Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International - January 2015

October 1, 2017 | Author: Roberto Aliandro Varella | Category: Plug In Hybrid, Hybrid Vehicle, Electric Car, Electric Vehicle, Turbocharger
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Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International - January 2015...


electric & hybrid vehicle technology international January 2015


How Elon Musk and other tech giants are revolutionizing the electric vehicle movement

RAGING ELECTRIC BULL Boasting 910ps, Lamborghini’s first-ever plug-in hybrid does not lack brute power

WHAT LIES BENEATH Wireless charging is the EV future, say its supporters. Will it ever become a reality?

January 2015

COACH JOURNEY Why aren’t buses making the transition from old diesel motors to clean new hybrids?

The Market Leader in EVSE Charge Station and Battery Testing

Key Standards Include: • UN 38.3 • CB Scheme • IEC 62133 • IEC 61851 • IEC 62196 • SAE J1772 • SAE J2953 • SAE J2380 • UN ECE R100.02 • CHAdeMO

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electric & hybrid

In this issue...

vehicle technology international January 2015




06. Charging bull Kept under wraps until a surprise reveal at the Paris Motor Show, the Asterion LPI 910-4 is Lamborghini’s firstever plug-in hybrid – and its most powerful development to date

UKIP Media & Events



How Elon Musk and other tech revolutionizing giants are the electric vehicle movement


Boasting 910ps, Lamborghini’s plug-in hybrid first-ever does not lack brute power

January 2015



Wireless charging supporters. Will is the EV future, say its it ever become a reality?



Why aren’t buses old diesel motors making the transition from to clean new hybrids?

Co ver illu str at ion by DA LE ED W IN MURR AY

11. Money talks Hyundai-Kia’s latest hybrid offering might still be in the prototype testing phase, but it’s already disproving the theory that cost is a barrier to the development of dieselelectric powertrains 14. Street smart No longer merely a concept vehicle, Toyota’s all-electric three-wheeler – the i-Road – is now streetlegal and taking part in a European fleet trial 16. Doubling up The second-generation XC90 sports Volvo’s new plug-in hybrid double-boosted Twin Engine, and the Swedish OEM claims it makes its SUV the cleanest in the world

COVER STORY 34. Tech takeover Should the emergence of tech companies as big hitters in the EV industry give traditional car makers a headache?


18 28

18. Charging forward VW’s e-powertrain offensive continues with the Passat GTE – a plug-in hybrid that’s the latest product of the MQB program 20. Production news A roundup of the latest news, developments and announcements from the EV world

25. An American tale E&H finds out how Venturi drew on a wealth of experience in the development of its latest two-seater car, the America 28. Personality profile Assistant chief engineer at Fiat Chrysler Powertrain, Sabino Luisi 30. EVs on test E&H spends some time with Mercedes-Benz’s E300 Bluetec Hybrid; Volkswagen’s e-Golf; Porsche’s Panamera S E-Hybrid; and the stunning Tesla Model S



32. EV speak Actor, writer and E&H columnist Robert Llewellyn on two game-changing vehicles he’s been driving recently

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 01

The New EiceDRIVER™ SIL & Boost – Driving Tomorrow’s Mobility Today In the search for alternative forms of mobility with a smaller carbon footprint, hybrid and electric vehicles are growing in importance. Infineon’s next-generation EiceDRIVER™ solutions can play a valuable role in increasing energy efficiency and reliability of these and other motor control applications. Based on our Coreless Transformer Technologies (CLT), these high-voltage IGBTs gate drivers feature a range of built-in features supporting system level functional safety. With a thermally optimized exposed pad package, these devices can drive and sink peak currents of up to 15A – making them ideal for most inverter systems in automotive applications where space savings, cost efficiency and ASIL C/D certification are priorities.


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31.10.2014 16:36:15

CONTENTS FEATURES 44. Hydrogen heyday Toyota’s fuel cell sedan, the Mirai, goes on sale in Japan in early 2015, which means production FCEVs have finally become a reality. E&H finds out all the engineering details 50. Public spectacle As cities look for far cleaner alternatives to diesel-powered buses, E&H visits various local authorities that are exploring the future of public transport 58. No strings How far away is the world from widespread wireless charging? And could it really silence electrification doubters once and for all? 66. Power struggle The EV industry is waiting on the next breakthrough in battery technology, but what could the future look like as scientists push ahead with cutting-edge research and development?

86. Biker gang The electric motorcycle industry is poised to take off as e-powertrain technologies mature for two-wheelers


94. Electric ancestor Introduced in 1973, the battery-powered Enfield 8000 predates modern electric city cars by decades – but just what went wrong? 98. Multiple choice Key developers in the transmission world are convinced that the future for EVs and PHEVs looks set to feature gearbox solutions with more than just one speed


106. Urban outfitters Could all-new hybrid commercial vehicles offer towns and cities a more cost-effective solution than allelectric powertrains? 114. Air apparent Harnessing the energy stored in liquid air could have exciting implications for diesel powertrains and refrigeration systems

124. Turning rubber Recycled tires can form the basis of a new material for anodes in Li-ion batteries, and could help bring the kWh cost down to much more manageable levels


130. Go the distance The switch to hybrid powertrains in the World Endurance Championship has seen LMP1 racers get impressively faster as well as more frugal

74. Heady metal MIT professor Donald Sadoway believes liquid metal batteries could be the key to future power demands 80. Top cat Project Ingenium might at first glance be all about downsized four-cylinder designs, but hybrids, plug-in hybrids and BEVs are on the way too for Jaguar Land Rover


141 86

118. Personal touch The LA Auto Show Design Challenge looks at how the humanmachine interface looks set to change

137. Transferable skills DRS, a global power electronics supplier, has turned its defense expertise to the commercial sector 141. Drive to succeed As demand for electric and hybrid vehicles grows, driveline pioneer, GKN, is keeping up with the market needs 200. Last word Resident columnist Greg Offer on why the meteoric rise of Tesla shouldn’t really surprise the industry

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 03


174 PRODUCTS & SERVICES 145. IGBT gate drivers (Infineon Technologies) 149. Reluctance-assisted motors (TM4) 152. Simulating BMS strategies (D2T) 154. Heavy-duty mild hybrids (AVL) 156. CAE driving models (Brüel & Kjær) 158. BMS safety standards (Lithium Balance) 160. Correct voltage conversions (Lear) 162. Electric powertrain testing (D&V Electronics) 164. Ultracapacitor storage (Maxwell Technologies) 166. Gold-plated resistors (Power and Signal Group) 168. EV drivetrain control (Actia Automotive) 170. Zero-emissions motoring (Mouser Electronics) 172. Flywheel-based KERS (Flybrid) 173. Vehicle safety processors (Toshiba) 174. Fuel cell power box (Brusa Elektronik)

175. Performance Li-ion cells (Xalt Energy) 176. Lithium-sulfur batteries (Oxis Energy) 177. Advanced inverter cooling (International Rectifier) 178. Automotive EV cables (Huber+Suhner) 179. Multi-physics simulation (CD-adapco) 180. Sensor self-diagnostics (Allegro MicroSystems) 181. Optimized electric drives (Kinetics Drive Solutions) 182. Sensor bearing technology (SKF) 183. Simulating thermal design (Mentor Graphics) 184. Modular energy storage (Sensor-Technik Wiedemann) 185. Advanced power analysis (Hottinger Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik) Messtechnik ) 186. High rate discharge testing (Arbin Instruments)

187. Flexible chargers (EDN) ( 188. Extended battery lifetime (EnerSys) 189. Drivetrain ultracapacitors (Skeleton Technologies) 190. FPGAs in EV drive systems (Altera) 192. Products & services in brief


EDITOR’S NOTE You know electric vehicles are starting to come of age when companies synonymous with heart-thumping V6, V8, V10 and V12 creations start to embrace powertrain electrification. Granted, what Toyota, Honda, VW, Renault, Nissan et al are doing with sustainable transportation for the masses is far more important on a wider society level, but we all know developments like the McLaren P1, Porsche 918 Spyder and Ferrari LaFerrari are what gets most of us car enthusiasts going. And now even Lamborghini is at it, showcasing its first-ever plug-in hybrid, the Asterion. The future of the automotive industry looks not only green and clean, but very exciting too – the end is not nigh for supercars, sports cars, hot hatches and performance sedans after all. But the growing influence that powertrain electrification, sustainable transportation and autonomous driving is having in the automotive sphere is adding a new dimension. Conventional car makers and suppliers, which have been around for numerous decades, if not more than a century in some cases, now not only have to do battle with themselves, they are also facing attack from a new breed of tech companies keen to fill the EV and self-driving vacuum. “We’re a technology company making electric cars,” said Elon Musk to me a few months back at the RHD launch of the Tesla Model S in the UK. And while Musk’s Tesla goes from strength to strength, dominating the electric vehicle arena with products that, generally speaking, are far more desirable, go for longer, and offer much more power than other EV rivals, Google, one of the world’s largest companies across every sector and industry, is eyeing autonomous driving. Here’s an organization that generated revenues of US$60bn in 2013 – more than some established car makers – and ominously for the automotive industry, it clearly thinks that self-driving electric cars are the future and, like the internet, Google wants to own this space.

