e.GO Life: Electric run-abouts for the city

The number of electric vehicles in Germany is rising steadily, but until now they still remain a peripheral phenomenon on German roads. e.GO Mobile AG, a start-up based in Aachen, means to change this: the company, which was founded by Prof. Günther Schuh, the inventor of the StreetScooter, is developing and producing a low-priced electric car for use in the city and hopes to boost electromobility in Germany with this vehicle.

Excessively high costs are one of the main reasons why car drivers decide against buying themselves an electric car. It is precisely this argument that e.Go Mobile AG, which emerged from a research project run by RWRH Aachen University, intends to eliminate. With its e.GO Life model, the Aachen start-up is developing and producing an electric car for less than 20,000 euros; the vehicle has a real range of over 100 kilometres, making it an ideal car for everyday use in cities and urban areas. The company says it aims to put an e-car on the market which is fun to drive and at the same time practical and affordable. The motto is, “Drive around the city by day and recharge with electricity in your own home in the evening.”

The founder and CEO of the company is Prof. Dr Günther Schuh. A professor for production systems at RWTH Aachen, he was already co-responsible for developing the StreetScooter. In 2014, the Deutsche Post bought up the company of the same name and is meanwhile not only using the vehicles for its own delivery services, but also producing the electric delivery vans for paying customers. The money from the sale of StreetScooter Research GmbH was channelled into the development of the e.GO Life.

Engine for progress:

  • Electric car manufacturer emerged directly from research
  • Electric car is tailor-made to meet day-to-day needs
  • Digital networking of all production areas and steps
  • Rapid vehicle development, very low development costs
  • First production vehicle to meet “Industry 4.0” criteria

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Photo: e.GO Mobile AG

“Drive around the city by day and recharge with electricity in your own home in the evening” – the e.GO Life is designed for day-to-day use in cities and urban areas.

Re-designed production processes

Just like its big brother, the e.GO Life is different from other electric cars. The vehicle has a completely new design; it has no unnecessary frills and is therefore suitable for low-cost mass production. The developers have relied on tried and tested concepts but have abandoned the usual conventions of car construction to some extent. The vehicle does not have the self-supporting body that is customary in the industry, for example; instead a “panelled framework”, consisting of steel tubes welded to sections of aluminium, forms the basis of the car. This method of construction reduces production costs. There is no need for an expensive pressing plant or a painting line, thanks to the unconventional outer shell of the e.GO Life. It consists of thermoplastic components that are already coloured right through when they are delivered. In keeping with the specific focus on its day-to-day use in urban areas, the e.GO Life has a relatively small battery for an electric vehicle. This not only saves resources when producing batteries; the resulting light weight of the vehicle, in comparison to other electric cars, also reduces the amount of energy needed to operate it. Due to the focus on short journeys, the developers also estimate that the batteries will be partially discharged more often than they are fully discharged, which in turn prolongs the lifespan of the battery.

The first production car to meet Industry 4.0 criteria

As a result of consistently using working methods such as a joint web-based development platform and a virtual reality laboratory, using digital production aids such as 3D printers and digital twins (a digital image of the vehicle being developed that is used to simulate changes) and extensive digital networking of all production areas and steps, the e.GO Life is the first production car to meet Industry 4.0 criteria. The development process stands out due to the fact that it has been extremely low cost (one tenth of the usual costs) and extraordinarily rapid: the idea of this electric car for the city only emerged in 2015, two years later the development phase was already concluded and the company plans to go into mass production in the course of 2018. To this end, an Industry 4.0 factory was opened in the district of Rothe Erde in Aachen in July 2018.

According to e.GO Mobile’s calculations, the potential demand for small electric cars, which are used to drive short distances in inner city areas, amounts to around 400,000 new vehicles per year. The company now intends to tap into this potential and is planning to produce around 15,000 vehicles in 2019.


Photo: e.GO Mobile AG

“Nowadays we urgently need to reduce NOx levels in inner cities. If we make affordable electric vehicles available to the private and public transport sectors, we will be able to achieve a rapid breakthrough in terms of the transport transition in our cities.”

Professor Dr Günther Schuh, CEO of e.GO Mobile AG

Partners and sponsors

Partners: Sponsors:
  • Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Energie, Industrie, Mittelstand und Handwerk (MWEIMH)
  • Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Energie, Industrie, Mittelstand und Handwerk (MWEIMH)
  • Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi)
  • Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Energie, Industrie, Mittelstand und Handwerk (MWEIMH)
  • Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi)
  • EU-Förderung
  • Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur (BMVI)

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