We started this “training week” at our technical and culture unit at Utinkatu 85. The program started after our group and school introduction. First we explained what about the situation of E mobility in Finland and how our government sees the future of this sector.
Visitors were able to see our final program after the lunch. We shortly described what we are going to do and what we are going to visit during this week.
After the coffee break we observed our game designer students at work and visited our helicopter department.
We started 8.00 am and went to our BioSampo research and training center. There, Mr. Juha Solio the head of the training center, explained to us how important it is to use the renewable energy and on how many different sustainable ways can we produce electrical power. This power can be used in E- mobility.
After this presentation we had few different training points where we saw different techniques and all members could drive a light weight e- vehicle. (Airwheel and mountain e-bike)
Lunch was at an unusual place, we went out in the nature and ate fire heated sausage and traditional Finnish rye bread.
We spent the afternoon at Kotka University of Applied Sciences. They told us their development story of their electric racing boat and showed us techniques of this boat. They have very exciting stories from race journeys and races.
The boat was the reason for many debates and it was clear that the group was really interested in the issue. We saw lightened solar panels on top of the boat.
Again, we started quite early. Our goal for the day was to see fuel cell powered e-car and forklift. We traveled 40km away from Kouvola to village named Woikoski. We stopped quite close to Woikoski. Between the road and Vuohijärvi lake is a very nice old place which is often visited by our famous president Urho Kaleva Kekkonen. This place is called Orilammen maja, nowadays the place is an old style cafeteria, restaurant and camping area. Students walked the beach and we took a nice group picture.
The Woikoski is one of Finland´s oldest gas company and they are producing a lot of different gases to private customers and companies. One of their gases is hydrogen gas and this is the reason why they want to promote electric mobility using fuel-cells.
The company´s Product manager Mr. Arto Brofeldt presented their company. Arto showed us their Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell car and explained what is inside the car, how it works etc. After this he drove us with this Hyundai all over the Woikoski factory area. During this time he also explained the details of the car and showed us on info display what is happen in a driving mode.
At last he showed us how simple and fast is refueling process. Car´s hydrogen tank was almost full yet we wanted to compare refueling process to a recharging process of the battery powered car.
On Wednesday evening we spent time with teachers. Our program was quite relaxing, we eat well and tested a Finnish smoke sauna. We had a lot of good and interesting discussions. At the same time KSAO´s students spent time with Slovenian and Croatian students. They played billiard and bowling.
Thursday morning we started 7.30 am driving to Helsinki. Our first place was capitol´s University of Applied Sciences and their car department. We saw a lot of interesting things and heard a lot of interesting stories about the technology and the future. One of their primary development goal is the fastest road legal electric car ERA. They are holding the record at Nürbugring with this e-car. They showed us few concept cars and wireless charging system.
We also saw their student´s formula racing car which is also powered by electric. It was clear that they have huge amount of experience and knowledge about electric vehicles design as well as in car racing category.
After our visit of capital city we moved to Otaniemi University area. There was a robot bus which operated in University area. This was fully autonomic bus without a driver. The bus picked us up, drove us one stop and returned to where it picked us up.
Our next stop was BMW Finland´s training center. BMW Technical trainer Mr. Markku Monto was speaking about BMW hybrid and electric cars. We learned a lot of technical details about these as well as about the chargers and charging systems. A lot of this information was “real life” data behind the brochures. We saw BMW i3 fully electric car and BMW 330 Hybrid car in their training “garage”. Everyone could roam freely and inspect these cars, Markku followed and answered our questions. At the end of our visit Mr. Markku gave us a little gift from BMW Finland.
Thursday was our longest training day. At the end of the day we drove to EKO-RENT and met Mr. Juha Suojanen. He introduced us to their operating models and companies. We also saw couple of their rental e-cars.
We started our last training day in Otto Brand Ab. This is one of the Finnish oldest “motor sector” importer. Nowadays they represent many brands, Honda is the largest of them, including outboard engines, ATV, motorcycles, lawn mower etc. Lately, they have expanded their business with light weight e-vehicles sector. Their trademarks are Brammo (bicycles), FxZero (motorbikes). Mr. Keijo Rouvali welcomed us to Otto Brand. First he made short introduction about their company and products. At the end he explained to us about their new products Brammo and FxZero. Then we moved to their showroom and saw FxZero and many other products.
Our last point of interest was company Parkkisähkö. They are quite new and innovative company that made an impact in e-mobility sector. Their last innovation was intelligent charging system including controlling and billing of the energy. This is such a new innovation that they could not tell us a lot about it. They have patented it and we can be sure that we will hear more about it in the future.
We concluded our training week at little cafeteria where we discussed about our time in Finland. We pointed out few highlights of the week and made a short summary. At the end we received diplomas for attending the training program and departed on our journey home.
Saku Tiainen, LEMO team