The rationale is that with clean architectures, innovative approaches and a different way of thinking, these new tech companies, with no legacies to working unions and manufacturing plants, and with an ethos of developing technology first and thinking about profits later, hold an advantage over conventional car makers, especially as EVs jump from the niche into the mass market, while autonomous driving progresses from being a pipe dream to a reality. Are we really facing a situation where the pioneers of this industry – the likes of BMW, Daimler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, Jaguar Land Rover, Renault-Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen Group and Volvo – are now no longer our leading lights as the sustainable future unfolds? I think that is very unlikely, but most, if not all the above, have recognized there are new names in town and these tech players are not only coming at powertrain development and automotive manufacturing from a totally different angle, they are ripping up a lot of the R&D and production rules that we as an industry have adhered to for so long. “Companies like Tesla and Google show that there are other ways to get into this business,” says Bentley’s engineering head, Rolf Frech, in our tech special feature that starts on page 34. Gerald Killman, Frech’s counterpart at Toyota, fully agrees: “As engineers, we always like competition, and these new products that come into the market show us that we should never believe in the constraints we give ourselves.” Change is taking place and the next 10 years might just be the most important time for the automotive industry as we know it. Last word, then, to the man probably spearheading that change the most, Mr Musk, who told me before he left the Model S event in London earlier this year, “What’s very important is sustainable transport. Autonomous driving is nice to have but not required; sustainable transport is what’s required.” Dean Slavnich

04 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

The word wizards Editor: Dean Slavnich Deputy editor: Matt Ross Assistant editor: John Thornton Production editor: Alex Bradley Chief sub editor: Andrew Pickering Deputy chief sub editor: Nick Shepherd Proofreaders: Aubrey Jacobs-Tyson, Christine Velarde Contributors Farah Alkhalisi, Nargess Banks, Josh Bentall, Philip Borge, John Challen, Brian Cowan, Matt Davis, Rachel Evans, Adam Gavine, Dan Gilkes, Max Glaskin, Burkhard Goeschel, James Gordon, Mark Hales, Graham Heeps, John Kendall, Andrew Lee, Robert Llewellyn, Mike Magda, Jim McCraw, Max Mueller, Bruce Newton, John O’Brien, Greg Offer, Keith Read, Rex Roy, John Simister, Michael Taylor, Adam Towler, Karl Vadaszffy, Saul Wordsworth The ones who make it look nice Art director: Craig Marshall Art editor: Ben White Design team: Louise Adams, Andy Bass, Anna Davie, Andrew Locke, James Sutcliffe, Nicola Turner, Julie Welby Production people Head of production & logistics: Ian Donovan Deputy production manager: Lewis Hopkins Production team: Carole Doran, Cassie Inns, Frank Millard, Robyn Skalsky Circulation manager: Adam Frost The ones in charge CEO: Tony Robinson Managing director: Graham Johnson Editorial director: Anthony James Commercial colleagues Sales and marketing director: Simon Edmands How to contact us Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International Abinger House, Church Street, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 1DF, UK +44 1306 743744 [email protected] www.ukipme.com/ev Subscriptions £66/US$118 for two issues Published by

UKIP Media & Events Ltd The views expressed in the articles and technical papers are those of the authors and are not endorsed by the publisher. While every care has been taken during production, the publisher does not accept any liability for errors that may have occurred. This publication is protected by copyright ©2015. ISSN 1467-5560 Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International . Printed by William Gibbons & Sons Ltd, Willenhall, West Midlands, UK.

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The Asterion is not just the most powerful Lamborghini ever created, it’s also the first development from the Italian supercar maker that features powertrain electrification

Part brain, part


06 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International




he finer technical details remain scarce and the company is staying true to its somewhat secretive nature, but, despite this, how could we not begin this issue of E&H with anything but a plug-in hybrid Lamborghini that drops massive engineering hints as to where the Italian supercar maker is headed to next in terms of powertrains and products? Now, before we get too carried away, let’s get some things out in the open from the start. Lamborghini maintains that the Asterion LPI 910-4 – one of the genuine surprise reveals at the 2014 Paris Motor Show – is a special, one-off concept. But, despite this, here is a true working technology demonstrator that confirms two things if nothing else: all car makers – every single one of them, including Lamborghini, whose supercar creations across the years have only ever been powered by V8, V10 and V12 thumping hearts – are about to be hit hard with a new round of emissions legislation, forcing everybody and

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 07


VITAL STATISTICS Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive, front wheels driven by electric motors Displacement: 5,204cc Power: 910ps Torque: 560Nm Bore & Stroke: 84.5mm x 92.8mm Compression ratio: 12.7: 1 Top speed: 310km/h (192mph) Acceleration (0-100km/h): 3.0 seconds Fuel consumption: 4.12l/100km (68.5mpg) CO2 emission: 98g/km Electric range: 50km


anybody to either downsize displacement or quickly adopt e-powertrain solutions or, in most cases, both. For the Asterion, Lamborghini has gone with option two from that list, but more on that later. The second thing that this tech demonstrator proves is that hybrid and electric vehicle powertrain technology – if you were in any doubt beforehand – isn’t just here to stay, it’s also hitting the market with some style and panache. Granted, conventional e-powertrain developments are crucial for the industry and society in general (family-friendly mass movers like the Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf are prime examples of that), but it’s the exotic heart-skipsa-beat creations like the Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1, Porsche 918 Spyder, and yes, even the Asterion concept, that are where it’s at. “We at Lamborghini always invest in new technologies and we deliver the unexpected,” said president Stephan Winkelmann at the unveiling of the Asterion in Paris. Now, plug-in hybrid designs might not be new on an industrywide basis, but very few knew of the Italian company’s PHEV plans prior to the motorshow, so kudos to Winkelmann and his team of engineers for not only delivering such a hybrid beast, but also for keeping it under wraps and away from prying media eyes.

Power trip

But what makes Asterion so significant is that there’s more to this development than just being Lamborghini’s first dalliance with e-powertrain systems. Somewhat ironically – in so much that PHEVs have become synonymous with the sustainable transportation utopian vision – the Asterion is the most powerful Lamborghini ever created, with 910ps resulting in a blink-and-


08 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International


ALL IN THE NAME The clue as to what powers the Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 can be found in its very name. ‘LP’ stands for ‘longitudinale posteriore’ – the longitudinal mid-rear position of the V10 engine; ‘I’ is for ‘ibrido’ – the Italian for hybrid; the ‘910’ represents total system power; and ‘4’ signifies the car’s permanent 4WD capability. As for Asterion? Well, that’s somewhat less straightforward and one for all the ancient Greek mythology experts out there. Asterion is the proper name of Minotaur, a mythical ‘hybrid’ figure that was symbolic of crossbreeding, representing a story of powerful fusion between intellect and instinct – part man, part bull.


you’ll-miss-it 0-100km/h sprint time of just 3.0 seconds. Top speed is 310km/h (192mph). But such hard-hitting power to the wheels is only part of the story: this is a Lamborghini that is said to return 4.12l/100km (68.5mpg) on NEDC with emissions output coming 2g/km under that magical 100g/km level. Designed and developed entirely in-house by Lamborghini engineers – meaning that there’s no apparent Porsche or Audi crossover here – the Asterion is home to the Italian car maker’s 5.2-liter V10 mid-engine, as seen previously in the Gallardo and currently in the Huracan, and no fewer than three powerful brushless electric motors, which help ensure an emissions-free commute for 50km (31 miles). Careful acceleration will also allow the Lamborghini tech demonstrator to drive in e-mode up to speeds of 125km/h (77mph). The trio of e-motors is powered by a lithium-ion battery that’s placed longitudinally in the center tunnel of the Asterion, essentially replacing the transmission that otherwise would have been located in the same area. Leveraging know-how and experience that other VW Group members have gained with their EV-related projects, Lamborghini says the placement of the battery down the center tunnel allows for better balance and handling, as well as further protecting the pack in case of a collision.

