Systeme. Frankfurt M. Geertz, Clifford (1987): Dichte Beschreibung. Beiträge zum Verstehen kultureller Systeme. Frankfurt M.
go back to reference Leggewie, Claus (2011): Mut statt Wut. Aufbruch in eine neue De mokratie. Hamburg. Leggewie, Claus (2011): Mut statt Wut. Aufbruch in eine neue De mokratie. Hamburg.
go back to reference Maak, Nicklas (2012): Die kalte und die heiße Stadt. In: TU München und Bayrische Akademie der Schönen Künste (Ed.): Die Tradition von morgen. Architektur in München seit 1980. München. Maak, Nicklas (2012): Die kalte und die heiße Stadt. In: TU München und Bayrische Akademie der Schönen Künste (Ed.): Die Tradition von morgen. Architektur in München seit 1980. München.
go back to reference Ruppert, Wolfgang (1998): Der moderne Künstler. Zur Sozial- und Kulturgeschichte der kreativen Individualität in der kulturellen Moderne im 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt M. Ruppert, Wolfgang (1998): Der moderne Künstler. Zur Sozial- und Kulturgeschichte der kreativen Individualität in der kulturellen Moderne im 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt M.
go back to reference Schrader, Haltwart/Dominique Pascal (1999): Renault – Vom R4 zum Kangoo. Stuttgart. Schrader, Haltwart/Dominique Pascal (1999): Renault – Vom R4 zum Kangoo. Stuttgart.
go back to reference ADAC Motorwelt, Heft 9, September 2012, Die Wut am Steuer ADAC Motorwelt, Heft 9, September 2012, Die Wut am Steuer
go back to reference Aicher, Otl (1984): Schwierige Verteidigung des Autos gegen seine Anbeter. München Aicher, Otl (1984): Schwierige Verteidigung des Autos gegen seine Anbeter. München
go back to reference Auto Motor und Sport, Heft 13, 2012, Des einen Freud, des anderen Light Auto Motor und Sport, Heft 13, 2012, Des einen Freud, des anderen Light
go back to reference Design Report, Heft 3, 2012, Für morgen denken Design Report, Heft 3, 2012, Für morgen denken
go back to reference Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 12. Januar 2012, Das Leben, vom Tode her gedacht Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 12. Januar 2012, Das Leben, vom Tode her gedacht
go back to reference Süddeutsche Zeitung, 12./13. Januar 2013, Strom aufwärts Süddeutsche Zeitung, 12./13. Januar 2013, Strom aufwärts
- Completely New Possibilities
- Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden
- Sequence number
- Chapter number
AVL List GmbH/© AVL List GmbH, dSpace, BorgWarner, Smalley, Valeo Logo/© Valeo, FEV, Ansys