iF Design Student Award to HfG project POWER­bänk – EV Char­ging Service

DSC05299 ©️ Joana Harmening

Congra­tu­la­tions to HfG (Univer­sity of Applied Sciences Schwä­bisch Gmünd) master alumni Mario Rieker and Sven Horn­burg: Their design project POWER­bänk – EV Char­ging Service“, created in the second semester of the master program Stra­tegic Design, was awarded the iF Design Student Award 2023“ in the cate­gory Industry, Inno­va­tion and Infra­struc­ture“. For their master’s thesis muvit“, the two HfG alumni also received the univer­sity award of the Spar­kas­sen­stif­tung Ostalb in May 2023.

In the coming years, the lack of public char­ging stations will become incre­asingly noti­ceable. With POWER­bänk, Sven Horn­burg and Mario Rieker are crea­ting an alter­na­tive solu­tion for people who cannot charge at home. In doing so, they contri­bute to the sustainable mobi­lity revo­lu­tion and give more people access to elec­tri­city. The ficti­tious start-up POWER­bänk reduces traffic as the vehicles are charged at the actual parking loca­tion: in public or private spaces. Not every dome­stic parking space has a fixed char­ging option with a wallbox. The project at the HfG was super­vised by Prof. Bene­dikt Groß and Dr. Eileen Mandir.

The concept allows e‑car drivers to order a battery charge via app when needed. A mobile battery pack is then deli­vered to the E‑mobile’s parking space, connected to the vehicle, and picked up again after the char­ging process has been completed successfully. Custo­mers simply specify when the vehicle is to be rech­arged, but not exactly when deli­very and char­ging must take place. This avoids multiple trips to the same area – incre­asing effi­ci­ency and sustaina­bi­lity and leading to a signi­fi­cant reduc­tion in traffic in public spaces. Users no longer have to drive to diffe­rent char­ging points to find a free char­ging spot. Also, the vehicles do not have to be moved again after the maximum parking time of usually a few hours or after they have been fully charged, which curr­ently creates even more traffic.

©️ Joana Harmening

POWER­bank fits UN’s 9th Sustainable Deve­lo­p­ment Goal

This mobile char­ging system is a contem­po­rary service concept that meets SDG 9 by impro­ving access to elec­tric mobi­lity,“ the iF jury said in its verdict. In 2015, the UN had postu­lated so-called 17 Sustainable Deve­lo­p­ment Goals (SDGs) – 17 goals for sustainable, global deve­lo­p­ment – as part of the 2030 Agenda. The 9th Sustainable Deve­lo­p­ment Goal covers the cate­gory of industry, inno­va­tion, and infra­struc­ture. The HfG award winners stress: We are very honored to receive the iF Design Student Award 2023. The award is a signi­fi­cant honor for our work. We would like to thank ever­yone who has supported us along the way. It gives us great moti­va­tion for further projects.“

Further award for Maria Rieker and Sven Horn­burg for master’s thesis 

The iF Design Student Award 2023 is not the only award for the POWER­bänk project and the two HfG alumni. In 2022, POWER­bänk took second place at the German Mobi­lity Award, and at the Golden Pin Concept Design Award 2022, which reco­gnizes inno­va­tive design concepts from around the world and creates a plat­form for future design inno­va­tions, the two students were named Mark Winner“ in the Spatial Design cate­gory. Their Master’s degree project muvit – Design Prin­ci­ples for Auto­no­mous Driving in Public Trans­por­ta­tion“ was also awarded the univer­sity prize of the Spar­kas­sen­stif­tung Ostalb in May 2023. muvit“ is a user-centered design recom­men­da­tion for the inte­gra­tion of auto­no­mous ride-sharing shut­tles into rural public trans­por­ta­tion to increase its attrac­ti­ve­ness and acts as an alter­na­tive to the private car.