Sonnenwagen News

Five questions to Kersten

Get to know Kersten; Technical Director of Team Sonnenwagen. We talked with him about the future of E-Mobility in Germany, the challenges of starting a complete new position on his team and his aspirations for the future.

1. What do you study and what is your career aspiration?

My bachelor's degree was in Mechanical Engineering – I also wrote my bachelor's thesis on the all-wheel steering of the Covestro Sonnenwagen. My master's degree programme at RWTH Aachen is called "Development and Design". 

I could imagine working as an engineer in Development – but it doesn't need to be in the Automotive industry. 

2. You are the Technical Director of Team Sonnenwagen. What are your tasks?

I've been thinking about this question for the last six months (laughs). Since the position didn't exist before, I had to find my way into my tasks first. 

I'm the interface between all the technical departments directly involved in the construction of the Sonnenwagen – including structure, chassis, aerodynamics and electrical engineering. I regularly exchange ideas with all departments, keeping the big picture in mind and ensuring that the solutions of the individual departments can be implemented in the overall concept of Sonnenwagen.

3. You build a solar car with Team Sonnenwagen, which should be as light and efficient as possible. Which car would you like to drive privately - regardless of costs, fuel consumption or CO2 balance?

I would love to drive a "Rimac" – that is an electric sports car with many technical gadgets. However, it is not so important for me to own a car. We should think about mobility further than this. Public transport, the bicycle and rental cars are better alternatives. 

4. What features would you integrate into the Sonnenwagen if there were no space or weight restrictions? 

Air conditioning would be a nice thing to have when you're driving in the Australian outback at 40 degrees.

Also, a sound system while driving would not be a bad thing either. Apart from the additional weight, this is unfortunately not practicable due to the high-power consumption.

5. How do you see the development of E-Mobility in Germany?

I have the feeling that its development is not being driven forward consistently. The biggest problem is the infrastructure and I don't see the willingness in politics to change that. 

In addition, resources are being mined for battery production under the most adverse conditions for both humans and nature, for example in South America. This must also change in the future. 

In conclusion, I think we are still at the beginning of this transition and there is still a lot to do both in politics and in the Automotive industry.