Economice

„Momentum”, the first electric supercar concept developed entirely in Romania. Interview with Ovidiu Toma, CEO of CryptoDATA

„Momentum”, as the concept has been called, is the first fully electric supercar with a Blockchain module developed entirely in Romania, reported RomaniaTV.net.

Romanian company CryptoDATA Tech is organizing the event in Bucharest on March 19, 2022, where a series of innovative projects aimed at facilitating the integration of smart devices into revolutionary platforms will be presented.

According to the organizers, Tesla co-founder Martin Eberhard is coming to Romania specifically to attend the event.

G4Media.ro spoke to Ovidiu Toma (foto), CEO of CryptoDATA, who provided a number of details about this concept, which is unique in Romania.

Reporter: How did you come about developing something as complex as an electric car? How long have you been working on it?

Ovidiu Toma: The project started 4 years ago from the concept and patent for secure communications and data transmission that we developed, namely VOBP. Basically, in the desire to expand the scope of the secure applications patent, we also looked at other industries that we could apply it.

Among other industries, such as aerospace where we did some mini-projects, let’s say, we felt that in the field of electric cars, especially smart cars, as we call them, the need for security and securing the user, the individual, and the data that these EVs transmit, communicate, collect, is imperative.

We are all thinking about the fact that the automotive industry is transforming every day and from a mechanical industry it is becoming more of a smart industry, an electro-mechanical, intelligent industry. And then the threats in the online environment, like cyber attacks, viruses, like hackers… are applicable and constitute threats in the automotive industry as well.

Basically from the concept of security and safety of information and the individual, applied to the automotive field, we started to draft various technologies and patents that we subsequently had to implement.

You can’t just build technology on paper. We timidly started from the idea of doing a project where we would highlight the technologies we have developed, just to have scripted technology, patent and proof of concept. It’s a one hundred percent functional proof of concept, using all the technology we’ve developed in house. We’ve been working on it for four years.

Q.: What is the hardest thing about starting in this kind of work?

O.T.: In general, I would say that human resources are the first thing, because money, after all, if you have a serious project and a serious team, you can certainly find it for such an idea.

But the problem is the human resource, where do you start from, because the qualified human resource in this field, creative engineers, not just executive engineers, creative programmers… there is always a difference between the engineer in a stable workplace and the creative engineer who wants to come up with something new, to build from scratch.

It’s the same in programming. And then I think that the hardest thing is the skilled but very important human resource with creative and innovation skills. And of course, funding. Once you have these two components, the sky is the limit from our point of view.

Q: What performance does the Momentum have: range, speed, acceleration, engine power, features?

O.T.: We are still working hard at optimizations. Let’s not forget that we have built a technology concept and a proof of concept in fact, for the technologies we have built. Specs like range, acceleration, power, and other features, all these performances are defined when you do the mass production processes and processes.

Mass manufacturing is not our job, we are technology developers. We have made this concept but of course, we are aware that when we get to put it into mass production in a partnership, because we don’t have the power on our own, but in a partnership with an external partner, these things will have to go through the hands of mass production specialists because it is a completely different job.

In terms of performance today at the functional concept level, as measured by us, the range can go up to around 400 kilometers tops, somewhere around 350 – 400, depending on the driving mode, the top speed, to be honest, I haven’t measured it. On the test bench, we exceeded 220 kilometers per hour but we didn’t have a license to take it out on public roads yet, and on the track, we measured other parameters than top speed, because we were in the testing phase. In terms of acceleration… it depends on the engine power configuration and the batteries installed… between 2.8 and 5.2 seconds from 0 to 100 Km/h, but it depends on a lot of factors, like the engine, the traction,…at the moment we have built it rear-wheel drive only.

Q.: What does the concept actually mean, what are the next steps until we see this car on the road?

O.T.: Basically concept means creation, it means technology implemented functionally, in a functional way, documented and of course patented.

The moment you have technology, documentation, patents, and functionality, you build the functional concept. From functional concept to mass production is really a long way, because it’s not enough to build a concept, you spend a lot of money in the first place, you don’t save costs, you don’t mass produce to save costs and you don’t have industrialized production operations, actual mass production of components, because after all a vehicle is built from components. Mass production is a different job than design and concept and technological innovation.

I am an engineer who designs a new part with new functionality, I imagine it, I implement it, I demonstrate the functionality of this part and the advantages it brings, or the innovation it offers, I implement it, but from there to mass production, to give this part to a manufacturer who will make 10,000 units in a perfectly defined time, with minimum costs, maximum durability and so on, then it really is a bit of work and it is the work of someone who does the industrialization.

We will certainly not be able to industrialize, we CryptoData, or at least not with today’s human resource and financial capabilities and that is precisely why we are leaning towards going with this project in a partnership with an experienced and reputable manufacturer.

Q: When could we expect to be able to purchase a Momentum car?

O.T.: I think at least 2.5 years, 3 years from now, realistically.

Q.: Is there an estimate of the price at which it could be sold?

O.T.: We can’t estimate the price at the moment. We’re talking about a lot of variables, we’re basically talking about a supercar. When we talk about something like that, it’s clearly prohibitively expensive for some, it’s a prohibitive vehicle from a functional standpoint for others, and it will invariably not be produced in very, very large series.

This means that cost optimization is quite difficult. Moreover, until the production phase, 2 years from now, when it can actually go into production, you have to go through the manufacturer to arrive at realistic costs.

In general, we are talking about a range between 80,000 euros and 150,000 euros, so the margins could be quite high depending on the quantities, who is the manufacturer that will mass-produce it, the distribution markets, and so on.

Q: Can you offer us a few details about the fact that it is developed 100/100 in Romania: have you made everything in-house or have you outsourced some activities like the design for example?

O.T.: It is developed 100% in Romania, 100% with Romanian engineers and teams. We bought very few components from the market… very, very few, like tyres, rims, calipers, brake discs and so on… and mini-components like bearings and other toys, but the whole thing is built in Romania by our engineering team and quite a lot of engineering teams, I wouldn’t say subcontractors, although legally that’s the definition.

Basically, there are over 50 people who have worked on this project over the last 3.5 – 4 years, plus our KryptoData employees, IT technicians, who worked independently of the mechanical teams and the teams who put it into operation on the ground. So I would say in total 40-50 people worked physically on the car, and another 20-25 IT technicians worked from the office to support the field technicians with design, measurements, software, implementation, and solutions.

The whole concept of design, of functionality, is ours. We are the initiators of the project, we conceived the design from scratch and basically starting from the design and starting from the concept of functionality, we put this toy into operation.

The subcontractors who worked on it are specialists in different areas like the ones who physically built the chassis designed by us, because they have more experience than us when it comes to industrial welds and materials, and the strength of industrial materials, basically the design, the statics, the structural strength, all came from us, but they were put into operation in partnership with a subcontractor who usually does these things.

It is the same with the propulsion area. We drafted, we designed the propulsion side, but it was put in operation by a partner team that has much more experience than we do in manufacturing and implementing electric motors.

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