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Elisava students design and manufacture a battery exchange system for the self-maintenance of sharing motorcycles

battery exchange system

Students of Elisava's Degree in Industrial Design Engineering have designed and manufactured Onux, an innovative battery exchange system for sharing motorcycles. The university project is materialized through a universal battery and a charging rack for motorcycles, and a proposal for a digital platform that connects the network of users, the swappers.

This innovative system promotes the self-maintenance of motorcycles by swappers and makes them responsible for changing the exhausted battery of the motorcycle in exchange for an incentive or bonus. This proposal also eliminates the environmental impact generated by the current battery recharging model managed by vehicles and operators.

Onux, a charging station and a hybrid, recyclable and long-lasting universal battery

The Onux charging station consists of a charging rack and a universal battery model. The students Mar Tarrazona, Sara Mues, Guillermo García, Muna Abdul, Sandra Canals, Quim Gutiérrez, Ricardo Horno and Alex Amat have designed and manufactured a hybrid battery made up of lithium cells and supercapacitors that provide greater performance and extend its useful life.

The battery has the minimum possible weight, around 6 kg, and the minimum dimensions to ensure that any user can exchange it. The average charging time is about three hours maximum and one of its main characteristics is its recyclability. Thanks to the combination of said model, it is estimated that the useful life of the battery would be extended by approximately 2 years, thus considerably reducing the production of new batteries. In addition, it contains an internal clipping design for the electronic components that facilitates assembly, repair and handling, avoiding soldering between cells for their connections. In this way, since it does not contain many parts and materials, it is even easier to recycle and/or reuse.

The cargo rack is modular, stackable and interactive. For the correct removal and insertion of the batteries, the user can be guided through the lights, sounds, movements and integrated screens.

As part of the charging station implementation plan, the rack would be installed in places with easy access and distributed throughout the city, such as stores, shopping centers, premises or large transport stations.

The students have carried out a comprehensive project that covers market research, the business model and its development, the design and implementation of the physical and digital components. Collaboration with professionals and companies in the sector such as ARRK, Aribell, BCN3D, IAM3DHUB & LEITAT and BÖLLHOF has been key for the manufacture of the battery and the rack, as well as the development of the digital platform and its validation.

This project has been created by the fourth edition of the Elisava Racing Team, a team made up of eight students from Elisava's Degree in Industrial Design Engineering supervised by professors Pau Romagosa, Miquel Tejero, Albert Sosa and Marta Janeras.

Challenges in the motosharing sector

According to data from the 2021 European Shared Mobility annual study promoted by Fluctuo, 5 trips are made on motosharing every second, and Barcelona is the city in Europe with the largest fleet of shared scooters. Due to its agility and speed, the motorcycle has quickly become the favorite means of transport in many cities thanks to the appearance of shared motorcycles. The commitment to greater social and environmental sustainability, with less pollution and less noise are the main reasons for the rise of motosharing.

One of the main drawbacks of these shared electric motorcycles is the life of their batteries and their daily maintenance. The batteries of electric motorcycles have an average autonomy of about 50 km. For the correct maintenance of the motorcycles, currently the operators must go to each vehicle to exchange the spent batteries for the new ones. Each motosharing company has electric vans that travel through the city every day to take the motorcycles to the workshop or change the batteries. With the ONUX proposal, the user himself becomes in charge of managing the battery charge and eliminates the environmental impact of the vehicles and operators that currently perform this task.