The energy behind the Personal insights into the development of the first all-electric
How much of
The sound – the acoustic business card of the
“The drive units are our instruments”, says Tobias Hillers, Active Sound Design Manager. He sees himself clearly as an engineer, not a designer or even composer – but with a flair for music. Even during his studies, he specialised in vehicle acoustics – a passion that has accompanied him since childhood days. He and his team are the specialists behind the sound of the new
No easy task, because not only the customers, but also the press and
“My job is to make our electric vehicles sound like a
For Tobias and his team, it was clear: the sound must be authentic and match the vehicle. This means that the sound must come from the vehicle. From the drive units – the instruments. Because the drives of an electric vehicle also generate noises. They are just different from those of a combustion engine. When developing a sound for electric vehicles, it is then crucial to highlight those parts of the drive that sound good or match the vehicle and filter out the unwanted sounds.
For this purpose, the drive units are measured over the entire speed range on test stands. This measurement data is digitally processed to produce the desired sound. To achieve this, many subjective and objective comparisons are made in sound development. The subjective audio samples and surveys in the recording studio are particularly important. Here, different sounds are played to several test persons so as to establish what the customers want based on their reactions. This is how Tobias and the team finally create a sound over several iteration stages, giving the driver feedback on the driving condition and arousing emotions.
The result: the
The interior – stunning outside, "OLEA" inside.
What shapes the typical character of a
In addition, every material to be installed in a
After a 24-month development phase, with the "OLEA" club leather, the team around Cornelia, Ekrem and Jari have created a leather for the
The skin for the leather comes preferably from Southern German bulls. Because their skins are very large, about 5–6 square metres. And they are of a particularly high quality. This means that the leather shows little damage, for example from injuries, which indicates that the animals are kept in a good state of welfare.
Speaking of looks – what about aesthetics? The "OLEA" leather is inspired by classic club armchairs, which develop a very special character in the course of their natural ageing process. This should also be achieved for the
The charging infrastructure – full charge
Simon Schulze always saw himself as a bit of a petrol head. But that changed with his first ride in an electric vehicle. He is particularly fascinated by the dynamic aspect, the unleashing of power of the new
It is Simon's job to ensure that everything runs smoothly. As the Product Manager for charging infrastructure, he focuses on the existing and future products that make up the
"The special thing about it is that every morning I can get into my car with a full tank." – Simon Schulze, Product Manager – E-Mobility Infrastructure
Here you can help shape the future. Starting with an initial idea, a need, which is laid down in the Product Mission, Simon accompanies the complete development process of a product until it is ready for series production. He defines requirements, lays down specifications, works with designers, meets suppliers. His most important task: to take the place of the customer. “My main job is to express the customer requirements. Also to tell the developers, I know it's expensive or elaborate, but we need it for our customers.”
In doing so, he also faces the challenges posed by charging equipment. For example, many countries need different connector types to be connected to the respective infrastructure, or require different certification measures.
Finally, all products undergo end-to-end testing, i.e. product function testing. For example, all interfaces to the back end, the vehicle and the external energy management system of a
Because that is what makes
Production – break new ground.
When Milan Spasic comes to work in the morning, he knows exactly what to expect: “First we meet before work starts, have coffee together, talk a little and then, at 6:00 am on the morning shift, we start work.” Milan has been part of the
“I know every single screw in our section. Every process, every component.” – Milan Spasic, Stroke Module Producer
Starting with the assembly of the sports cars, he then moved to the final assembly of the 918 Spyder. When he heard that a new plant was being constructed for a new model that no one had ever built before, it was immediately clear that he had to be a part of it. You can feel his passion for the brand and the vehicles. And for his work. He really knows his way around the new production facility, which was built especially for the
The biggest change with the switch to an electric drive is probably working with the high-voltage battery and its components. The "marriage", as the joining of the body with the engine is called in automotive manufacturing, now means the connection of the rear axle, front axle and battery. Cable harnesses and coolant hoses are laid, various HV components and the battery are screw-fastened and contacted. But there are also other things that are different in the new plant, which in the long term is to become a "Zero Impact Factory" – a production facility without a negative environmental impact: new equipment, new facilities with unmanned systems, new cycle times.
Among all the innovations, the increasing digitalisation is particularly noticeable: there is no longer an accompanying folder in the vehicles. All information can be accessed digitally via monitors. The factory is almost paperless. “I think it's right that we display much more digitally in the work steps”, says Milan, “because we have a high quality standard, and only through digitalisation can we ensure it sufficiently.” For example, 80% of the screwdrivers in Milan's section are controlled via Bluetooth. This means that each screw connection is stored in the system and the respective screw system only works when that particular vehicle is driven in. After the screw connection, it is marked as completed by a visual signal – one hundred percent assurance that every screw joint has been made.
Before the vehicle leaves the first floor, after five conveyor sections, and heads to final assembly, the colleagues check all HV components once again. Whether all components are correctly connected and the cooling water hoses are contacted. “No one here would be able to assemble the vehicle alone. Only as a team can we deliver the quality we want to achieve before the vehicles go to the customers.”
Teamwork. Enthusiasm. Passion for our own craft. And a pinch of pioneering spirit. These are the ingredients that go into the new