BMW researches bidirectional charging with partners
In the recently started research project “Bidirectional charge management”, the project partners want to develop the technologies for a charge management ready for series production. The results are to be evaluated in a field trial with 50 BMW i3 at the beginning of 2021.
Autonomous electric shuttle to launch in Hamburg
Siemens, the Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility (IKEM), the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Hamburger Hochbahn are all busy to launch a self-driving electric shuttle as part of Hamburg’s public transport offering.
1,600 new electric car charge points for Berlin
A new scheme is to clean the air over the German capital by installing on-street charging infrastructure. With lamp post charging provider Ubitricity at the centre, the consortium is planning to add 1,600 public and private charge points to Berlin’s network beginning this year.
EU project researching new magnesium batteries
A new EU project called E-MAGIC (European Magnesium Interactive Battery Community) that was recently funded with 6.5 million euros, will focus on the development of a new type of magnesium-based battery for electrified vehicles, among other uses.
Aral & DLR envision the fuel station of the future
The German fuel BP subsidiary Aral asked the German Aerospace Center (DLR) to study how gas stations may look like in the future. The vision entails services for self-driving cars, landing spots for air taxis and more charging stations than fuel pumps.
DLR and NASA laud e-airplane design from Munich
The German center for aerospace (DLR) has lauded the winners of the competition they organized in cooperation with NASA for design ideas regarding future flight technology. The winners were a team from the technical university in Munich.
DLR develops fuel cell pack for cargo e-bikes
The Fuel Cell Power Pack (FCPP) developed by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) is a novel system specifically design for electric cargo bikes. It has twice the range and durability of comparable battery-electric pedelec systems, the researchers say.
Scotland to build first sea-going hydrogen ferry
Scotland’s Ferguson Shipbuilders have managed to secure funding through the EU project HySeas III. With partners such as the Ballard or DLR and from different European countries they will build the world’s first sea going ferry running on fuel cells powered by hydrogen from renewables.
Nissan Leaf, EV Forecasts.
Click tip: Another photo of the upcoming Nissan Leaf has appeared in the internet – showing the model without camouflage, but also quite blurred. Besides that, a new video clip has been launched in Japan, putting the new Leaf’s autonomous capabilities into the spotlight.
carscoops.com (photo), autoblog.com (video clip)
Reading tip: Exxon Mobil, BP, the International Energy Agency and OPEC have all something in common: They all revised their forecasts, predicting now that EV market growth will develop faster than thought before.
Supercharging, AeroMobil, Brose, DLR.
Cool and automated Tesla charging? Tesla’s engineers are working on the next-gen Supercharger which shall deliver an output beyond the mark of 350 kW reportedly. A recently released patent shows a fast-charging application with an external cooling system that could be the key factor to enable powerful charge rates. Although mounted in the ground, the system depicted represents not an inductive but a wired system that could indeed provide not only rapid but automated charging.
A hybrid for earth and air: Slovakian AeroMobil impressed at Monaco’s Top Marques Show with version no. 4 of its flying car. Thanks to electric power the AeroMobil 4.0 reaches up to 160 kph on the ground but is said to transform into an aircraft in only three minutes. Once airborne, it relies on a combustion engine to achieve a maximum speed of 360 kph. Pre-orders for not less than 1.3m dollars are already possible, although delivery won’t start before 2020.
Brose opens head office in China: German supplier Brose has opened a new HQ and facility in Shanghai. There, 600 employees are to operate the company’s 12 sites in China and six facilities and sales offices in Japan, Korea and Thailand. Brose seeks to further expand development in 48-volt applications on the Asian market.
Innovative air-condition: The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) equips their “Next Generation Car” with auxiliary units for air-conditioning. The system bases on a thermochemical solution and works for EVs as well as FCVs. A prototype is currently on display in Hannover.
TUM Create, A123, DLR, Zapinamo.
Mail delivery by electric scooters: The team of TUM Create, the joint research project of the technical universities of Munich and Nanyang, developed a three-wheel electric vehicle for mail delivery. It is about to prove its suitability for everyday use as the Singapore Post Ltd. will start a road trial this week. The prototype comes with modular batteries in order to suit various routes. So far, Singapore’s mail service operates a fleet of 674 petrol-driven scooters.
postandparcel.info, tum-create.edu.sg, youtube.com
A123 opens plant in Czech Republic: Besides its facilities in the States and China, Wanxiang subsidiary A123 Systems has established a new site in Czech Ostrava. The battery manufacturer seeks to produce more than 600,000 units of its 12V starter battery and next-gen 48V system a year here.
German-Japanese research: The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology are expanding their scientific cooperation. Both state-funded organisations carry out application-orientated energy research. The first common topics to deal with will be efficient thermoelectric energy converters and battery research.
