Valmet Automotive, a Finnish service provider for the automotive industry, has successfully renewed its strategy and service offering. In addition to being an expert on premium cars and convertibles, the company is today a forerunner in the field of electric vehicles.
For the Geneva Motor Show Valmet Automotive has developed an innovative electric concept vehicle “Eva” to illustrate its capabilities in concept car development and complete car engineering. The company also presents three other vehicles which represent its cooperation with innovative green automotive companies.
“The Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Fisker Karma, the THINK City urban electric car and the Garia LSV Concept Car are the best evidence of our successful partnerships”, Mr. Ilpo Korhonen, President of Valmet Automotive, said in a press conference today. “Despite of the challenging global financial situation we have signed new engineering and manufacturing contracts.”
The engineering and manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicles is a rapidly growing field at Valmet Automotive. The manufacturing of Porsche Boxster and Porsche Cayman sports cars represents the company’s track record in the production of premium vehicles.
“We have anticipated the change in the automotive industry and renewed our strategy. Today, the engineering services, originally an integrated part of manufacturing, are also available on stand-alone basis. In addition to engineering and manufacturing we provide our customers with business services preceding engineering and following manufacturing. This way our customers can best benefit from our 40 years of experience in the automotive business.”
By developing an own electric concept vehicle Valmet Automotive aimed at developing new innovative solutions for body structures as well as powertrain and control systems and recharging of electric vehicles.
According to Mr. Korhonen, the idea was not to start manufacturing an own brand, but to develop Valmet Automotive’s knowhow in a way that benefits the company’s current and future customers. “Our aim is to offer a variety of tailor-made services from concept development to manufacturing of electric vehicles.”
“We started the project over a year ago with a market analysis and a concept study. We set a target to create a concept of a new urban electric vehicle for environmentally conscious European and American individuals and families, a car for driving not only for showing”, Mr. Korhonen said.
As a result of the analysis, a 2+2 seat urban electric vehicle for families with a range of 160 km and top speed of 120 km/h was created.
The aluminum space frame of “Eva” is optimized for an electric vehicle and the modularity makes it easily adaptable to different types of vehicles. A direct drive motor simplifies the vehicle’s mechanical structure and increases efficiency. The HMI (Human Machine Interface) indicates the future communication needs between the driver and the electric vehicle. The powertrain control systems have been developed in cooperation with universities.
Valmet Automotive invited a dozen of innovative companies and universities to bring their expertise to the project. The partner companies are Fortum, Nokia, NAVTEQ, Vacon, Nokian Tyres, Idis Design, Cadring, AXCO-Motors, Hybria, Powerfinn, Convergens, Aalto University, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and RLE International.
Fortum is a leading energy company focusing on the Nordic countries, Russia and the Baltic Rim area. Its activities cover the generation, distribution and sale of electricity and heat and the operation and maintenance of power plants. Fortum’s vision is to be the benchmark power and heat company excelling in sustainability.
Fortum has in cooperation with UTU ELEC developed a charging station, which starts and ends charging of an electric vehicle by SMS. There are four different outlets in the charging station: Nordic Schuko, Mennekes pre-standard 0–63 A, Caravan outlet and 3-phase factory standard outlet.
Nokia is showing a new technology to allow its smartphones to connect to and exchange information with the in-car infotainment system. If adopted as an industry standard this technology, called Terminal Mode, would allow the full range of smartphone features, services and applications to be accessed through a car’s own speakers and displays. Just as importantly it also allows the smartphone to access performance and other data from the vehicle itself.
NAVTEQ is offering a broad range of features and attributes geo-referenced to its high quality digital map that enable more advanced use cases beyond navigation and routing. Electric and hybrid cars such as the concept vehicle by Valmet Automotive, use knowledge of the road network to regulate speed and acceleration to maximize range of the vehicle in the most eco-efficient way, as well as calculate point of no return or to identify reachable charging stations and calculate routes. With information on sharp curves or steep hills for example, as provided by NAVTEQ, eco-friendly driving and routing can be enabled and improved.