The BObby e-scooter project at Bochum University of Applied Sciences, headed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Semih Severengiz (FB E), combines existing sharing systems with innovative technology and sustainability. Currently, students in 4 working groups are conducting practice-oriented research on pioneering sustainable mobility concepts in urban areas. To facilitate this research project, the "Swobbee" battery changing station has now been installed on the university campus.
The BObby team of Bachelor's and Master's students is testing electric scooters in the sharing service, which are intended to be a space-saving and low-cost alternative to the car. The goals of the project group are clearly defined: Greenhouse gas emissions and the volume of traffic are to be reduced through flexible, multimodal solutions as an alternative to resource-intensive individual transport. The project is not only conducting research on the electric scooters themselves, but also on concepts for the operation of the sharing services, taking sustainability aspects into account. In this context, the Swobbee battery changing station was set up at the university on 20 November 2019. The handy, removable batteries of the electric scooters can be charged in the cabinet. This makes the battery swapping process smooth and quick and the scooter can be put back into sharing mode immediately. The battery changing station is based on the business model "battery-as-a-service". So far, most sharing services use the so-called "milk-run principle". In this case, the employees drive with vans to the individual sharing vehicles that are distributed in the city and change the batteries. This results in new journeys that take up additional time and cause emissions. Intelligently distributed battery changing stations allow the customers of the sharing service to exchange the batteries themselves.
The charging cabinet at the university was set up next to the D3 building, which also houses the BObby team's project room. Equipped with two charging compartments for Greenpack batteries and six charging compartments for Kumpan batteries, the batteries of the scooters and the supplied cargo bike can be charged in the cabinet, thanks to which no combustion engine is needed for maintenance and repair trips.
The next goal of the BObby E-Scooter project is to start internal field trials in cooperation with the Bochum public utility company. The main aim is to test the various sharing concepts and a scalable business model. In addition, indicators will be defined on the basis of which the sustainability of the electric scooters and the sharing model can be verified. The pilot project will be carried out and scientifically accompanied by the project members. Sustainability is at the core of the project's philosophy. The electricity for the batteries will therefore be generated from renewable energy sources via the mobile solar hubs near the charging station. This will clear the way for an external test phase by students and sustainably change the design of the university environment through a sharing e-scooter port.