Without having delivered a single car, many young EV companies are already worth tens of billions of euros today. These values are attributable to the rapidly growing market for electric vehicles. However, the companies do not offer real innovation. Ever larger batteries with CO2 balances comparable to those of a combustion engine seem to be becoming the new standard. Roland Gumpert once brought Audi the Quattro drive. Now he is planning the next revolution and once again positioning Germany as a pioneer in the automotive industry.
The problem with current e-cars
In recent years, the government has used subsidies and advertising to formally force buyers to include e-cars in their narrower decision-making circle. However, many potential buyers have concerns about range, charging time and existing infrastructure.
December of last year, Roland Gumpert addressed this very problem in an interview with Die Zeit: “Surely I must be able to drive from Ingolstadt to Hamburg without having to think about where I’ll fill up on the way and be forced to make stops.”
Another argument against battery-powered vehicles is their carbon footprint. Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research have shown in recent studies that e-cars with a long range sometimes only have a better CO2 balance than combustion engines after 200,000 kilometers driven. The problem is the production of the huge batteries (up to 120 kWh), which causes enormous amounts of CO2.
Source: Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, An update on the climate footprint of electric vehicles.
It’s no wonder that politicians are only promoting this type of e-mobility as a transitional solution. Since gaseous hydrogen does not offer an alternative for Roland Gumpert due to the immense challenges of transport and storage, he founded a joint venture with the automotive group Aiways in 2017. The goal: to develop the world’s first vehicle powered by a methanol fuel cell. After four years of development, we are now on the verge of delivering the “Nathalie.” In 2022, the sports car with 550ps, 820km range and a top speed of 300 Km/H will be delivered. The Nathalie can be refueled in just 3 minutes and then drive 820km completely CO2-neutral.
The ingenious principle behind the methanol fuel cell
The fuel cell provides energy by means of an electrochemical reaction and is operated with methanol. Within three minutes, fuel is refueled for a distance of 600km, and the entire process is CO2-neutral. As methanol, hydrogen is transportable and storable. This makes the so-called “green methanol” the perfect, two-way energy carrier of the future. Even with conventionally produced methanol from fossil deposits, only 30g of CO2 are produced per kilometer. This is already 50% below the limit value required for 2030. Since methanol is liquid and thus similar to diesel & gasoline, no new infrastructure is needed. The existing pipeline and filling station network can be used. This means that the EU alone can save hundreds of billions of euros with the methanol fuel cell.
The next Tesla?
Gumpert Automobile GmbH, with Roland Gumpert as majority shareholder, will manage the growing group structure from Ingolstadt as the parent company and serve a global customer network. The immense economic benefits of methanol will become a key element of its success.
In addition to a range of highly innovative and limited edition (super) sports cars, the methanol fuel cell will also be integrated into commercial vehicles and conventional passenger cars. The “Nathalie” was presented in a personal meeting with the German Minister of Transport, followed by a joint pilot project with the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. In this context, a Smart Fortwo was equipped with the methanol-hydrogen cell. Together with Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences and the project sponsor Bayern Innovativ, Gumpert is now working on a funded project to implement methanol fuel cells in vans. The project has a duration of 2 years and a volume of 2 million euros.
It is predicted that the sales potential for electric passenger cars and light commercial vehicles will increase from the current 190 billion euros to 1.5 trillion euros by 2030. Euros. This development also led to Tesla achieving the largest market capitalization of all automakers in a very short time. The general conditions for an entry into the automotive market could not be better. The future of Gumpert Automobile GmbH seems perfect, they solve the biggest customer concerns regarding battery powered electric vehicles and are in one of the fastest growing markets of the current time.
Nathalie on the North Frisian island of Pellworm
Want to know more?
Interested parties can watch Gumpert’s appearance in the anniversary episode of auto mobil on VOX and look forward to our next blog, in which we will go into more detail about the life of founder & CEO Roland Gumpert.
For the first time it is possible to participate as a shareholder in Gumpert Automobile GmbH. Up to 10% of the shares are to be sold in Q2 2021 to provide capital for further scaling. Also for other investment options in the breakthrough technology, please feel free to contact us.