Charger trial at the Airport: EV charging start-up Zapinamo secured 3.1m pounds by Innovate UK to deploy a mobile charger as part of a pilot project with Heathrow Airport. The prototype is said to charge several electric vehicles simultaneously at speeds of up to 400kW.
Scania, Workhorse, DLR, Adomani & A-Z Bus Sales.
Swedish hybrid truck: Scania developed a 18-ton hybrid truck combining electric and biodiesel operation. It can drive solely on electric power for up to two kilometres and could thus decrease noise at night or early dawn when making deliveries in urban areas.
Delivery drone: Workhorse Group and the University of Cincinnati have obtained permission by the FAA to test their jointly developed electric unmanned aerial vehicle. The HorseFly drone reportedly is to support drivers of electric trucks with their deliveries.
Fuel cell flight: German Aerospace Center (DLR) is developing a four-passenger plane powered by a hydrogen fuel cell battery system. The HY4’s electric motor has an output of 80 kW. Depending on velocity, altitude and load, a range between 466 to 932 miles is possible. It could take flight by mid-2016.
Converted school bus: Adomani and A-Z Bus Sales agreed to partner in the conversion of electric and hybrid school buses. A-Z is to handle distribution and service of the electrified vehicles.
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Thursday was the demonstration of the next level of fast-charging as CharIn showcased CSS charging technology and vehicles with 150-kW.
BYD, DLR, Pacific, Gas and Electric, Indianapolis.
News from BYD, part I: The Chinese manufacturer has secured the largest contract for the delivery of all-electric buses in the U.S. to date. The Washington State Department of Transportation awarded BYD 10 out 12 available categories of a contract allowing for a total of 800 buses to be purchased.
News from BYD, part II: BYD signed a deal for the delivery of 10,000 electric, hybrid and conventional vehicles to Sudan. Power systems and key components will be shipped to Sudan and the cars will be assembled there at a later date.
Online tool for fleet managers: As part of the Incentives for Cleaner Vehicles in Urban Europe (I-CVUE) programme, German Aerospace Centre (DLR) has made an online tool for fleet managers available. It is said to help them calculate the final cost of an EV, based on the fleet’s individual conditions.
dlr.de (online tool) via renewableenergymagazine.com
No charger network in Cali? The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is putting a damper on Pacific Gas and Electric’s plan to install 25,200 chargers in Northern and Central California. Only 10 percent of the stations will be allowed to go online in the first two years, as PUC looks into whether the utility has an unfair advantage.
Indianapolis likes electrification: The city is looking to begin operating the U.S.’s first all-electric rapid bus transit system by 2018. The line will be constructed in three phases and span 13 miles, says transport agency IndyGo.
BiCar, LEICHT, GlobalDrive, Tesla.
Meet the BiCar: This EV crosses genres. It looks like a hooded Segway, drives like a car, and is almost as small as a bicycle. Developed by researchers at the School of Engineering at the ZHAW in Zurich, the three-wheeled BiCar is designed for sharing, only goes 30 kph, and is compact enough to fit eight of it in one parking space. A test fleet of 20 is said to be issued over the next two years while ZHAW is looking for sponsors.
aargauerzeitung.ch, engineering.zhaw.ch (both in German)
Lightweight chassis: “LEICHT” (meaning “light” in German but here stands for Lightweight Energy-efficient Integrative Chassis with Hub-motor Technology) is the latest vehicle technology developed by Stuttgart University and the DLR (German aeronautics and space centre) within the DLR@Uni-Stuttgart project. LEICHT is now to be developed into a hardware prototype, funded with 507,000 euros by the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.
baden-wuerttemberg.de (in German)
Sino-German electric motorcycle: GlobalDrive is a collaborative project between TU Munich and Chinese Tsinghua University in Beijing. Their latest development is a 100-kW electric motorcycle that will soon to compete against gas guzzling two-wheelers.
twitter.com (with picture), tum.de (in German)
Tesla hacked: Thanks to Joe Pasqua, the Model S has been decoded and is open for knowledgeable IT people to re-programme – at least partially. The free app ‘Visible Tesla’ allows access to all basic functions like locking and unlocking. So far, Tesla has not shown any concern.
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Thursday was the website of the ABattReLife project that examined possible reasons for the quick deterioration of batteries towards the end of their lifespan.
DLR & Lange Aviation, Ford, Fuel cell recycling, VCU.