3 1. Offering CO2 emissions of 98g/km and a pure electric driving range of 50km, the Asterion LPI 910-4 has been conceived more for comfortable luxury daily cruising than for ultimate track performance 2. The Asterion’s clear polycarbonate rear engine cover features hexagon-shaped cut-outs through which to view the 5.2 V10 3. Although it uses the engine from the Huracan, the Asterion is based on the same carbon fiber monocoque as the Aventador 4. Driven in pure electric mode, the Asterion is the first front-wheel-drive Lamborghini

The Asterion’s architecture sees one of the three electric motors incorporate an integrated starter motor and generator (ISG) design, and sits between the V10 and the 7-speed DSG. The two electric motors at the front axle are fed by power from the ISG with a torque vectoring function. Such a setup allows the world’s most efficient Lambo to serve up two driving modes: hybrid, which combines the V10 with all three e-motors, ensuring a permanent four-wheel-drive state without being dependent on the battery’s charge level; and pure electric, where only the two frontal motors are active and in use. These hybrid subsystems, including the battery pack, weigh 250kg in total. For now, though, Lamborghini won’t reveal the total weight of the Asterion. In terms of where exactly that 910ps comes from, some 300ps is the responsibility of the e-motors, while the remaining lion’s share comes from the longitudinally mounted, naturally aspirated 5,204cc engine. And just for good measure, the IC unit also serves up an additional 560Nm torque. For those in the EV world who are not overly familiar with Lamborghini power units – after all, this is a company that just doesn’t ‘do’ below six-cylinders – the V10 in the Asterion seems like-for-like with the 5.2 powertrain in the Huracan, with matching power ratings across the board. As such, aspects such as bore (84.5mm), stroke (92.8mm) and compression ratio (12.7:1) all probably remain the same too. Further information – such as development goals and challenges, as well as data relating to the battery (cooling, cells, modules and capacity) – is not being disclosed yet by Lamborghini. For us at E&H that’s fine for now, because the EV world is perfectly happy to welcome a car maker with super sportscar roots dating back to 1963 to the modern e-powertrain movement.

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 09

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WHAT’S NEW? HYUNDAI-KIA DIESEL-HYBRID Hyundai-Kia engineers are currently focusing on further optimization of the mild diesel-hybrid powertrain, with R&D work on the project having first commenced just under two years ago


Smart money Said to cost a quarter of the price of a full hybrid powertrain development, Hyundai-Kia’s diesel-electric propulsion innovation makes sense on both a business and engineering level

Those car companies that are not committing themselves to launching a diesel-hybrid powertrain for the mass market – usually Japanese OEMs, but North American ones too – tend to cite a multitude of factors at play when asked about their reluctance, the greatest one being overall development and production costs. In fact, to date, the only diesel-hybrid vehicles on offer have come from PSA Peugeot Citroën, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Range Rover. Well, now for something a little different; a novel solution that combines diesel with electric, ticks various emissions reduction and performance boxes, and even manages to effectively tackle that overriding cost issue. Introducing, then, the T-Hybrid (standing for ‘turbo hybrid’) powertrain concept from HyundaiKia, which made its debut at the Paris Motor Show housed in Optima and i40 tech demonstrators. Still under development – and very much in the prototype testing phase – the innovative powertrain seems to have a rather simplistic engineering setup, pairing together a 1.7-liter CRDi turbodiesel with a 48V lead-carbon battery, a small electric motor and an electric supercharger. But what makes the entire project even more interesting is that Hyundai-Kia is saying it is prepping this technology not for experimental studies, but rather for mass production one day in the near future.

Everything has a price

Currently, Hyundai-Kia offers various markets around the world hybrid products that essentially combine a gasoline engine with e-motor(s) powered by a lithium-polymer battery. Diesel-hybrids, as previously acknowledged, are “rather expensive, from our point of view”, admits Jurgen Grimm, head of powertrain for the Korean car maker’s European operations, adding that the cost of development doesn’t quite match up to the fuel economy gains that can be realized in the real world from such a technology. So, around 20 months ago, Grimm’s engineering team went back to the drawing board to find a solution that would allow for a big step to be made in CO2 reduction – up to 20%, he says – but also wouldn’t blow the R&D budget. “We asked ourselves which kind of technology is the most appropriate for us to realize that kind of decrease in emissions, but also takes into account cost. In the end, we decided on this mild hybrid system because it combines several components that already exist and are in use, and then if and when lithium-ion or lithium-polymer gets cheaper, we can easily implement this type of battery into the system. “From our perspective, when you compare the cost of developing a new hybrid or electric

vehicle powertrain with our system that improves existing powertrains but still meets economy and performance goals, the difference is huge.” In fact, a Hyundai source even said that its mild hybrid creation probably costs around a quarter to develop and build in comparison with a full hybrid, such are the savings to be had. The Optima and i40 show cars both feature a new belt-driven starter generator (BSG) that replaces the conventional alternator, enabling the engine to restart with little noise or vibration. Stop/start capability further drives down emissions output, but what makes the entire package really appealing is that as new citycenter regs come into force, the powertrain can operate in electric-only mode at low speeds of up to 20km/h (12mph) for a range of 2km (1.2 miles), as well as when steady cruising. “We also have load leveling, which means when the engine is operating at a low-load, we can increase the load by the electrical alternator and can even charge the battery if necessary,” adds Grimm. Deceleration also serves to charge the battery as well as regenerative braking, with the BSG working as a generator.

Lead not lithium

The cost issue is also one of the main reasons why Hyundai-Kia opted for a 48V lead-carbon battery, developed in collaboration with suppliers

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 11

WHAT’S NEW? HYUNDAI-KIA DIESEL-HYBRID 1. Rather than the lithium battery used in the current US-market Optima Hybrid, the T-Hybrid powertrain features a 48V lead-carbon technology that requires no active cooling, is highly durable and very compact


that Grimm wouldn’t disclose the names of, but another factor that played a crucial role in this decision-making process is that the technology’s end-of-life recyclability is well established. “We can get material from lead-carbon batteries that we can then sell on when we’re finished with them, whereas with lithium-ion, you have to pay to obtain it and it’s not clear if you’ll get anything back at the end-of-life stage.” In addition, lead-carbon helps with the general engineering simplification theme entwined with this project in that the battery, which is placed in the trunk of the Optima and i40, requires no active cooling, is very durable and is so compact in size that Grimm says it can easily be installed in just about any Hyundai-Kia model and architecture. In fact, the entire package is said to weigh no more than 50kg. The 1.7-liter diesel engine is supplemented with a Valeodeveloped electric supercharger that works in addition to the IC base’s BorgWarner turbo, in the process eliminating turbo lag and offering power and torque across the range, particularly at low RPM. This latter point is especially pertinent to Grimm. “Five or six years ago, we were heavily investigating twostage turbocharging for diesels, and from our perspective we didn’t really see the value of this for our cars in Europe,” he explains, adding that the main reason for this was because Kia didn’t have a presence in the high-end performance diesel sector. “So, we went back and gave it some more thought, and to bridge that gap between performance and economy, from our point of view, electrification – and therefore mild hybrids – is a much more appropriate technology.” He continues, “When you have a two-stage turbocharger, you do get low-end torque and high-performance, but there’s only a small step to be had when it comes to CO2 benefits. With this mild hybrid, we have the possibility to use recuperated energy, making it very efficient.” The 48V e-machine delivers some 10kW of electrical power, which in the i10 results in total system output of 155ps and 360Nm torque. It is safe to assume that a similar 1520% increase in overall power in the Optima is also realized, although Kia is not confirming any actual numbers yet. “We use this power for starting the engine,” adds Grimm, “because it enables us to ramp up the engine to 800rpm, at which point the combustion starts, which means it’s a very fast and very smooth operation.” Although Grimm cites such a smooth engine startup process as “a big benefit”, another important plus-point is what the

12 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

2 2. The mild diesel-hybrid development has been designed so that it can be easily installed in most current Hyundai-Kia architectures, including the third-generation Sorento

prototype unit does at take-off stage: “With most diesels, during take-off you can feel a certain lack of torque; it’s either that, or you have to have a very short first gear. What we’ve done is elongate the gearbox to support the launch by the electrical machine with 150Nm up to 1,000rpm. This gives the driver an instant start of power.” Currently, Hyundai-Kia’s powertrain team is in the testing stage of the diesel-hybrid’s development program. “To be more specific,” reveals Grimm, “we’re testing to find the optimal operation mode regarding electrical components and the combustion engine.” And if all that’s not impressive enough, T-Hybrid ticks one last box for Kia in particular, which finds itself in something of a tricky market position: “We’re in the D-segment with a 1.7-liter diesel engine, and customers tend to think it’s a little underpowered, but we don’t want to install our 2-liter diesel in the Optima because it brings more load to the front suspension and we’d have to re-design the front-end module with regard to aerodynamics,” explains Grimm. As a result, 48V technology, he says, is a simple solution implementation that will allow Kia to increase the Optima’s power, thus eliminating that need to make a larger IC engine available in this class.

