Minister of Economics Hubert Aiwanger learns about green drive concept at THI

Driving emission-free and hundreds of kilometres without expanding the gas station infrastructure? The Gumpert company and scientists from Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt are working on this vision. The Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy has been funding the joint project since 2021. Minister Hubert Aiwanger came to see the results for himself.

Drei Männer stehen nebeneinander

[Translate to English:] THI-Präsident Walter Schober (links) und Unternehmer Roland Gumpert (Mitte) begrüßten Bayerns Wirtschaftsminister Hubert Aiwanger an der Hochschule und informierten ihn über den aktuellen Forschungsstand zum Brennstoffzellen-Antrieb.

Mehrere Menschen stehen in einem Labor vor technischen Geräten

[Translate to English:] Professor Karl Huber vom Institut für Innovative Mobilität (IIMo) der THI (2. von rechts) erklärte Wirtschaftsminister Hubert Aiwanger (3. von rechts) den Aufbau und die Funktionsweise des Brennstoffzellen-Antriebs.

Ein 3,5-Tonner auf einem Rollenprüfstand

[Translate to English:] Mit einem Transporter wird auf dem Rollenprüfstand im Labor der THI der Antrieb im Regelbetrieb simuliert.

A new technical approach could revolutionise the mobility of the future. The company Gumpert Automobile GmbH is researching so-called high-temperature methanol fuel cell vehicles in cooperation with Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt (THI). For this purpose, engineer and company founder Roland Gumpert is developing a fuel cell kit for transport vehicles, the so-called Gumpert Power Cell (GPC). The vehicle fills up with green methanol at a conventional filling station, which is then converted onboard to hydrogen for direct power generation.

In this way, the electric motor can be operated over long distances and the comparatively small HV battery can be constantly recharged. Gumpert Automobile GmbH is a pioneer of this hydrogen technology and is working with the THI on a research project to provide scientific support for the project. The project is funded by the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy through the project management agency Bayern Innovativ.

Professor Karl Huber explained his experimental set-up to Minister Aiwanger

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karl Huber from the Institute for Innovative Mobility (IIMo) is the project leader at the university. He has set up a drivetrain in the laboratory, where he takes measurements and conducts tests with regard to function and efficiency. Together with the Gumpert company, he presented this test setup to Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs Hubert Aiwanger on Friday, 17 March 2023.
In his welcoming address, THI President Walter Schober emphasised THI's enormous research activities in the fields of mobility and AI: "As part of the High-Tech Agenda Bavaria, Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences plays an important role as a mobility hub. THI works together with around 300 partners from industry. I am very pleased that this cooperation for the development of the vehicles of the future is generously supported by politics."

Roland Gumpert emphasised: "The future of mobility is vehicles with electric powertrains. The advantage of the Gumpert Power Cell is the generation of the electricity requirement, using green methanol as an energy source, in the vehicle. This means that we are independent of the electricity grid and do not place an additional burden on it. In addition, we can charge at any charging station or fill up with methanol at the petrol station. Thus, we are range-independent."

Hubert Aiwanger emphasises important role of fuel cell drives

Bavaria's Minister of Economic Affairs, Hubert Aiwanger, said: "The only right way to climate-friendly mobility is through openness to technology. That is why we are focusing our efforts in Bavaria on various innovative forms of propulsion. In addition to battery-electric vehicles, fuel cell drives and e-fuels will also play an important role in the transport mix of the future. The research project combines the advantages of electromobility with the simplicity of refuelling as with classic combustion engines. We want to further research the innovative technology and make it ready for series production. That is why we are supporting Gumpert Automobile GmbH in this endeavour together with strong Bavarian partners such as Ideenion Automobil AG and the Ingolstadt Technical University."