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Mobility


UNIQUE SOLUTIONS FOR HUMAN-CENTERED MOBILITY
Photo: Pipistrel
Slovenia's advantages | Facts & figures | Overview | Leading companies & institutions | Success stories | Events & topics | Related links

With its 2-million population, one might not expect Slovenia to offer the world technological breakthroughs with disruptive consequences. Yet, with its contributions to the development of more sustainable and human-oriented forms of mobility, the nation is punching above its weight. The world’s first serially produced and fully certified electric airplane is made by a Slovenian company. Renault car plant located in Slovenia is also producing electric cars and relies on many local suppliers for components for electric and hybrid cars. Slovenian companies are the leading producers of certain types of electromotors and their key components. They have developed unique solutions, like in-wheel electric drive systems, or lightweight motors for electric planes. Innovative SMEs also offer smart interactive charging stations for e-cars, VR and AR based simulation tech used in vehicle testing, and measurement solutions for vehicle development.

SLOVENIA'S ADVANTAGES

  • niche pioneers in several important areas of future forms of mobility
  • robust R&D infrastructure tightly integrated into global research networks
  • numerous local suppliers and developers of electrical and mechatronic components
  • vivid start-up ecosystem
  • qualified, motivated, and multilingual workforce with high level of engineering skills
  • excellent testing ground

FACTS AND FIGURES

GLOBAL LEADERS

  • the first electric airplane with an EASA (The EU’s Aviation Safety Agency) type certification – a milestone in the history of aviation
  • world’s first four seat passenger aircraft powered by hydrogen fuel cell propulsion
  • world’s first serially produced electric airplane
  • the first electric engine certified by EASA for use in general aviation
  • world’s first fully electric hydrofoil
  • a leading developer of fixed wing unmanned aerial systems for special and heavy endurance purposes
  • tech leaders in in-wheel electric motors

KEY PRODUCTS AND SOLUTIONS

  • the production of aluminum and plastic components for electric vehicles
  • high-tech drive systems based on multi-drive and integral control platforms
  • development and manufacturing of electric airplanes
  • fixed wing unmanned aerial systems for high endurance surveying, remote sensing, and security
  • electric drives for compressors in electric vehicles
  • power systems for electric bikes
  • IT solutions for mobility

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

  • testing ground for new solutions and technologies
  • interactive charging stations for electric vehicles
  • in-wheel motors for electric vehicles
  • components and systems for electric vehicles
  • electric bike and scooter motors
  • electric propulsion systems for boats
  • leading technologies for electric and hydrogen cell powered airplanes
  • sensor systems and measurement technologies

OVERVIEW

Leading on air and in water

True to its niche and smart specialization strategy, Slovenia is the home of global leaders in very narrow areas of the aerospace and boating industries – and all its champions in these areas are developing sustainable mobility solutions. The small town of Ajdovščina in western Slovenia has evolved into a veritable hub of advanced aerospace development in Central Europe. It is home to the leading ultrasmall airplane manufacturer, a pioneer in the field of electric and hybrid powered airplanes. In the last decade, when the electric planes of global aerospace giants were still in the experimental phase, Pipistrel had already gone into serial production as the first in the world. Their neighbors in Ajdovščina are world leaders in producing fixed wing unmanned light aircraft systems used for high endurance surveying, security, and remote sensing. Another Slovenian SME has developed a unique and environmentally friendly watercraft – powered by a locally manufactured electric drive. A research team from the University of Ljubljana is among leading groups developing technologies for autonomous boats.

Reinventing the wheel

The world’s oldest wheel with an axle was found close to Ljubljana by Slovenian archeologists. By some weird coincidence, contemporary Slovenian companies are working hard on “reinventing the wheel” by putting the electric drive inside of it. Slovenian companies are among the global leaders in the development of in-wheel electric drives. At the moment these drives are mostly being used in lighter vehicles like scooters or three wheelers. However, the ambitious Slovenian in-wheel drive pioneers are already testing solutions for luxury SUVs and trucks.

Key pieces of a puzzle

One of the strongpoints of Slovenia’s automotive industry are the mechatronic components, electromotors, and their parts. The industry is therefore in a perfect position to support its partners in the coming disruption in mobility. As development suppliers to major car brands, Slovenian components manufacturers offer a range of specialized solutions from special electromotors, commutators, magnets, electrical steel laminations, to various sensors, aluminum battery trays and connecting assemblies. Compact and lightweight axial flux e-motors developed in Slovenia are suitable for light electric vehicles, boats, and airplanes.

Driving by itself

Three important contributions to the development of autonomous vehicles.

  • First, information technology. An example is an R&D start-up specializing in sophisticated vehicle simulator technologies using biometric and cognitive driver evaluation, deep machine learning, and data integration.
  • Second, sensor systems and measurement solutions are also an important niche with quite a few Slovenian leaders: their products are used in vehicle testing and in the aerospace industry.
  • Third, due to its compact size and technological sophistication, Slovenia makes for excellent testing grounds for new technologies and solutions in mobility. French producer of autonomous vehicles Navya tested its self-driving shuttles in the largest commercial center in Ljubljana. Toyota used the same center with its 10 kilometers of streets to test a new car sharing concept.

Searching for new energy

The leading national scientific institutions are working together with partners in Europe and elsewhere in areas like hydrogen technology and electrochemical energy storage technologies. The companies also cooperate closely with partners from both research institutions and businesses, within large projects, in areas like electrolytic composites, proton exchange membranes, UAS swarming, or electromotor technology.

Infrastructure

Car and e-bike sharing are widely available throughout the country. Slovenia is also covered with a dense network of charging stations for electric vehicles. Slovenian manufacturers of charging stations have developed an AI based interactive station backed up by a scalable e-mobility management system. The system can be easily integrated within the smart power grid.


LEADING COMPANIES

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SUCCESS STORIES

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EVENTS and TOPICS

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