Norman Palmhof, Principal Consultant, enjoys the start-up spirit and explains in this interview why reduction is an adequate and effective way to push e-mobility forward.
What is your part in which project?
I’m account manager and provider of ideas in a project for the e.GOMobile AG located in Aachen – a spin off of a research project that produces rather smart and innovative electric cars designed in particular for city traffic.
In this context, what does innovative mean?
It means that the vehicle itself, but also the services, are tailored very closely to the needs of the user and focus on what’s really essential. For example, e.GO forgoes big range and power thus allowing them to manufacture electric cars for everybody at a reasonable price which again makes these cars interesting for delivery, courier and home care services. This way, e-mobility becomes affordable and practicable for a completely new circle of customers. In my book that already is a step toward a new, smarter form of mobility.
Why did e.GO decide to partner up with Valtech?
Particularly in the area of e-mobility questions of speed and connectivity are of pivotal importance and here, we cover a lot of bases with respect to expertise and experience. If the question is getting new concepts ready for the road at the necessary speed and quality, there is no getting around us. Valtech and e.GO also have the same mindset and the chemistry also clicked right off the bat.
What area is your team responsible for?
We develop parts of the backend and the smart phone app that function as the touch point between driver and vehicle. Add to this a product owner that bundles the customer’s point of view. In general, the issues and tasks are very broad, and summing it up you could say we offer development, architecture and design services. The beauty of it is, that this range of topics and issues offers us the opportunity to experience the holistic comprehensive thinking that drives the creation of products right from the start.
What are the particular challenges?
Many processes you know from established carmakers are created or invented here first. This requires a lot of consulting and assuming responsibilities – our agile software development approach is a perfect fit.
Big OEMs often have a “Book of Standards“ in their backend environment where they specify which technologies can be used. Here, we don’t have these kind of limitations or if at all only a few. Another example is how we handle the cloud: Many OEMs only now are about to start migrating their backends into the cloud – e.GO was in the cloud right from the beginning. For technology enthusiasts such as myself an environment like this is like a dream come true. And the RWTH Aachen Campus is also a very inspiring home for e.GO to boot. The university often comes up with stimulating ideas regarding, for example: technologies for new production processes. I have been involved in automotive projects for eight years now but e.GO is a breath of fresh air in many respects.
Can people still join your team?
Yes, definitely. The market in the area of e-mobility got off to a slow start for many reasons, but now development is speeding up more and more. Backend development and Big Data also are issues we deal with a lot – starting from the concept, to implementation and then all the way to production by DevOps approach. Just talk to me or any of my colleagues.