Reservation lists have been popular with electric vehicle pioneers – look no further than Tesla’s Elon Musk – and Günther Schuh, a professor and manufacturing expert, is no exception. Before he designed his urban car called e.GO Life, he had built electric vans for Deutsche Post, Germany’s largest provider of mail and shipping services. Now, his minivehicle is going into production and Schuh’s list shows as many as 2,900 preorders.
Schuh, who holds the chair of production engineering at RWTH Aachen University, is the founder and chief executive of e.GO Mobile, also based in Aachen. Since May, the company’s Factory 1, said to be inaugurated in mid-July, has been spitting out the first e.GO Life cars, planned to be shipped late this year, to meet Schuh’s production schedule.
The company is expected to sell 1,000 units in 2018, which means that many preordering customers will have to wait a little while longer. Like Tesla, Schuh is planning to ramp up production in a short amount of time, as the schedule calls for 10,000 vehicles to be manufactured in 2019. The last three months of this year would see the car being produced in two shifts, he said. “That means one e.GO Life every 10 minutes,” he promised.
He believes that electric vehicles don’t require the same range as their petroleum-burning counterparts. Consequently, the minicar has been designed primarily for short-distance travel and commuting. Based on the number of lithium batteries installed, the four-seater can go between 130 and 200 kilometers, or 81 and 124 miles, on a single charge. In a real-world urban setting, though, the range will be about 20 percent lower.
Besides a love for electric cars, the price will have had a major impact on reservation numbers. Schuh said that the 14.9-kilowatt-hour vehicle, which offers a range of 136 kilometers, or 85 miles, would cost EUR 15,900.
Next up, a minibus
But the startup is not resting on its laurels. Its next project is an electric minibus called e.GO Mover to transport up to 15 people around town. The vehicle has already been part of several pilot projects. It is planned to go into production in mid-2019.
Written by Niels Hendrik Petersen