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igus® Ltd.

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"E-Kart" research project

chainflex control and data cables are used in the "E-Kart" research project.

The "E-Kart" project kicked off in October 2007 with the basic idea of converting a cart with a combustion engine and a road permit into an electric cart with maximum driving fun. This project is being carried out at the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences by Professor J. Walter at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics.


  • What was needed: chainflex cables
  • Requirements: it required completely new power cabling, or more precisely a multitude of data and control cables at maximum currents during recuperation of up to 100 amps
  • Industry: automotive
  • Success for the customer: the cables were sponsored for the research project. The research team works with data and control cables that are tested in the in-house test laboratory for extreme loads in energy chain systems with many millions of double strokes, guaranteeing a long service life.



Since the beginning of the project, student teams have been working continuously every semester on further development. Starting with the conversion and rebuilding of the cart with electric motors, the development of a traction control system (TCS), a concept of the outer skin of the cart, the optimisation of the brakes, the construction of a camera mount on the cart, up to the team for road approval. In March 2009, other student teams took on three new projects on the E-Kart. One of them was dedicated to the recovery of braking energy. As with hybrid vehicles, this is intended to feed electrical energy back into the batteries during the braking process, thus conserving the braking system and extending the possible driving time.
Another group of students set themselves the goal of replacing the installed starter batteries. New battery technology should be integrated. A concept for quick charging of the four traction batteries with 4x25 amps achieved a full charge of the E-Kart after about 2 hours. The third important point in the project was to integrate measurement technology into the E-Kart. The measurements of the four battery voltages and the current of the batteries connected in series should be recorded. A netbook was installed on the cart to store and directly issue the measured values to the driver.
Due to the newly integrated batteries, the increased current of the chargers and the maximum currents during recuperation of up to 100 amps, the power wiring had to be completely rebuilt. Furthermore, the supply line to the chargers and the complete cabling of the measurement technology had to be created.


To implement the three new projects needed on the cart, the student groups needed a lot of control and data cables. It was sponsored by igus for the E-Kart. The most diverse cable types for moving applications come from the chainflex product range, which offers a comprehensive selection for every area of application with control, bus, motor, data, measuring system, servo, special, hybrid cables or fibre optic cables. In the data cables such as those used in the E-Kart, information is converted into voltage or current signals, which are often designed as 0 to 10V or 4 to 20mA signals.
All data cables from chainflex are tested in the in-house test laboratory for extreme loads in energy chain systems with many millions of double strokes. The test parameters are high speeds, acceleration in different bend radii and travels. This allows us to offer a functional guarantee of up to 36 months for your data cables.
Due to the use in very different external conditions, data cables must be protected against many different influences. Depending on the requirements, chainflex data cables can be selected as flame-retardant and/or halogen-free versions. Depending on the jacket material, medium to high oil resistance is also possible. Our online configurator allows you to determine exactly which is the right cable.

“E-Kart” project

Further interesting applications from extremely diverse areas can be found here.


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