Flemish start-up offers ultimate driving experience through ground-breaking technological innovation.
Driving a vehicle that combines the thrill of a motorbike with the luxury of a sports car and gives both driver and passenger a sensational feeling that can only be experienced in the cockpit of a jet plane? It will soon be possible with the innovative tilting vehicle developed by Kerv Automotive, an ambitious Flemish start-up that has been working on the development of its Kerv STV since 2016.
STV stands for Slim Tilting Vehicle. For this, the Kerv has a unique hydraulic tilting system that combines a ground-breaking technological innovation with a sensational driving experience. The Kerv's cabin tilts along in the curves, just like a motorbike. The system absorbs all lateral forces so that the vehicle glides seamlessly through every bend and you remain perfectly balanced at all times. In other words, the Kerv takes you on a true driving adventure, bend by bend, creating a new level of driving dynamics that conventional sports cars cannot offer.
Kerv Automotive has been a member of Flanders Make since 2016 and I, who have been following the development from the beginning, went to Greenville in Houthalen-Helchteren at Arjan's invitation to experience the promising driving experience first-hand. It has to be said: this impressive three-wheeler, which is scheduled to go on sale in 2023, is a joy to drive.
To achieve this milestone, the Kerv Automotive team works together with, among others, engineers from Flanders Make. Our researchers support the integration of electronic components and participate in the extensive test campaign that, for a part, takes place at the Flanders Make site in Lommel. Our team can to this end use its years of knowledge and experience in creating an electrically driven Range Rover Evoque. In this car, we replaced the conventional combustion engine by an electric drive system with four independent e-motors. We also integrated additional sensors, an automatic steering wheel and a controller platform that enables autonomous driving. The car serves as a research and test platform for advanced vehicle control aspects, which are also useful for the Kerv.
Kerv is now preparing for the final phase, which will result in the implementation of the safety concept, the development of the first series and the preparation of acceptance tests. The production of the Kerv will take place in Flanders. Kerv Automotive wants to guarantee exclusivity in the market and is therefore aiming for small series of 500 to 700 units per year. The target customers are motorcyclists or sports car owners who are looking not only for ultimate driving pleasure, but also for a unique driving experience that, in addition, is also safer than driving a motorbike.
Kerv Automotive sees the future as electric and wants to contribute to the transformation to a green and sustainable mobility. Therefore, they will build a Kerv EV with an electric powertrain even before the market launch. In cooperation with Flanders Make, an INNOVATION BOOSTING project has been initiated to optimise and validate the tilting mechanism, steering system and control design for this electric variant. Independent control of the rear wheels, known as torque vectoring, will accelerate the steering response and improve vehicle dynamics. In addition, weight is being saved and the electric variant will have a battery pack with fast charging feature and a range of more than 200 km.
Innovation is and will remain a necessity for companies, and those who want to be successful must put all their efforts into it. The inspiring story of Kerv Automotive proves that innovation is not just a button you can push. It is an ongoing process in which forward-thinking companies continue to drive the transformation to a digital, sustainable and competitive industry.
At Flanders Make, we help companies to innovate better and faster. By focusing on innovative products and smart production, companies can increase their competitiveness and respond more flexibly to a world that is changing rapidly. We have test and validation infrastructure that we make available to companies. More information about this can be found on our website and in the blogs Flanders Make helps companies innovate with high-tech test and validation infrastructure and Flanders Make makes unique test benches available to validate modern powertrains.
Do you, like Kerv Automotive, want to acquire the necessary technological knowledge in a very simple and accessible way by making use of the expertise and infrastructure of the extensive Flanders Make network? Then check out our INNOVATION BOOSTING offer. Moreover, the ‘Flemish Innovation and Entrepreneurship Agency’ (VLAIO) supports this offer through subsidies that significantly lower the innovation thresholds – especially for small companies.
Finally, I would like to refer to our recent blog article Working together to accelerate innovation: 4 good reasons to go for it, in which our CEO Dirk Torfs gives 4 reasons not to miss the innovation train.
Arjan Voorbij, CEO of Kerv Automotive, shared his top 6 of interesting experiences during the Inspiration session ‘Growth and innovation for your SME’:
Thanks Arjan and good luck with the market launch of Kerv!
Bert Dexters - Account Manager
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