TÜV & ConAC to open test lab for EV batteries
The German certification service provider TÜV Rheinland and the Aachen-based start-up ConAC have announced a test laboratory for electric car drive batteries. The laboratory, which is to become one of the “largest and most modern independent battery test centres in Europe”, is scheduled to start operations in September 2021 in the German-Dutch industrial park Avantis.
Canyon presents four-wheel e-bike concept
The German bicycle and e-bike manufacturer Canyon presented its Future Mobility Concept, a mixture of electric car and pedelec. The four-wheeled vehicle with pedelec drive is designed to be driven on cycle paths or the road.
DroidDrive presents last-mile delivery EV system
The Ducktrain is a new innovation from RWTH Aachen University. The Aachen-based company DroidDrive is developing an electrically driven articulated train consisting of trailers that are to swarm out autonomously in the delivery area. A first prototype has now started testing.
German battery cell production research centre situated
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has announced that its battery production research centre (FFB) will be located in Münster and will be set up at MEET (Electrochemical Energy Technology centre at Uni Münster). The German government funds the project with 500 million euros.
RWTH Aachen and partners to create self-driving EVs
The RWTH Aachen University and partners are kicking off a project called UNICARagil to pool latest research findings in fields such as autonomous driving, connectivity and electric mobility. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is supporting the project with 23m euros.
Miles Consultancy, Bollinger Motors.
Reading tip: According to a new report of the Miles Consultancy (TMC), PHEVs are among the highest-polluting company cars when comparing greenhouse gas emissions. The data was collected by observing real-world use of corporate fleets.
Video tip: Bollinger Motors has published three video clips showing its new electric SUV Bollinger B1 through a test run as well as in a technical animation.
NEW-BAT, RWTH Aachen, ABB, Formula E.
Battery recycling: Fraunhofer ISC started the NEW-BAT research project to develop more efficient recycling processes. The team will concentrate on lithium metal oxides and carbon compounds in EV batteries that were previously impossible to reclaim. Electro-hydraulic shock waves shall split the composites cleanly. The project is funded with 1.6m euros by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and includes industry partners like GRS.
fraunhofer.de (in German)
Battery ageing research centre: The RWTH in Aachen will host the “Center for Ageing, Reliability and Lifetime Prediction of Electrochemical and Power Electronic Systems” (CARL). 60m dollars of funding come from both federal and state’s pockets and will finance ten professors and 20 chairs. Interdisciplinary research will look into battery ageing processes and prediction of such in detail.
rwth-aachen.de (in German)
Most efficient electric drive? ABB presents the Azipod XL for marine vessels. Said to increase vessel fuel efficiency by up to 20%, the electric drive sits in a submerged pod. A novel nozzle system accelerates the water flow into the propeller to increase thrust of the updated Azipod.
Updated Formula E drive: ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport has improved its power train for next season’s electric racing series. The developers focused on improving the electric motor’s torque strength and efficiency. The MGU01+ is also lighter and the transmission features three gears.
Audi, RWTH Aachen, BAIC, Skoda, Volkswagen, Bentley.
Audi’s electric plans: Audi expects between 25 and 30 percent of their vehicles sold to be electric by 2025, according to German Manager Magazin. That would mean roughly 700,000 vehicles annually. The manufacturer will continue, however, to source battery cells from Korean companies LG and Samsung.
manager-magazine.de (in German)
Prototypes from RWTH Aachen: Following the success of their StreetScooter, students at the RWTH Aachen have prototyped another electric vehicle. The e.GO Life will cost just 12,500 euros, and 100 pre-series vehicles will be made available in 2017. They expect to begin full production in 2018 and then produce up to 10,000 units.
ego-ad.com, wdr.de (in German)
BAIC increases funds: Chinese automaker BAIC BJEV has invested 3bn yuan (452m dollar) in the construction of operations and R&D, including centres based in Italy and Japan. Further funds will support the creation of yearly four to six new models. The company will also be providing electric vehicles for Uber.
Electric Skoda: Skoda plans to launch their first electric vehicle in 2020. The SUV is based on Volkswagen’s new MEB battery-electric platform, has a target range of 300 miles and a 15-minute charging time. By placing the batteries in the floor the new SUV will also have space for three rows of seats. The PHEV variants of the Superb and Kodiaq will launch one year earlier.
Jetta hybrid pulled: Volkswagen Group plans to drop their Jetta Hybrid in 2017 in the U.S., due to low interest from consumer. While it was sold 5,655 times in 2013, only 277 units left dealerships since the beginning of this year. The Jetta was the company’s only remaining hybrid offered in the U.S.
Bentley Continental GT spotted: The next-generation Bentley Continental GT has been spotted. Photos of the car were snapped during testing, as it prepares for the 2018 release date.
Georgia Tech, Fraunhofer LBF, FEV & RWTH Aachen, Teijin.
Breakthrough for fuel cells? Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new fabrication technique to produce platinum-based hollow nanocages with ultra-thin walls that could significantly reduce the amount of the costly metal needed to provide catalytic activity. Use of these nanocage structures in fuel cell electrodes could increase the utilization efficiency of the platinum electrocatalyst by a factor of as much as seven.
Charging capacity is more important than range: The Fraunhofer LBF looked at the long distance capability of electric cars, finding that it is not the cars’ range, but the infrastructure’s sufficient charging capacity that will result in the vehicles being able to move about more quickly. The theory was confirmed during praxis tests as well as model calculations.
springerprofessional.de (in German)
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Pushing drivetrain development: German development service provider FEV and the Institute for Combustion Engines of the RWTH Aachen University (VKA) were able to establish a virtual connection between to separated test benches. That i.e. allows them to test different combinations of a hybrid drivetrain that are not mechanically compatible (yet) and would otherwise have to be adapted first.
CFK solar racer: Japanese Kogoakuin University is building a solar-powered car from carbon-fiber reinforced plastic with the help of Teijin’s companies Toho Tenax and GH Craft. The lightweight EV will take part in the World Solar Challenge in Australia in October.
RWTH Aachen, Phinergy, Renault, Toyota.
Engineering e-mobility: The German RWTH Aachen University has now founded the ‘Chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components.’ There, students will learn to produce electric drive trains, batteries and other EV components. Professor Achim Kampker presides over the new course of study. He is also the CEO of StreetScooter, an electric delivery van company. For RWTH it is the second EV effort, complementing its recently opened Centre for EV production.
automobil-industrie.vogel.de (In German)
High-energy aluminium-air batteries: Together, Israel-based Phinergy and Alcoa want to develop aluminum-air batteries. Phinergy says its batteries would have an increased lifespan and can power an electric car for up to 1,000 miles (1,600 km).
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Next Two details: ‘Greencarcongress’ has more details about Renault’s autonomous electric car of 2020. The Next Two prototype is based on the Zoe and is able to drive autonomously in congested traffic at speeds of up to 30 kph or at automated valet parking. The driver can then make use of the integrated video-conference service for example.
Unintentional winter testing: The latest arctic spells over the USA and Canada saw Toyota’s fuel cell cars being put to the test. According to reports from companies using the FCHV in their fleets, the cars worked just fine in sub-zero conditions.