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City slicker

With its lightweight 300kg mass, compact battery pack and two 1.9kW e-motors, i-Road is proving to be a big success with city commuters in Grenoble and Toyota City

In an effort to better understand how to create the perfect integrated public transportation service, Toyota has made its i-Road concept road legal and it’s now part of a pioneering new fleet trial At the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Toyota surprised much of the industry by unveiling a new form of personal transportation – the so-called i-Road. An all-electric three-wheeler, here was a compact, versatile and funky concept ideal for the urban environment with its 50km (31 mile) zero-emissions driving capability. And following its unveiling, the industry was left feeling mightily impressed with Toyota’s personal mobility vehicle (PMV) attempt, but few thought such a development would hit the road anytime soon. Well, less than two years after its worldwide debut – and at the Paris Motor Show in October – a road-legal version of the company’s tricycleformat PMV made its European debut, having successfully already been part of fleet trials in Toyota City in Japan earlier in 2014. Now part of a major pilot program in Grenoble, France, the i-Road, a two-seater three-wheeler, has lined up with another Toyota EV, the COMS, a single-seater four-wheeler, as part of a 70-strong electric vehicle supply commitment from the Japanese car maker for the three-year low-carbon car sharing scheme, known as Cite lib Ha:Mo, which includes partners EDF and Sodetrel. The project essentially invites anyone 18 years or older with a valid driving license to register with Cite Lib in order to gain access to the innovative Toyota EVs. Once subscribed, participants can

download an app on their smartphone or tablet to see the real-time location of the vehicles that are charged and ready to use. Away from the virtual environment and in the real world, people will be able to pick up and drop off their i-Road or COMS at a different location – any of the 27 charging stations in the greater Grenoble area – rather than having to make a round trip. When the vehicle is dropped off, it is then plugged back into the system for charging, ready for the next person to use, allowing the entire scheme to map out a better way of building a fully integrated public transport service.

Urban warrior

But as much as Cite lib Ha:Mo is pioneering, so too is the i-Road. Never covered previously in E&H, the road-legal tricycle PMV is 2,345mm long (5mm less than the 2013 Geneva concept); 1,455mm high (10mm taller); 870mm wide (20mm wider); and boasts a wheelbase of 1,695mm (down by 5mm), all of which is about the same as conventional two-wheelers. Between concept stage in 2013 and making it road legal for Toyota City and Grenoble this year, the electric powertrain has largely remained unchanged, featuring a lithium-ion battery providing power to a pair of 1.9kW (2kW for the concept) electric motors that are mounted to the

14 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

front wheels. Along with the 50km driving range, a top speed of 60km/h (37mph) is also possible – ideal for inner city commuting. Such tiny e-powertrain proportions – i-Road weighs only 300kg – means it takes just three hours to fully charge the vehicle, but perhaps what’s just as impressive is another new Toyota technology that the PMV debuts: Active Lean. According to Toyota, key to the higher levels of stability, safety and comfort that the i-Road offers is Active Lean, which operates in conjunction with rear-wheel steering via a conventional steering wheel, and also features a lean actuator motor and gearing mounted above the front suspension member, linked via a yoke to the left and right front wheels. An ECU calculates the required lean based on a steering angle, gyro-sensor and vehicle speed data. The system automatically moves the wheels up and down in opposite directions and is able to apply a lean angle to counteract the centrifugal force of cornering. Active Lean also operates when the i-Road is being driven straight ahead on a stepped surface, with the lean actuator automatically compensating for changes in the road surface to keep the body level.

WHAT’S NEW? VOLVO TWIN ENGINE The Volvo XC90 Twin Engine combines an in-line four-cylinder IC unit driving the front wheels, featuring an Eaton supercharger and BorgWarner turbocharger, with a 60kW electric motor that powers the rear wheels

On a charge


Thanks to its new VEA architecture, the all-new Volvo XC90 features powertrain electrification as well as a double-boosted IC engine base In creating the all-new, second-generation XC90, Volvo claims to have delivered the world’s most powerful and cleanest SUV. Granted, the automotive industry is beginning to get rather blasé and tired with such marketing-led statements, but having looked into the finer details, it’s tough to argue against such lofty claims: XC90 is a 2,000kg (or so) seven-seater with all-wheel drive, delivering 400ps and 640Nm torque, but with ultra-low emissions of just 60g/km CO2. How is all this possible? Well, important advances in powertrain electrification have certainly played a central role – it’s no surprise that we’re talking about a PHEV development here – but so too has a clever new petrol engine fresh off Volvo’s VEA architecture. Karin Thorn, director of powertrain strategy at Volvo, says that while such headline-grabbing numbers were no easy feat to achieve, some clever forward-planning helped her team to integrate Volvo’s new plug-in hybrid powertrain – branded Twin Engine – within the XC90 footprint without having to overcome too many engineering hurdles. “If we had attempted this with an existing vehicle, it would have been far more challenging for us, but for the XC90, this [PHEV powertrain] was part of the strategy from the beginning, which meant choosing the engine, gearbox and electronics right at the start.” The lithium-ion battery pack and its optimal location within the central tunnel is an obvious example of how early planning (work on VEA started in 2008) helped Volvo’s powertrain engineering team to easily package the plug-in hybrid nature of XC90. “If we had to work with an existing architecture and not our new Scalable Product

Architecture, we probably would have put the pack in the boot or wherever we could find space.” The result of such electrification measures is not only amazingly low SUV benchmark-setting emissions levels, but also an all-electric driving mode that can cover some 40km (24 miles) – crucial for inner-city emissions-free zones.

Boost action

But while the various hybrid subsystems – including the 60kW e-motor that drives the rear wheels, battery pack and crank-mounted generator – have played an instrumental role in driving emissions down to that 60g/km threshold, perhaps the more interesting technical story of this PHEV creation lies not with its powertrain electrification parts, but rather the gasoline IC engine that powers the front wheels. Interestingly, the VEA 2-liter in-line fourcylinder sports a supercharger and turbocharger, a combination that only one other car maker – Volkswagen – has used in a mass production engine, and to great affect, with the Wolfsburg OEM winning no fewer than 12 International Engine of the Year Awards for the 1.4 TSI TwinCharger since its launch in 2006.

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Displacement: 1,969cc Bore x stroke (mm): 82 x 93.2 Compression ratio: 10.8:1 Electric motor: Driving rear wheels; 60kW Transmissions: 8-speed Aisin Engine block and cylinder head: Aluminum

One of the reasons why so few car makers have not followed VW’s TSI TwinCharger lead has been because it’s an expensive option, but Thorn has a different take: “To boost an engine – turbo and supercharge it – is a cost-effective way of getting power compared with other solutions such as adding size and cylinders. This is our top-ofthe-line engine, so that’s another reason why we opted for this technology.” Last year, Thorn’s then-boss, Derek Crabb, who was vice president of powertrain engineering at Volvo before recently retiring, told E&H’s sister title, Engine Technology International, that his team opted for a twin-charging arrangement to ensure that the new four-cylinder engine could replace a six and eight without causing any concern to the customer. “The situation we faced was this: we were taking out six-cylinder engines and replacing them with fours, but customers were saying they wanted the same power. Getting power from engines is easy, but what the customer actually feels is responsiveness, which he/she translates to power, but it’s not actually power, it’s a transient issue.” The result is an Eaton supercharger to fill in the bottom-end torque, giving the 1,969cc unit a big naturally aspirated feel, added Crabb. The mechanically linked compressor functions immediately at low revs, with the BorgWarner turbo kicking in when airflow builds up. “For this engine, we really didn’t want any compromises on performance,” adds Thorn. “So boosting with turbocharging was what we decided to use.” And while the Volvo team did look to twin-turbo charging in addition, that solution, according to Crabb, was quickly ruled out because “we wanted this whack of response at the low end”.


Plug the gap The all-new Passat GTE becomes the latest development to spin off from VW’s ever-growing e-powertrain MQB portfolio

The eighth-generation Passat is the latest MQB e-powertrain development from VW

The wonderful thing about new, state-of-the-art flexible and modular architecture is that it gives powertrain engineers numerous technical options. And perhaps no other car maker is executing this mantra better at present than Volkswagen with its MQB program, which has spawned refreshed and new IC engines, hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery electric developments over the past year. Hot on the heels of the likes of e-Golf and e-Up, Golf GTE and Twin Up (the latter of which is still in conceptual phase), as well as the limited production run XL1, is the next MQB e-powertrain baby: the Passat GTE, a front-wheel drive plug-in hybrid that can do up to 50km (31 miles) in allelectric mode. Now in its eighth generation, the new Passat is the first VW product that comes in PHEV form

motor has been uprated from the Golf’s 102ps (75kW) offering. But like VW’s hatchback plugin hybrid, the e-motor is integrated within the transmission housing. The 6-speed DSG, which has been developed especially for VW hybrid applications, has three clutches and whenever possible the disengagement clutch disengages the TSI unit from the driven front axle and shuts it off – meaning that in certain drive states, such as coasting, kinetic energy is used without any added propulsive power. The liquid-cooled high-voltage lithiumion battery has also had a power upgrade for project Passat, going from 8.8kWh capacity for Wolfsburg’s first PHEV to 9.9kWh. Although unconfirmed at the time of writing, the weight of the Passat’s battery pack, which is located under the rear seats, will probably fall in line with that of the Golf’s – so around 120kg. Additional components of the Passat’s hybrid drive include power electronics that covert DC power from the battery to AC power for the e-motor. An electromechanical brake servo and an electric air-conditioning compressor ensure optimal and energy-efficient operation of the brakes and air-con unit when e-mode is active. To charge the Passat GTE’s battery from completely flat to full via a standard cable plugged into a 230V electrical socket takes 4 hours and 15 minutes. A fast charge wall box unit operating at a level of 3.6kW will reduce total charge time to just 2 hours and 30 minutes.

