PEM Motion: The center of excellence for sustainable mobility
From 2020, a center for sustainable mobility will be created in the Avantis business park
Life is moving back into the former production site of the photovoltaic manufacturer Trina Solar. After the buildings in Avantis-South were left empty for two years, several companies from the area of urban logistics will move there. We will move in as the main tenant in the first quarter of 2020 and as it is close, many PEM Motion partners will follow in early 2020, including the specialist for fuel cell and infrastructure solutions Alternative Energy Driven Solutions and Ducktrain, a developer of intelligent mini-freight transport trains for inner-city delivery that can autonomously follow cyclists or pedestrians.
Felix Delahaye, Managing Director of Avantis GOB & Services NV, welcomes the ambitious and future-oriented project: “PEM Motion and its partners basically close the circle to the idea of a science & business park that emerged at the end of the 90s. The past few years have successfully shown that trade and logistics already work on Avantis. Now the focus is increasingly moving towards research and development. We are convinced that the new competence center can also be an impulse for further settlements in this area and that a fruitful partnership results with regard to mobility in and around the business park.”
Prof. Dr. Manfred Sicking, board member and deputy for economic development, social affairs and housing of the city of Aachen, adds: “The competence center for sustainable mobility may be able to provide answers to some of the most pressing questions of our time. Once again it is evident that the Aachen universities and their spin-offs together with the Avantis business park, which at the time was also innovative as a cross-border industrial area, offers the opportunity to keep and develop such innovative spin-offs in Aachen.”
The initiators of the project already bring bundled competences in the field of sustainable mobility; Prof. Achim Kampker, Tobias Reil and Fabian Schmitt belong to the founding team of the StreetScooter GmbH in Aachen. Since 2014, the company has been a 100% subsidiary of Deutsche Post, which already uses over 11,000 of the yellow electric vans.
In parallel with the conversion of the building complex to Avantis, which is scheduled to start in January, further thematically fitting companies will follow.
The aim is to build a comprehensive competence center and innovation network for all challenges of sustainable mobility and logistics on Avantis in the medium term, which enables quick solutions with short distances. ConAC GmbH is the new owner of the property. Managing director Fabian Schmitt is optimistic about the coming years: “Here we are creating a unique ecosystem for sustainable mobility – a beacon project with radiance far beyond the region. With an innovative mobility concept for the employees of the newly established companies, we will be able to directly demonstrate what the path from A to B should look like in the future. ”A mix of velocity stations, charging stations for electric vehicles, pool e-scooters and e-cars, car sharing and public transport. Autonomous driving services are to follow.
Dr. Kai D. Kreisköther, who as managing director of the two micro logistics companies Velocity Mobility GmbH (Velocity) and DroidDrive GmbH (Ducktrain), sees direct added value for both companies as a result of the joint resettlement: “The center of excellence for sustainable mobility offers us the possibility to test and develop solutions and technologies in a real laboratory right on our doorstep with real customers. Especially when it comes to new, innovative approaches, it is important to involve users and citizens very early on and to get their feedback.”
The managing director of Alternative Energy Driven Solutions GmbH (AE for short) plans to set up a hydrogen experience world around the competence center, in which all topics relating to hydrogen as an energy source for the transport and energy sector are addressed and shown. “With our innovative and integrated approach to the production of green hydrogen, hydrogen refueling and fuel cell systems, we support cities and fleet operators in converting their respective fleets to alternative-powered vehicles,” says Tobias Reil. The strategic investor of Alternative Energy Driven Solutions GmbH, which was founded in 2019, is the NEUMAN & ESSER GROUP, which as a partner brings both expertise and far-reaching technical solutions in the field of hydrogen infrastructure to the project.
Humanotop idea becomes reality
Prof. Achim Kampker, who actively supports the establishment of the competence center, would like to take a decisive step further. He is currently negotiating with several cities and municipalities all over Germany on the implementation of sustainable city regions that provide all the necessary resources, from energy to water and food to mobility and infrastructure. At the new location in the Avantis industrial area, the conditions are ideal for realizing such a “Humanotop” on a small scale. “The plan is to sustainably generate all of our electricity needs through a photovoltaic system, to grow vegetables and fruit in our own roof garden and to create our own transport solutions for the employees,” said Kampker. For this purpose, the CO2 balance of the building is currently being determined in order to be completely resource neutral in the future.
About PEM Motion
PEM Aachen GmbH (PEM Motion since 2019) was founded in 2014 as part of the StreetScooter development as a spin-off of the chair for production technology for e-mobility components by Prof. Achim Kampker at RWTH Aachen University (PEM) with the aim of making knowledge accessible to other companies and thus to contribute to the mobility and energy transition. From a small team of innovatively thinking engineers, a company with over 90 employees has emerged, which today works worldwide for automobile manufacturers, mobility providers, suppliers and start-ups at three locations in Europe and North America and continues to expand with the development of Avantis.
Our CEO Dr. Christoph Deutskens, who was part of the core development team for the StreetScooter, is looking forward to the next step:
“PEM Motion is realizing the future of mobility – the new location offers excellent opportunities for our customers, because we can combine consulting, engineering, prototyping and testing in one location. For our employees, because we work in a strong and attractive innovation network.”