1. October 2020
Lightweight, safe and emission-free

The Safe Light Re­gion­al Ve­hi­cle makes its de­but

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Transport
Front view of the SLRV
Front view of the SLRV
Image 1/4, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

Front view of the SLRV

With its fu­tur­is­tic, sporty de­sign, and weigh­ing in at around 450 kilo­grams, the two-seater is a ful­ly-fledged L7e-class ve­hi­cle. The SLRV is suit­able for use as a com­muter car, bring­ing peo­ple to lo­cal pub­lic trans­port hubs, or as a car-shar­ing ve­hi­cle – es­pe­cial­ly in pe­riph­er­al ur­ban ar­eas or out­side of towns and cities.
Rollout of the Safe Light Regional Vehicle (SLRV)
Roll­out of the Safe Light Re­gion­al Ve­hi­cle (SLRV)
Image 2/4, Credit: © DLR. All rights reserved

Rollout of the Safe Light Regional Vehicle (SLRV)

The Safe Light Re­gion­al Ve­hi­cle (SLRV) cov­ers its ini­tial few me­tres on the Birkhau traf­fic train­ing area.
The making of the Safe Light Regional Vehicle (SLRV)
The mak­ing of the Safe Light Re­gion­al Ve­hi­cle (SLRV)
Image 3/4, Credit: ©DLR/FrankEppler

The making of the Safe Light Regional Vehicle (SLRV)

As­sem­bly and test­ing of the first SLRV pro­to­type at the DLR In­sti­tute of Ve­hi­cle Con­cepts in Stuttgart.
Assembly of the Safe Light Regional Vehicle (SLRV) cladding
As­sem­bly of the Safe Light Re­gion­al Ve­hi­cle (SLRV) cladding
Image 4/4, Credit: ©DLR/FrankEppler

Assembly of the Safe Light Regional Vehicle (SLRV) cladding

DLR em­ploy­ee Se­bas­tian Scheibe in­stalls the cladding of the SLRV pro­to­type be­fore it sets off on fur­ther test drives.
  • With the Safe Light Regional Vehicle (SLRV), DLR is showing a very light and at the same time particularly safe small electric vehicle.
  • The SLRV combines innovative lightweight construction with a highly efficient fuel cell drive. In this way, it enables resource-saving and safe mobility.
  • The futuristic two-seater is suitable as a commuter car, as a shuttle in public transport or as a car-sharing vehicle.
  • Focus: Transport, intelligent mobility

The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has developed a new, innovative small vehicle. The Safe Light Regional Vehicle (SLRV) is extremely light yet very safe. This is ensured by its sandwich design, which weighs only 90 kilograms and yet offers a high level of passive safety. The innovative lightweight concept combines a highly efficient fuel cell propulsion system with safe, resource-conserving mobility. On 1 October 2020, the DLR Institute of Vehicle Concepts presented the first prototype of this light commuter vehicle to the public.

"As a new mobility solution in the light vehicle class, the SLRV demonstrates that we can combine vehicle technology, usage conditions and cost-effectiveness. It lays the groundwork and provides a technology platform for local zero-emission mobility that is quiet and available for personal use," says Tjark Siefkes, Deputy Director of the DLR Institute of Vehicle Concepts.

Sandwich design – lightweight, inexpensive and safe

The body of the two-seater SLRV is 3.8 metres long and low-lying to ensure minimal aerodynamic resistance. It is both lightweight and safe – a combination that existing vehicles in this light vehicle class (L7e) often struggle to achieve. This is possible thanks to the metal sandwich construction method. The material used comprises a metal outer layer and a plastic foam inner layer. The front and rear parts of the SLRV are made of such sandwich panels and serve as crumple zones. These sections also house much of the vehicle technology. The passenger space consists of a shell with an attached ring structure that absorbs the forces that act on the car while driving and protects the occupants in a crash.

Structures utilising sandwich materials have not yet been used for cars in series production. DLR has demonstrated their potential and is now working on the next step – optimising the associated manufacturing technologies.

Zero emissions – a fuel cell / battery hybrid

In addition to its lightweight body, the SLRV also has a highly efficient hybrid propulsion system that ensures its operation is as resource-efficient as possible. The DLR researchers connected a small fuel cell with a continuous output of 8.5 kilowatts to a battery to create the power train. This provides an additional 25 kilowatts of power for accelerating. This combination weighs less than conventional battery systems, provides a range of aproximately 400 kilometres, and enables a maximum speed of 120 kilometres per hour. A 39-litre pressure tank sits inside the vehicle, between the two seats. It can store 1.6 kilograms of hydrogen at 700 bar. The SLRV uses waste heat from the fuel cell to heat its interior. The good thermal insulation of the bodywork, resulting from the use of the sandwich structures, reduces the energy consumption of the vehicle’s air conditioning system in winter.

Enjoyable, sustainable driving – commuter routes, car sharing and shuttle services

With its futuristic, sporty design, the 450-kilogram two-seater is a fully fledged L7e-class vehicle. Among other possible uses, the SLRV would be suitable for commuting, as a shuttle service for taking people to local public transport hubs, and for car-sharing, especially in peripheral urban areas or outside towns and cities thanks to its rapid hydrogen refuelling system. It could supplement local public transport in suburban or rural areas, or serve as an environment-friendly second car.

In terms of purchase price, the SLRV team currently estimates this to be approximately 15,000 euro. With a maximum mileage of 300,000 kilometres and a service life of 10 years, this equates to a price of roughly 10 cents per kilometre.

DLR's Next Generation Car (NGC) project

A total of 20 DLR institutes are working together to develop technology for the next generation but one of road vehicles as part of the Next Generation Car (NGC) project. Alongside the SLRV, there are two other vehicle concepts that also deal with the megatrend of urbanisation. The Urban Modular Vehicle (UMV) is a modular city car for private and commercial users, while the Inter Urban Vehicle (IUV) is designed for longer distances between metropolitan areas.

Contact
  • Denise Nüssle
    Ed­i­tor
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)

    Me­dia Re­la­tions
    Telephone: +49 711 6862-8086
    Fax: +49 711 6862-636
    Pfaffenwaldring 38-40
    70569 Stuttgart
    Contact
  • Prof. Dr. -Ing Tjark Siefkes
    Deputy Di­rec­tor and Head of De­part­ment
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    In­sti­tute of Ve­hi­cle Con­cepts
    Pfaffenwaldring 38-40
    70569 Stuttgart
    Contact
  • Michael Kriescher
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    In­sti­tute of Ve­hi­cle Con­cepts
    Pfaffenwaldring 38-40
    70569 Stuttgart
    Contact

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