in both sedan and tourer body derivatives. While that’s noteworthy, more interesting is the powertrain, which combines a 1.4 TSI turbo engine developing 156ps at 5,000rpm with an 115ps (85kW) electric motor that benefits from energy coming from a chargeable lithium-ion battery pack, meaning that total system output is 218ps. Such power – along with the 330Nm of instant torque – not only allows for that 50km all-electric driving capability, but it also ensures the GTE can hit speeds of 130km/h (80mph) relying solely on the e-motor and battery pack. With the transversely mounted IC motor also up and running, top speed is enhanced to 220km/h (136mph) while 0-100km/h (0-62mph) takes less than eight seconds. But perhaps even more importantly for a firm family lugger and fleet company car favorite such as this is its environmental competencies and here too the new Passat doesn’t fall short: total driving range (with e-motor and TSI engine combined) is in excess of 1,000km (621 miles), which equates to 2 liters/100km (141mpg) and CO2 emissions of fewer than 45g/km.

Sibling sharing

The TSI engine and e-motor produce 218ps of total system power, with some 330Nm of instant torque also available

In terms of inner system workings, the Passat GTE’s powertrain is not too dissimilar to that of the Golf GTE, but it would be overly simplistic to say that the e-powertrain was plucked from one project only to be placed in another. For starters, the three-phase permanent magnet synchronous

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EV NEWS GKN PRODUCES WORLD’S FIRST 2-SPEED ELECTRIC AXLE GKN has developed the automotive industry’s first 2-speed eAxle for hybrids and EVs, with the technology being applied for the first time in the BMW i8. The eAxle enables automakers to produce axel-split hybrids. A conventional or hybridized engine provides the primary power to either the front or rear wheels, with the other axle being driven by an eAxle module. The technology responds intelligently to deliver an instant, hightorque, all-wheel drive experience, a useful pure electric range or a refined, efficient parallel-hybrid mode. Giving the electric motor an additional gear ratio improves acceleration and the pure electric range, benefiting both driving dynamics and CO2 emissions. GKN’s 2-speed eAxle also enables the motor and all its associated systems to be downsized, reducing mass and further increasing efficiency.

“Two-speed eAxles will help manufacturers enhance hybrid and electric drivetrains and support the trend to downsize eMotors to reduce weight and cost,” says Theodor Gassmann, GKN Driveline’s vice president for product technology eDrive systems. “With the technology proved in a highperformance vehicle with high levels of refinement, significant savings in CO2 are possible.”

BYD UNVEILS THE INDUSTRY’S LARGEST BATTERY ELECTRIC VEHICLE BYD Motors has debuted America’s first all-electric articulated bus. Called the Lancaster eBus, the 18.3m articulated battery-electric application can drive upward of 270km (170 miles) with a passenger load of up to 120, and demonstrates BYD’s commitment to the American rapid transit markets. “BYD’s mission is to create safer and more environmentally friendly battery technologies,” says motors fleet sales vice president Brendan Riley. “This has resulted in the BYD iron-phosphate battery, a fire-safe, completely recyclable and incredibly long-cycle technology – the foundation of BYD’s electric buses. These buses run entirely on battery power, lasting up to 24 hours on a single charge, with a single off-peak charging time of between two and four hours. What’s more, no additional generation capacity is needed to be built to charge our buses at night, since the grid is only 40% employed.”

SEOUL TO OFFER ELECTRIC VEHICLE INCENTIVES The city government of Seoul has reportedly partnered with BMW, GM, Hyundai-Kia and Renault Samsung to encourage customers to buy electric vehicles from one of the four car makers. Seoul’s ‘Civilian Supply of Electric Cars Program’ is intended to boost uptake in a city that has seen EV use suffer from a lack of infrastructure and road laws that restrict the use of electric cars on certain roads. The program offers cash incentives – up to around US$18,000 – for vehicles manufactured by one of the four OEMs. The city will also offer corporate customers further incentives to install charging stations in their parking lots. BMW Korea has committed to installing over 120 charging points at major locations around the city, and is also offering potential customers the chance to rent the i3 for up to 10 days to fully test drive the car.

CHEVROLET TO DEBUT VOLTEC SYSTEM IN NEXT-GENERATION VOLT When the next-generation Chevrolet Volt debuts at the North American International Auto Show in January, it will feature an all-new Voltec extended range electric vehicle (EREV) propulsion system. GM says its battery technology has been substantially improved for the new vehicle, with revised cell chemistry, developed in conjunction with LG Chem, increasing storage capacity by 20% on a volume basis compared with the

20 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

original cell, while the number of cells has been reduced from 288 to 192. The cells are also positioned lower in the pack for an improved lower center of gravity and the overall mass of the pack has decreased by almost 13kg. “It would have been simple for us to tweak our existing battery to provide nominally increased range, but that’s not what our customers want,” says Larry Nitz, executive director of GM Powertrain’s electrification engineering team. “So our team created a new battery system that will exceed the performance expectations of most of our owners.” Like the battery pack, the next-generation Volt’s drive unit has been re-engineered with a focus on increased efficiency and performance, improved packaging and reduced noise and vibration. The two-motor drive unit operates approximately 5-12% more efficiently and weighs 45kg less than the current system.

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WHAT’S NEW? VENTURI AMERICA Development work on the America, which features two e-motors and a T-shaped battery pack, began in 2012

Test cell Prior to achieving final sign-off, Venturi’s newest EV creation underwent extreme testing and validation

Having launched its first all-electric vehicle, the Fétish, in 2004, some five years after the company’s e-powertrain rebirth, Monégasque auto maker Venturi unveiled at the 2014 Paris Motor Show the latest addition to its production model line-up – the America. The two-seater, rear-wheel-drive sports car, says Venturi, is the culmination of a range of experimental technical projects completed over the past few years, including different vehicles designed to break speed, endurance and extreme high-temperature durability records. Actual development on the EV started in 2012, at Venturi’s headquarters in Monaco, but two years before that, Franck Baldet, head of testing, validation and homologation, put together an intense physical test program for the project, which focused first on battery assessment at cellular level: “We started by characterizing the chosen cell regarding its voltage, current and the thermal behavior. That involved charging and discharging the cell on a test bench in Austria.” At that stage, although a virtual model of the car had not yet been finalized, such critical batterybased data was fed into various simulation models to enable the team to later decide the optimal location of the battery pack for cooling requirements.

Once the cells – the developer of which Venturi won’t disclose – had been fully characterized, Baldet’s team was able to decide where to place the modules and decide upon the type of interfaces between the modules, as well as make a final decision relating to battery pack hardware. After that, the Venturi engineering team built a battery module and tested it on a larger rig internally designed to meet their specific needs. The module included an ECU, developed by Venturi’s in-house electronic department, to monitor cell behavior, and the charge and discharge cycles were conducted at higher voltage and currents. In order to ensure that all the ECUs were communicating freely together, they were connected on a static test bench without the battery, e-motor or inverter – a stage in the project that Baldet refers to as “ground zero”. Further optimizations of the ECUs were undertaken throughout the testing program. For the record, the powerful e-motor technology was also fully developed in-house by Venturi engineers. Once the final battery layout had been adopted and coupled with the cooling system, the pack was subjected to further rig testing using a mule prototype. Such a detailed approach led

engineers to opt for a T-shaped pack, also created in-house by the car maker’s technical department, which is housed inside a carbon composite Kevlar chassis. An aluminum honeycomb structure provides optimal protection for both the battery pack and passengers. “For these tests we used real cells because otherwise we would have lost time re-testing,” adds Baldet. “We also ran basic functional safety tests where we over-charged and over-discharged the battery to check that the fuse and the conductors were working properly. “We conducted shock tests to ensure that the pack does not displace in the event of sudden acceleration or deceleration, and to ensure it does not short-circuit either. That involved running a chassis, with the battery inside, into a wall. We also did immersion tests where the battery was soaked in 1m of water for 30 minutes.” According to Baldet, a particular focus throughout the development program of the America was placed on ensuring minimal contact resistance between the cells: “When current gets

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 25


TECH SPEC Engine type: Permanent magnet synchronous Battery system: Lithium-ion polymer; 53kWh capacity Power output: 300kW; 480Nm torque Top speed: 220km/h Acceleration (0-100km/h): 4.5 seconds (0-200km/h): 14 seconds

The America’s e-motor (below, with the transmission, inset) produces 300kW and 480Nm


in, the resistance can create a power loss, so you have to reduce the maximum contact resistance,” he stresses.

