While we usually connect Croatian Rimac Automobili with somewhat pricey electric supercars and other vehicles (take a look at Concept_One or Greyp Bikes), technology developed for them can be used in various applications. This time an adapted battery system was integrated into a standard wheelchair in order to improve the user’s quality of life. Rolly Bugnar, a bright young man that was testing the new system for the last seven months, shared his story today.
Rolly talks about his daily routine in the video – his friend lives 1,5 kilometers down a steep hill from his home and he visits him every day so they can work on various hobby projects in his garage. But Rolly couldn’t’ visit him for some time now, because batteries for his wheelchair were too weak. Their range is the biggest problem – it is very limited and Rolly wants to be even more independent. Even though he was very careful with the batteries (he charged them regularly, didn’t use them during the winter), their life span was only one year.
The comparison between the old battery and the Rimac system is unveiling the potential of this technology. New battery system taht Rolly uses drastically increases the range, reduces weight, improves overall performance and reduces the environmental impact of battery-powered wheelchairs. The range was increased from 10 km to 60 km. The battery weight was reduced from 31,7 kg to 21,1 kg, while the projected lifetime is increased 10 times. According to Rimac’s predictions, the new battery system will last for 10 years without losing any capacity while the traditional wheelchair batteries have to be replaced every year. Combined with the recyclability of Lithium batteries, this solution does not only improve the life quality of the wheelchair user, but significantly reduces the environmental impact of electric wheelchairs. Rolly also loves the user interface – he can see data about each battery cell, voltages and other information, which helps him to know exactly how far he can go.
[youtube width=”600″ height=”344″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avaPkQX2ipY#t=383[/youtube]
For Rimac Automobili this was a pilot project with no plans for commercialization. Monika Mikac, COO of Rimac Automobili elaborates:
Our company is based on four different pillars – sportscars, future mobility, electric vehicle technology, engineering and prototypes. We are already quite diversified, entering the wheelchair market would be an entirely different field for us and. Before any steps towards commercialization, we will have to do further studies.
But this pilot project shows that the technology developed for electric supercars can be adapted for other products and industries. And maybe the most important thing is that it can improve the quality of life – Rolly is a living proof and we hope to see many more similar stories.