About us

About us

Ecogenium was founded in 2020 with the aim of participating in a competition between student teams from all over the world. With the aim of keeping fuel consumption as low as possible, the design of a concept vehicle was started. Soon after the team was founded, different departments were formed, with students from all kinds of courses, ranging from mechanical engineering to electrical engineering, from computer science to economics, forming the subteams, which can be divided into the areas of mechanics, electronics, fuel cells and administration. During the first two years, the focus was on the development of the first car. In collaboration with various university and industry partners, the team succeeded in developing and implementing a complete fuel cell system and a car built from scratch, named Charlemagne after its hometown. In May 2022, the team participated in its first competition, and the public presentation of the project drew interest from industry and academics, resulting in the team winning the Hydrogen Award for Young Researchers of the District of Düren as part of the Hydrogen Fair 2022.

Unfortunately, the spectacular drive system was not suitable for the conditions of the competition, so it was decided to start again from scratch and develop a new vehicle based on the experience of Charlemagne. The new goal is to create a car with the fewest functions necessary to drive and to optimize all the necessary components – Hydraix I. Here are some of the technical developments: The aeroshell and chassis are made entirely of carbon fiber, the car weighs 110 kg, and is designed to minimize drag after extensive aerodynamic simulations. With the experience gained in the Charlemagne project, it was clear that reliable data management of the system is necessary in order to understand the behavior and to optimize the control system. A team of computer science and electrical engineering students is developing software and hardware to provide accurate readings and reliable control. At the heart of the project is a modular hybrid powertrain consisting of a hydrogen fuel cell, which will be characterized and optimized through extensive testing, and an energy storage system. The car was completed in May 2023 and the team achieved 7th place in the annual competition with a range of 1283 km per kg of water, laying the foundation for future developments and building on future progress.

With a team of students from the technical universities in Aachen, we are happy to see how much professional enthusiasm comes together in such a project. The goal is to build a community; a team from different disciplines and personal motivation brings a continuous exchange between team members to deepen skills and constantly expand practical skills. The challenges of realizing such a large project require not only technical expertise, but also the ability to communicate ideas, think creatively, and work effectively as a team. And this opportunity for personal development goes beyond the internal work of the association. When difficulties arise that cannot be solved independently, we are happy to meet with experts who share our fascination with the topic and provide team members with pragmatic solutions. Exhibitions of the projects to interested visitors at trade fairs such as the IAA-mobility in Munich or the Hannover fair offer team members the opportunity to present their project, to show how such a development fits in with current technical progress, and to use recommendations and criticism for future improvements.

As part of the IAA Mobility, an article by editor Niklas Maak appeared in the Frankfurter Allgemeine. In the article, the author stated:

[…] Will lighter velocars be needed as a replacement: One of the most interesting concept cars in Munich is a tiny teardrop-shaped thing developed by students from Aachen. The Hydraix is an elegant looking, fuel cell powered cabin scooter that weighs just 110kg. Perhaps inventions like this are a step in the right direction. […] (FAZ P.11, 9.9.2023). Visitors were thrilled that an independent student project can produce such a result, integrate itself into current technological progress, and offer an alternative approach to it. 

We would like to continue the development of the association. The basis is the topic of sustainable mobility and the alternative fuel hydrogen as well as the construction of a concept vehicle. New team members with new ideas or an innovative thought that just needs to be put into practice are always welcome. Interested students in Aachen should have the opportunity to work in a practical way and to implement ideas on topics that really fascinate them. Support from industry and research allows us to advance our project and sets the course for an interesting exchange. Every year at the end of May, this little car presents the work and the best possible result of a student team within one year and is open for improvements and the development of new goals for the next season.