From the virtual world to the real world

Two prototype vehicles were used for further, real-world development, with the team visiting tracks in Spain and in the south of France. Initial, shakedown runs on the proving grounds focused simply on checking that all the parameters of the vehicle were correct. “We began with two laps of the track at very slow speed to check that the brakes, acceleration, regeneration and cooling system were all working – so those types

of subsystems and technologies.” The level of testing was then increased to first include longitudinal acceleration and deceleration tests, followed by lateral dynamic testing. “We increased the performance of the car by small steps. In total, this took two weeks.” The team then began public road testing around Monte Carlo. “There is a small area where we can test on all types of road surfaces, which is very convenient,” adds Baldet. In parallel to the performance assessments, the America’s durability has been tested at every stage of the development, beginning at component level and continuing throughout track testing. “Once the components were in the vehicle, we could check for other things that we might not see on the bench, including unwanted vibration, humidity and brake temperature. “We were also continually checking to ensure that the ECU, the motor and the battery were communicating properly. Sometimes, for example, we may find that the connectors or the wiring is incorrect, or the connectors might break due to vibrations.” Baldet notes that for a standard development program, the team would aim to cover in total 160,000km (100,000 miles). However, when testing the America, the primary goal was to ensure that everything was working properly at its limit: “It’s a sports car and therefore the testing was very intense,” he adds. Only 100 Americas are planned for production, all of which will be assembled at Venturi’s Manufacture de Véhicules Electriques plant in La Sarthe, France, and go on sale later in 2015.

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A new suspension setup on the America is said to improve its vehicle dynamics, but the arrangement was a particular challenge to integrate at the rear, as Franck Baldet (below) explains: “The new powertrain, which features two motors coupled with a new gearbox, takes up a lot of space and therefore everything is more confined.” The new component layout also presented NVH and durability challenges. With tight gaps between the subsystems, care was taken during vibration tests to monitor whether the components were touching, or whether wires that pass between two components were rubbing. “We also had to integrate the cooling system, which required some reorganization in order to establish where to put the oil and pipes,” recalls Baldet. “These needed to pass through the radiator, but cannot pass too close to the battery or the brakes.”

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What career did you want when you were growing up, and what was your first job? I always wanted to work in engineering because my father was a mechanical engineer, although he now works in civil engineering. My first job was at the Polytechnic of Turin as a research fellow at the Internal Combustion Engines Advanced Laboratory.

PROFILE: SABINO LUISI Job title: Assistant chief engineer Company: Fiat Chrysler Powertrain Engineering

When did you first start playing around with powertrains? I first became involved with engines when I was working on my master thesis and while I was a research fellow at the Polytechnic of Turin. I worked on diesel engines, on aftertreatment development and injection system definition. The aim was to optimize combustion efficiency and the trade-off between NOx and soot emissions. What was your career path to the position you currently hold? My degree was in automotive engineering. As I mentioned, my first job was at the Polytechnic of Turin and I worked there for

Tested the hard way s-BMS v.6 Battery Management System

two years, after which I joined the Fiat Research Center and worked on the MultiAir gasoline engines project. In May 2014, I started work on the 1.8TBi engine as part of the team led by Aldo Marangoni, head of Fiat Chrysler EMEA Powertrain Engineering. What are the best and worst elements of your job? The best thing is that you can apply your knowledge and background to continuously optimizing current technology. Nevertheless, it is demanding to optimize many specific components in a synergistic way. What would be your dream engine specification? It would have to be the 1.8TBi – it’s a really high-performance engine. More generally, though, a proper specification for gasoline engines is to have a high compression ratio to increase thermodynamic efficiency at part load, but with technical solutions implemented to prevent knocking and cooling down the exhaust temperatures in high-load conditions. Advanced gasoline technologies include a

For the harshest environments Electromagnetic interference and voltage spikes from inverters and switching electronics are things that impact the functioning of your BMS in the real world. s-BMS v.6 was developed with the aid of an EMI reverberation chamber capable of field strengths over 1000v/m. The s-BMS v.6: • 12 -1000volts • Up to 256 cells in series • No current limit • EN61000-4-3 >200V/m all freqs. • 4kV transients applied to all inputs • Tested from -90 to +120°C www.lithiumbalance.com [email protected]

28 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International


The engine that is particularly emotive is the 1.779-liter, which in 1967 equipped the 1750 GT Veloce along with the 1750 Berlina and 1750 Spider variety of new components and subsystems aimed at improving fuel economy. These technologies can act on pumping losses (downsizing with turbocharging, VVA, cylinder deactivation and hot EGR), thermodynamic efficiency (cold EGR and stratified combustion) and friction losses. Advanced gasoline engines are expected to remain competitive in vehicle applications for the near future, but the technologies to improve gasoline engines can obtain a better cost-to-benefit ratio in terms of CO2 reduction. In your opinion, what is the greatest engine that has ever been produced? Related to the 1750 TBi, the engine that is particularly emotive is the 1.779-liter, which in 1967 equipped the Alfa Romeo 1750 GT Veloce along with the 1750 Berlina and 1750 Spider. It was a double overhead camshaft,

two valves per cylinder, 80mm bore, 88.5mm stroke development. Peak power was 120ps at 5,500rpm, with a peak torque of 186Nm at 3,000rpm. A higher ratio final drive was fitted but the same gearbox ratios were retained. This engine was one of the most powerful at the time and can be considered the grandfather of the 1.8TBi. In contrast to that naturally aspirated engine, turbocharging today delivers higher performance levels at low-end torque and full rated power. In particular, what is really interesting is the use of scavenging to increase torque output during transient operation. This technical solution is based on a controlled postcombustion phase that takes place at the turbine inlet and not in the combustion chamber; its target is to increase the enthalpy level to ensure higher boost pressure and the fastest response of the engine.

What could legislators do to make your working life easier? Legislation is pushing toward a 100g/km CO2 fleet average by 2020/25. This requires not only detailed optimization of the engine, taking into account the combustion, pumping losses and engine/vehicle friction, but also technical powertrain hybridization solutions. In your opinion, what will be powering a typical family sedan in 2030? The hybridization of engine architecture will increase, because it is a key technology in reducing CO2 on the New European Driving Cycle and under other legislative regulations. Further improvements will focus on optimizing engine efficiency at specific operating points, using the best areas of the engine map to produce energy for the batteries so that the electric side of the powertrain can be used.

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ELECTRIC POWERTRAINS ON TEST Our thoughts on four cars we’ve tested recently, all of which feature some sort of advanced powertrain electrification

MERCEDES E 300 BLUETEC HYBRID Across the years we’ve never hidden the fact that at E&H we are big fans of diesel-hybrid powertrains. Yes, they are expensive to develop and yes, this is a typically European standpoint, but on many engineering levels they just make sense. And slowly the market is becoming increasingly populated with such drivetrains, following PSA Peugeot Citroën’s lead a few years ago. The latest name to enter the diesel-hybrid arena is MercedesBenz, in the form of the E 300 Bluetec Hybrid, which essentially puts Daimler’s much trusted and rather underrated 2.2-liter four-cylinder CDI together with an electric motor that’s placed between the IC base and the 7G tronic transmission. The 2,143cc OM651 diesel creates 205ps and 500Nm of torque between 1,600 and 1,800rpm, while the electric portion of the E 300’s setup sees a compact 35-cell, 0.8kWh lithiumion battery pack from Deutsche Automotive supply power to a 20kW ‘donut’ e-motor that’s good for 280Nm. Impressively, the part electrification of the E 300 Hybrid has resulted in just a 99kg weight increase over the standard E 250 CDI. On the road, there’s no denying that the E 300 Hybrid is very capable. In this segment, power and performance needs to be blended with a refined upmarket drive, and while the E Class from the outset has been designed to deliver those goods, the hybrid part of the E 300 is not just there for show or to pay lip service to the green lobby. We very nearly matched Mercedes’ claimed combined fuel economy figure of 4.1 l/100km (68.9mpg), and with emissions being 109g/km, such readings are not bad at all for a sedan that sprints to 100km/h in 7.5 seconds.

