Eight questions for Till Baumann - Team Leader Design and Construction at ELO Mobility
Berlin, 16th of November 2021
“Nothing is impossible”
Till Baumann joined ELO Mobility in January 2021 and is responsible for the design of the innovative ELO H2 City bus Series. He has years of experience as Auto Body Technician and Vehicle Construction Technician with a particular skillset as CAD Developer, Lead Expert and Design Manager. During his career he oversaw the development and design of various sophisticated city bus series for some of the most renown automotive companies. He is currently working on the ELO H2 platform reference design project, which is funded by PtJ and NOW under the project title Go4City until the end of 2022.
What drives you as a designer? How important is emission-free mobility to you?
I always strive to learn new things and develop myself further. Emission-free mobility is from utmost importance and crucial for our future and a challenge for my work that I am happy to accept.
What are the specific challenges in the design process and the creation of a hydrogen-powered city bus?
There are many different aspects to consider, specially when dealing with such a new technology, such as the geometrical integration of the components, the manufacturability, the weight optimization up to the compliance with laws, regulations and safety requirements and of course individual customer needs depending on the specific use case. But in the end, it’s all about the creation of a state-of-the-art, reliable high-end product that still needs to be cost competitive on the market.
Which specific bus models are you currently working on and at what stage are you now?
I am currently developing an innovative modular bus platform with an integrated hydrogen drive train designed for different vehicle product types, lengths, and dimensions.
What is your development and design philosophy?
I would say: Nothing is impossible.
In my career I have seen the creation of the first home computer and how it changed the world. That is for be the best example of how technology can evolve in a very short period. What used to be unthinkable yesterday can quickly be state of the art today.
To what extent does the development process of a hydrogen bus differ from conventional buses with a combustion engine? In your opinion, what are the most important aspects and challenges for the design and production process?
In conventional drives - Diesel, Petrol or LPG - the drive train is normally placed in the center. The internal combustion engine, transmission, drive shaft and drive axle are thus arranged compactly and centrally, mostly placed at the rear left of the vehicle, which means a one-sided weight load. You will find a compact arrangement in a relatively small space in these kinds of vehicles. This is a bit different for a hydrogen bus, where only some components - or none of them – have a mechanical connection. The positioning of components in a H2 bus can be done more freely. They can be placed in the vehicle according to size, weight, and their specific requirements. Which in turn enables an optimal distribution of weight and usage of the installation space. On the other hand, the high degree of electrification in a H2 bus creates additional challenges that must be solved.
What do you think about the trend towards autonomous driving in general? Is ELO Mobility already considering autonomous driving requirements in the design process?
If we talk about the passenger car sector, there are many indications that autonomous driving will be thing very soon. The commercial vehicle industry will follow later. But in my opinion that will take a while. For the next generations of future city buses' autonomous driving will be for sure important. At ELO Mobility we aim for maximum compatibility when we design new components and consider the specific autonomous driving requirement already in most parts.
You and your team use different tools in your work. One of the most important is the well-known CAD software CATIA from Dassault Systèmes. What distinguishes CATIA compared to other CAD apps? Why is CATIA in your opinion the best software in terms of mechanical design?
CATIA is one of the most common CAD systems in the field of automotive design and if you ask me CATIA is the most universal software with a wide range of powerful tools. Our CATIA partner is encad consulting and we will continue to use and grow with CATIA to meet the high expectations of our customers.
What do you like most about working in a start-up?
Working in a start-up like ELO is exciting because I can directly participate in the decision taking process and I am always involved in the development of new ideas and concepts. In a start-up you can learn a lot from others and really bring in your own experience.
Read this interview in German with this link https://www.elomobility.com/post/acht-fragen-an-till-baumann-teamleiter-design-und-konstruktion-bei-elo-mobility