Quietly chasing the bad guy: The electric sailplane ‘Antares’ developed by Lange Aviation and DLR (German Aerospace Centre) is equipped with a special camera in order to survey offenders from above and send the images to police in real time. Helicopters would be too noisy for the job. The Antares was built as both a battery powered and a fuel cell version.
ingenieur.de, dlr.de (articles in German)
Ford heads for Silicon Valley: Ford plans to open a “Research & Innovation Center” in Palo Alto, less than three miles from the HQ of Tesla Motors. The centre will supposedly be one of the auto industry’s largest. Whether Ford will feel inspired by its neighbour to work on electrification was not announced.
Recycling fuel cells: Axion Consulting, Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells and Technical Fibre Products have developed a recycling process to recover high-value materials from waste fuel cells. The collaborative project is funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.
Doubling efficiency: A professor from the Virginia Commonwealth University has received 505,000 dollars from the National Science Foundation to make Li-ion batteries more efficient and environmentally friendly. Assistant Professor Dr. Arunkumar Subramanian says he will simultaneously research alternative battery materials that are both nontoxic and more abundant.
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Thursday was Hyundai´s “Prius-fighter” dedicated hybrid seen wearing production body.
Choice of battery pack sizes, BMW i production.
Study tip: In a new study, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) recommends that OEMs should offer buyers of plug-in cars different battery capacity options. It suggests that manufacturers should therefore develop a modular platform to offer i.e. battery sizes for drivers with low, average and high mileage requirements.
sciencedirect.com via chargedevs.com
Video tip: BMW lets you take a peek behind the curtain at its production plant in Leipzig and shows how the BMW i8 is build. The manufacturer points out that the hybrid sports car is not only more ecological when driving it, its production process is as well.
youtube.com via mein-elektroauto.com (in German)
NTU, DLR, Taiwan Mitsui Chemicals, Bosch eBike Systems.
2-in-1 motor: Researchers from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and German Aerospace Centre (DLR) have found a way to integrate the motor of an electric car with its air-condition compressor, thus making space for bigger batteries. Thanks to system synergies, this could also increase an EV’s range by 15 to 20%, the scientists say.
Safe batteries from Taiwan: Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) signed a licensing agreement with Taiwan Mitsui Chemicals for the production of safe Li-ion batteries for EVs and other applications. By using the institute’s self-terminated oligomers with hyper-branched architecture (STOBA) technology, the risk of explosion can be minimised.
Service agreement ending: Bosch is to end its e-bike service agreement with Shimano Benelux comes November 1st. Maintenance of the Bosch eBike System will be taken over by Magura, which now handles service for all European countries except Switzerland. The move comes after Shimano introduced its own pedelec drive, the STEPS, earlier this year (we reported).
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Tuesday was the report on a resourceful Chevrolet dealer, who used the Volt’s 4G hotspot to provide its garage with internet during an outage.
Orten, Akasol, Solar City & Tesla, DLR.
Electric cooling truck: German Orten Fahrzeugbau showcases its ‘ELCI’ electric truck at the IAA for utility vehicles. Its carrying capacity is 400 kilos at a range of up to 150 kilometres. Already the ELCI is in service as the Deutsche See Fischmanufaktur is using the truck’s two-chamber refrigerator to deliver its seafood quickly and cleanly.
pressebox.de (in German)
Hybrid batteries made in Germany: At the IAA for utility vehicles, Akasol presents its new battery system Akamodule HHP (Hybrid High Power) for hybrid vehicles, including utility vehicles, ferries and hybrid ships. Its 10-Ah pouch cells are said to live for 7,000 cycles while the module’s performance figures read 58 Wh/l and 1.45 kW/kg.
mynewsdesk.com (in German)
Solar energy made and stored in the USA: Solar City and Tesla say they intend to work together more closely. Within 5 to 10 years, every solar panel set could come with a battery pack made in Tesla’s planned Gigafactory. Solar City also plans to build its own gigantic factory, ten in fact, to produce solar panels itself and just recently acquired the start-up Silevo to do so.
Next Generation Train: This is the latest project of German DLR. At the InnoTrans Show currently taking place in Berlin, the German aeronautics centre presents the NGT LINK. This two-storey ultra-light high speed train is powered by a hybrid system and measures 12o metres. Also on display will be a model in the scale of 1:10 showing inductive charging embedded in the track bed.
dlr.de (in German)
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Monday were the findings of the new “E-mobility index” by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and Forschungsgesellschaft Kraftfahrwesen mbH Aachen (fka), seeing Germany back in the technology lead.
Modular design for battery packs, Hydrogen Town.
Research tip: “Optimizing battery sizes of plug-in hybrid and extended range electric vehicles for different user types” is the name of the latest study by the Institute of Vehicle Concepts, German Aerospace Center (DLR). Instead of taking the “one size fits all” approach, manufacturers should offer customers a range of different battery capacities to cater for specific needs.
greencarcongress.com (summary), sciencedirect.com (study subject to a charge)
Video tip: Toshiba’s video showcases the company’s ‘Hydrogen Town’ project in Japanese Kitakyushu. The model town is supplied with hydrogen via pipelines that are fed by the surrounding steel industry for which H2 is only a by-product.