TESLA MODEL S E&H was one of the first to test a right-hand drive Tesla Model S and, simply put, it’s unlike anything else on the road today, be that cars powered by humble diesel or gasoline engines or even the new-generation of EVs. It’s the numbers that first set the Model S apart from the chasing pack. Depending on the spec, there’s 400+ ps and 600Nm of torque to be had, all of which puts the Tesla sedan firmly in Porsche, BMW M, Mercedes-AMG and even Maserati territory. Green no longer equates with boring. And that torque is instantly available, so tap the accelerator pedal with care; a 0-100km/h dash at the lights takes a mere 5.6 seconds – remarkable for a car with large proportions weighing the best part of

2,100kg. Nor do those big dimensions detract from the Model S’s on-road capabilities, with the steering being light but responsive and the car feeling agile throughout. Even East London’s bustling one-way streets were a breeze for our Model S, as it silently drifted in and out of spaces. The interior is even more extraordinary. Here the minimalistic approach creates a calm environment. A large, class-leading touchscreen dominates the center console – think of a TomTom satnav system on steroids, then times that by 20! And this centerpiece technology does just about everything, from presenting real-time traffic information and offering wi-fi to even operating mechanical functions, such as

VOLKSWAGEN E-GOLF Our Tesla write-up (above) is rather gushing and name drops the BMW i3 and i8 – along with the sublime Model S – as being the finest examples of EV engineering to date. But can the Volkswagen e-Golf join such illustrious company? The short answer is ‘Yes!’ And while we’re at it, the e-Up (see last issue’s Electric Powertrains On Test) can also be thrown into that mix. Having always planned for an all-electric derivative when the seventh generation Golf was first being formed many years ago within VW’s R&D labs in Wolfsburg, Europe’s largest car maker has – without too much engineering fuss – swapped its wonderful array of gasoline and diesel engines for an equally striking e-powertrain for the all-electric Golf. That ‘out with the IC, in with the electric’ replacement has been a seamless transition thanks mostly to VW’s highly impressive and very flexible – and not to mention modular – MQB underpinnings. This all means that e-Golf benefits from a 115ps synchronous motor, code-named EEM 85, that delivers 270Nm torque. The motor and the e-Golf’s EQ 270 single-speed gearbox with integrated differential have both been fully developed in-house

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by VW engineers. The lithium-ion battery, which weighs 318kg (the e-Golf has in total around 300kg more mass than a Golf TSI), comprises 264 individual cells integrated into 27 modules, each with six or 12 cells. This all adds up to nominal voltage of 323V while the pack’s over-capacity is 24.2kWh. On a full charge, we found the battery will provide a real-world driving range of around 128km (80 miles), which isn’t bad going although not quite in Renault Zoe or Nissan Leaf territory. But arguably the most noteworthy aspect of this car is that it’s like any other new Golf out there: similar superb driving characteristics, interfaces that are very familiar, easy to use and live with, and an end product that, quite simply, is very well put together.

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Two major engineering revisions separate the 2010, first-generation Porsche Panamera Hybrid from this new gen-two S E-Hybrid. The latter now has plug-in capability, but perhaps more noteworthy is that the former’s nickel metal hydride battery setup has been replaced with a lithium-ion pack that can store 9.4kWh – some five times that of the old batteries – and 384V. This feeds a synchronous electric motor that’s packaged with a 3-liter V6 supercharged engine, with the integration handled by a decoupler clutch; drive is then performed by ZF’s ubiquitous 8-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. The e-motor develops 70kW and 310Nm, which theoretically means the E-Hybrid can get from rest to 48km/h (27mph) in 6.1 seconds on e-drive alone, and a top speed of 135km/h (83mph) is also possible. While that frugality is important – Porsche claims combined fuel consumption of 3.1 l/100km (91.1mpg), which we couldn’t quite get near to, and CO2 output of just 71g/km – this is still a Porsche, so in sport mode, one of four drive settings, the V6 and e-motor boost continuously to serve up 416ps and 590Nm torque, making the sedan very quick: 0-100km/h takes just 5.5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 269 km/h (167mph) – outstanding for a car with an unladen weight in excess of 2,000kg.

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opening the sunroof. Yet regardless of our thoughts on the Model S, one can tell a car is truly special when other drivers stop, stare, take a second glance, and then grab their phones to snap a quick photo. The design is sleek and stylish but, mirroring founder Elon Musk, there’s also humility there too; this is a car that doesn’t need over-the-top chrome finishes or a grille that can be seen from the International Space Station. The Model S is revolutionary in a very quiet, understated way, letting the technology and its powertrain do all the talking (or not, in this EV case). And that’s the thing with the Model S. It’s only when stepping out of the car that everything neatly falls into place. Despite those headline grabbing power and performance numbers, this is the electric vehicle totally re-imagined. This is transport with no emissions at all. Nada. But crucially – and unlike most other four-wheel electrics on the market today, BMW i3 and i8 models not included – this is a car first and an EV second. The green future of the automotive industry looks very exciting.



I have recently driven two game-changing vehicles: first the Volkswagen Golf GTE and then the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, both sublime in their own different ways. The Golf and Outlander are plug-in hybrids (like the latter’s full name suggests), but other than that, they are very different machines. And for me, a major difference was the experience I had in driving them. I was behind the wheel of the Golf for just a couple of hours, but I had the Outlander for a week. With these new-generation electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, you need to drive them for a while to get any real idea of how they perform – it’s all about ‘real world’ mpg, not ‘drifting sideways on a disused runway’ mph. Sadly, I have little idea of what the real world mpg of the Golf GTE would be. It’s certainly going to be way above the GTD or the GTi Golf performance models, but driving the car for only a few hours gives one very little idea. What I do know, however, is that the GTE can go along very quietly in electric mode, and if you switch to hybrid operation, it sips fossil fuel like a teetotaler at a booze-up. If you press the GTE button, however, it uses everything and goes like stink. The VW hatchback gets its power from a 1.4-liter TSI unit and a 102ps electric motor, the latter of which is fed by a 8.7kWh lithium-ion battery pack, aiding the GTE to offer a pure-electric range of between 40 and 50km (24-51 miles) in the real world. You can recharge the battery using the engine so you don’t have to plug it in – but, obviously, if you do, the fuel economy is going to be far greater. Like other PHEVs, there are a number of different modes to choose from, depending on your driving situation. ‘Battery Hold’ retains a constant state of charge, while ‘Battery Charge’ will actively top up the pack. You can also select the intensity of battery

The Mitsubis hi Outlande charging ab r PHEV, with ility, is a its rapidgenuine SU V ga me chan ger

regeneration via a control on the DSG gearshift, meaning that it’s possible to decelerate the car without touching the brakes. As you’d expect, it’s all very clever stuff from VW and works seamlessly. After two hours of driving, I can safely say the GTE is brilliant. I mean, it’s a VW through and through: solid, durable and very well engineered. Because I drove the Outlander much further, charged it myself, bought petrol for it, and did the simple math of how far I went and how much I spent, I have a much better idea of the real cost of driving it. For starters, it’s huge – I’m talking its proportions here, not everyday running costs! The Outlander is a big, hulking four-wheel-drive SUV. That said, it’s smooth and quiet to drive, although the game changer for me was the ability to rapid charge. My first all-electric car was the Mitsubishi i-Miev, and the Outlander has the same charge inputs, a standard Mennekes socket for 3kW and 7kW input, and Chademo for 50kW input. What this means is that you can recharge the vehicle to 80% in about 12 minutes using a rapid charge point at a highway service stop. So, on my first longish trip (around 225km (140 miles) in total), I achieved 2.97 l/100km (95.1mpg). Yes, that’s right: 2.97 l/100km in a 2-ton SUV. I did three charges, which added 24 minutes to my journey – because one of them was in a car park while I wasn’t using the vehicle. I accept that not everyone is going to recharge to this extent, so I kept a close record, and after 800km (500 miles) I averaged 3.92 l/100km (72mpg). I only charged it overnight at home and topped it up when I could be bothered. In general, I have plenty of reservations about SUVs and hot hatchbacks, but truthfully, if you’re going to get one or the other, these two cars are a massive improvement on the regular IC engined models.

You need to drive them for a while to get any real idea of how they perform – it’s all about ‘real world’ mpg, not drifting sideways

32 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

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ince its inception in 1998, Google has gone on to become one of the largest and most powerful companies in the world. In 2013 it generated revenues of almost US$60bn – larger than some of the biggest car manufacturers – and its sphere of influence extends way beyond its original dominion of all things internet into everything from Google Glass and medical science R&D through to its much-publicized self-driving electric vehicles. The rapid expansion and limitless interests of pure-tech brands such as Google and now Tesla – which, in founder Elon Musk’s own words is a “technology company making electric cars” – mean they now pose a serious threat to the automotive establishment, conventional

car manufacturers and suppliers that have been around for many decades and in some cases over a century. Not surprisingly, though, most engineering and powertrain heads at first play down such a threat. “Companies like Tesla and Google show that there are other ways to get into this business,” says Bentley’s head of engineering, Rolf Frech. “I cannot comment on the quality of these cars, but I do see them as a positive influence, so that we come out of the narrow tunnel and take a wider view.” Gerald Killman, head of powertrain at Toyota, agrees with his Bentley counterpart: “As engineers, we always like competition, and these new products that come into the market show us that we should never believe in the constraints we give ourselves.”

