Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Press Release 83/2008

“Project House e-drive“ Starts Work

Daimler and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Have Launched a Research Cooperation for Electric Drives
Logo e-drive

With the foundation of the KIT “Project House e-drive”, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Daimler AG are establishing a research cooperation in the field of electric drives. The “Project House e-drive” for the first time bundles activities relating to power electronics, control and feedback control technology as well as electric energy storage and electric machines and, thus, generates valuable synergies to efficiently promote research in the field of sustainable mobility.

It is the objective of this so far unique alliance of competence of science and industry to considerably accelerate the commercialization of electric and hybrid vehicles. The “Project House e-drive” is designed for a long term and also interested in integrating additional scientific institutions and cooperation partners.

“Baden-Württemberg is the automotive state number 1 worldwide. Technological innovations for a sustainable mobility are the keys to securing future development, growth, and employment”, underlined Günther Oettinger, Prime Minister of the State of Baden-Württemberg, when signing the official contract. “The Project House e-drive is an example of the very close cooperation of science and industry in order to rapidly transfer fundamental research results to viable technologies. With the KIT, an excellent partner is available.”

Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Executive Board of Daimler AG and responsible for the company’s research and the development of Mercedes Benz Cars: “It is our declared objective to assume a leading position in the field of alternative drives. In this connection, electrification of the car plays a key role. Together with the excellent scientists of KIT, we will demonstrate the high innovative power of the state of Baden-Württemberg again.”

“Together with Daimler AG, we have developed an innovative cooperation concept for a very close relationship of the two partners, which is expected to result in good and rapid progress”, underlines Professor Eberhard Umbach, Chairman of the Executive Board of Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe.

“With the KIT, the merger of the Universität and Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, we also intend to set new yardsticks in the partnership with industry. The Project House e-drive shall bridge the often complained gap between industry and science”, says Professor Dr. Horst Hippler, President of the Universität Karlsruhe (TH).

Daimler will place research contracts to the “Project House e-drive” on a regular long-term basis and, in addition, deploy own employees. The KIT will contribute its scientific staff, rooms, and its laboratory infrastructure. Due to the relevance of this topic to the state, the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research, and Art will fund the cooperation in the field of fundamental research with an amount of EUR ½ million per year. Furthermore, existing scientific competence will be strengthened by the Daimler endowed professorship for “Hybrid Electric Vehicles” from 2009. It will be funded by the Daimler funds of the Association to Promote German Science.

Perspectives for Education, Research, and Jobs

The Daimler endowed professorship “Hybrid Electric Vehicles” is aimed at establishing an internationally competitive research program in this field and, thus, at further optimizing the scientific prerequisites in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The endowed professorship is designed for a period of five years. It shall focus on the topics of electric driving and storage systems.

About KIT:

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is the merger of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, member of the Helmholtz Association, and the Universität Karlsruhe. This merger will give rise to an institution of internationally excellent research and teaching in natural and engineering sciences. In total, the KIT has 8000 employees and an annual budget of 700 million Euros.

The KIT focuses on the knowledge triangle of research – teaching – innovation. The Karlsruhe institution is a leading European energy research center and plays a visible role in nanosciences worldwide. KIT sets new standards in teaching and promotion of young scientists and attracts top scientists from all over the world. Moreover, KIT is a leading cooperation partner of industry.

About Daimler:

Daimler AG, Stuttgart, with its divisions of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Daimler Financial Services, Mercedes-Benz Vans, and Daimler Buses is the worldwide leading supplier of premium cars and the largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles. Daimler Financial Services offers a variety of funding, leasing, insurance, and fleet management services. Daimler sells its products in nearly all countries of the world and has production facilities on five continents. The company founders Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz have written history since their invention of the automobile in 1886.

As a pioneer in automotive manufacturing, Daimler considers it a necessity and obligation to take responsibility for the society and the environment and to safely and sustainably design the mobility of the future – with innovative technologies and high-quality products. Today’s portfolio comprises Mercedes-Benz, the most valuable automotive brand in the world, as well the brands of smart, Maybach, Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star, Mitsubishi Fuso, Setra, Orion, and Thomas Built Buses. The company is listed at the stock exchanges of Frankfurt, New York, and Stuttgart (acronym DAI). In 2007, the company with more than 270,000 employees sold 2.1 million vehicles. The turnover amounted to EUR 99.4 billion, the EBIT reached EUR 8.7 billion. As a company claiming to reach top performance, Daimler strives for sustainable growth and profitability on the level of the best of the branch.

Further information by Daimler is available on the internet.

lg, November 21, 2008
Monika Landgraf
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Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer

Phone: +49 721 608-41150
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