Inductive Charging, DLR, SolarMobil.
Premium inductive charging: BMW and Daimler will join their efforts to develop wireless charging. The system is said to charge at a power rate of 3.6 kW with 90% efficiency. Like the inductive charging system by Swiss supplier Brusa (we reported), the German system seems to work without any external wallbox. A coincidence? The technology might go into serial production in two or three years, according to Daimler.
New H2 tank: Researchers from DLR with partners have developed a sponge-like tank in which hydrogen can be stored at 70 bar and normal outside temperatures. Researchers of the EU project SSH2S were able to fit the entire system to an Iveco Daily van and use it as an auxiliary power unit. A high-temperature fuel cell was used, delivering electricity and the heat required to release the hydrogen from the storage materials.
Indian solar car: SolarMobil is a team of 27 engineers from Manipal University, India, that have put together a solar-powered two-seater. The ‘Solar Electric Road Vehicle (SERVe)’ is said to have a “cruising speed” of up to 120 kph, and 60 kph when running on solar panels only. The team will race at the South African Solar Challenge (SASOL14).
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Tuesday was our Short Circuit about the “Toro.” A Renault Twizy upgrade for bumpy roads.
Toyota, University of Stuttgart, DLR, Tesla, ElectroGraph.
Toyota asks for exemption: The carmaker appealed to the American NHTSA, asking to circumvent a safety rule that requires the isolation of high-voltage parts in EVs in the event of a crash. The reason, Toyota says, is that it renders its FCV inoperable. Instead, the company proposes to uses metal barriers to isolate battery, motor and fuel-cell stack. The NHTSA has yet to respond.
Induction instead overhead lines: Researchers at the University of Stuttgart and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) are testing the possibility of transmitting energy inductively for railroad vehicles. The state of Baden-Württemberg supports the ‘DLR@Uni-Stuttgart’ programme with 860,000 euros in funding.
Tesla says no to aluminum: Unlike the Model S, the car formerly known as Model E will use cheaper materials instead, to keep the vehicle more affordable. Which ones has yet to be confirmed. But since keeping costs low is a top priority, aluminum will most likely not be replaced by carbon-fibre reinforced plastic.
Super supercapacitors: Developed by the EU-project ‘ElectroGraph’ these store electrical energy as charged particles attached on the electrode material. Researcher therefore created electrodes with a larger surface, to increase energy storage capabilities. The project is headed by Fraunhofer IPA and includes ten partners from both research institutes and industries.
– Feedback –
The most clicked link on Tuesday was our reading tip on why Tesla’s Model X could become its fastest-selling car.
Bavaria, Idaho National Laboratory, Winfried Hermann, DLR.
Bavaria to install fast-chargers fast: Bavaria’s interior minister, Joachim Herrmann, announced his plan to install fast chargers at all 68 motorway service areas of the German federal state by the end of 2015. To bridge longer distances between them, additional chargers could be erected at smaller rest areas.
pnp.de (in German)
Fast-charging is not as damaging as expected, a recent study of the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) concluded. Four Nissan Leafs were charged in pairs with one being charged fast (DC) and the other at Level 2 chargers. The battery capacity was then measured at at 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 and 40,000 miles and only minimal differences could be found.
simanaitissays.com via green.autoblog.com, avt.inel.gov (presentation as pdf)
Public display of affection: The German state of Baden-Württemberg is the undisputed territory of Porsche, Mercedes and Audi. At least until the state’s transport minister Winfried Hermann publicly posed with a Tesla Model S. While the green-party minister is convinced that electric cars are the way to go, local patriots were not particularly amused.
bild.de (in German with photos)
Study with EV owners: DLR, the German aeronautics and space research centre, has asked 3,111 owners of electric cars about their usage patterns and satisfaction. 84% of private users would recommend an EV to others while half of the commercial users are planning to buy another one in the near future. Most EV owners were male and went through higher education. 50% had a household net income of between 2,000 and 4,000 euros a month which contradicts the assumption that EVs are mainly for the wealthy.
dlr.de (in German)
— Textanzeige —
MobiliTec – German Pavilion – Baden-Württemberg | 7 to 11 April 2014 | Hannover Messe: Electric Mobility made in Baden-Württemberg – The cluster Electric Mobility South-West connects over 80 key players from business and science within the region of Karlsruhe – Mannheim – Stuttgart – Ulm. Visit us: Hall 27, Booth H85. More cluster information >>