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With Tesla’s monumental move into the EV market, and Google’s advances in self-driving vehicles, are traditional car makers at risk of being left behind as the new tech-focused super-brands enter the automotive space and push ahead with sustainable transportation? WORDS: PHILIP BORGE


Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 35

RISE OF THE TECH GIANTS Yet despite such diplomatic rhetoric from two of the automotive industry’s most senior engineers, there is cause for traditional car makers to sit up and take notice. Stefan Lippautz, an automotive expert at PA Consulting Group, says, “Tesla and Google are both closely observed by all major OEMs. Tesla is appreciated for paving the road for the EV, and OEMs are clearly positioned as fast followers, focusing on all types of the hybrid concept. Google is considered more of a threat in the context of the connected car.” But whatever the perceived threat level, can traditional car makers and their established suppliers really stand up to the march of the new technology giants?

“Companies like Tesla and Google show that there are other ways to get into this business”

Invasion of the technologists

Everyone in the automotive sector will do well to watch exactly how Tesla, Google and many other technology organizations make a play for the automotive space, says Dr Gregory Offer, lecturer in mechanical engineering at Imperial College London. “They don’t have to play by the same rules, they can react to opportunities, innovate and try much faster than the incumbents,” he adds. “They also have far less to lose because they don’t have a profitable business making large volumes of conventional vehicles already that will be damaged if disruptive technology is introduced too soon.” But not everyone agrees with the Imperial academic. On the contrary, Volvo’s director of powertrain strategy, Karin Thorn, even dismisses the need to be worried. “Of course we should look at all competitors and keep up with what they are doing, but you can’t do this too much. Knowledge of what everybody else is doing is helpful, but if we focus on this too much, we would not make the right decisions in regards to what we’re doing.” Thorn’s outlook seems to mirror the perspective of many engineers plying their trade with the traditional OEMs. Being forewarned equates to being forearmed, but

Rolf Frech, head of engineering, Bentley


1. Caption style 2

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RISE OF THE TECH GIANTS As of September 2014, almost 47,000 units of the Tesla Model S have been sold worldwide

not losing sight of one’s initial goals, belief and culture is highly important. That said, though, there is no denying that the entire automotive world is also looking at every single move Tesla and Google make – and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Innovation engine

Ingenuity has always been at the very forefront of the automotive community. Advances to the IC engine, the steadily maturing EV, the marriage of the more traditional and the cutting-edge powertrain technologies in hybrid offerings, as well as the soon-to-be-launched hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, are all testament to the importance of new engineering ideas. But in the period immediately after the 2008 financial crisis, investment in innovation was hit hard. There was a 21% decline in patent applications by Tier 1 suppliers, and a 29% drop by the car makers, according to Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In stark contrast, tech companies invest heavily in innovation, often whether there is a clear and immediate

1. The software powering Google’s cars is called Google Chauffeur. The project is currently being led by Google engineer Sebastian Thrun, former director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and co-inventor of Google Street View 2. Google’s prototype vehicle features sensors that remove blind spots and can detect objects out to a distance of more than two football fields in all directions. Its speed has been capped at 40km/h

commercial goal or not. “Google has cultivated a history of just trying things to see if they work, and worrying about how to make money from them later. It has clearly identified that autonomous vehicles are going to be one of the key transport revolutions in the next decade or two. So, by investing now, Google is likely to be at the forefront of a multibillion-dollar market, and so will almost certainly benefit at some point,” says Offer. Tech brands also benefit from a clean slate from which to originate their thinking, giving them a foundation on which to construct new architectures, and focus more on disruptive technologies and executions. But without prior experience and established expertise, can any technology company really make a play for a significant automotive market share? “You need at least a basic level of technical knowledge. That’s the case whether you’re a new brand or a traditional car maker,” Volvo’s Thorn suggests. “But when it comes to working processes, of course this can differ.” Bentley’s Frech goes one step further: “They have a clean sheet advantage, for sure, but they don’t have the

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 37

RISE RISEOF OFTHE THETECH TECHGIANTS GIANTS experience of what it actually means to be an established car manufacturer in the automotive industry.” And Kim Wagner, senior partner at BCG and co-author of its 50 Most Innovative Companies report, agrees: “The greatest challenge for the tech companies is typically that they start off as ‘gifted amateurs’. While they bring with them a fresh perspective and a deep understanding of their core technologies, they have to learn by doing, so they often spend time learning the things that industry insiders take for granted.” Nevertheless Wagner says the new names still hold an advantage simply because of the way they operate. “The learning culture of technology companies is well-suited to pushing the boundaries of current technologies, and their successes will naturally encourage the traditional players in the space to push forward as well.” So, starting with a blank sheet is undoubtedly liberating when developing new technologies and progressing them to a proof of concept stage. But it is here where reality will kick in. Ultimately, in order to move forward on any scale, the tech pioneers will need supply chains, manufacturing capacities and a robust commercial model to actually launch a product successfully. One only needs to look at Tesla’s journey to where it finds itself today, and then look at the so-called many new names that have been far less successful, like Fisker, Venturi and Think.

TIME WITH ELON MUSK As the pioneering all-electric Tesla Model S is launched in the UK, E&H was granted an exclusive audience with one of the world’s leading tech visionaries – Space X, Solar City, PayPal and Tesla founder Elon Musk

E&H: WHAT’S YOUR GOAL FOR TESL A IN EUROPE? EM: Our aim is to sell a comparable number of cars in Europe as we do in North America. That’s the target, and it will mean expanding activities in Europe and our operations in the Netherlands. Also, you can most likely expect us to establish an engineering R&D center in the UK next year or certainly the year after.

Off-the-shelf experience

As innovative as its initial sustainable transportation vision is, Tesla is today benefitting from the experience, established supply chains and non-powertrain parts that are available to the wider industry. It simply could not have launched a single model without the help of existing automotive and electronics parts providers. “Tech brands realize that some of the future demands on a car will be mobility and connectivity-based. Tesla has made a strong move here, but what it needs to do is refine everything it brings to the customer,” explains Jurgen Grimm, head of powertrain engineering at Hyundai-Kia. “So, for example, Tesla purchased the steering wheel that was originally made for the Mercedes S Class, the seat made for a BMW, and so on, and integrated all of these parts together. However, sometimes these parts do not all match perfectly.”

E&H: WHERE WILL THAT TECH FACILIT Y BE? EM: We have a lot of British engineers working for the company in California, so we’re going to speak with them to find out what the best location will be for the new center. E&H: SO WILL TESL A EVENTUALLY PRODUCE CARS IN EUROPE? EM: We’re looking to establish a factory in Europe. It seems like a logical thing to do and will be part of a long-term plan. The first factory will probably be in continental Europe, not the UK. 1. In July 2010, Tesla introduced the Roadster 2.5, a pure EV sports car with a range of 395km and a top speed of 200km/h


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E&H: WHY EX ACTLY ARE YOU GIVING AWAY THE SUPERCHARGERS, EFFECTIVELY ALLOWING MODEL S OWNERS TO CHARGE THEIR VEHICLES FOR FREE? EM: It doesn’t cost that much to charge a car, so we either charge people a few dollars or pounds every time they recharge or we can charge them nothing and build that cost into the price of the car.


“We’re a technology company making electric cars. What’s very important is sustainable transport. Autonomous driving is nice to have but not required; sustainable transport is what’s required” Elon Musk, founder, Tesla

E&H: HOW DO YOU SEE BATTERY TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPING? EM: Battery chemistry is an extremely tricky thing – it is remarkable how many so-called breakthroughs I read about that turn out to be nonsense. I don’t know anything better at the moment than lithium-ion. Every time somebody says they have a breakthrough battery technology, I say ‘great – send us an sample’, but they never do. Either that or they do and it doesn’t quite live up to expectations. E&H: WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT TESL A’S NEXT MODEL? EM: Our third-generation car will be around £25,000 (US$39,000) in terms of pricing, but its true cost will be less than that because you don’t have to pay for gasoline, there’ll be some government support and there’ll be Supercharging. It might be comparable to a car costing, say, £15,000 (US$23,400) to £20,000 (US$31,200). We’re aiming to bring that car to market by 2017. Out third-gen car will also be 20% smaller than the Model S. E&H: HOW ARE THINGS PANNING OUT WITH THE MODEL X? EM: We’re going to start deliveries of the X in California in Q2 [now Q3] and then right-hand drive at the end of 2015. E&H: AS A TECH PIONEER, WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF GOOGLE AND ITS SELF-DRIVING VEHICLE PROJECT? EM: They should be applauded for their initiatives, but we’ll be taking a different approach. E&H: WHERE DO YOU SEE TESL A IN THE GRAND AUTOMOTIVE SETUP AND WITH SELF-DRIVING TECHNOLOGY IN PARTICUL AR? EM: We’re a technology company making electric cars. What’s very important is sustainable transport. Autonomous driving is nice to have but not required; sustainable transport is what’s required.

2 2. Tesla’s gigafactory, a lithium-ion battery base, is to be built at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center in Storey County, Nevada. Set to be operational by 2017, the projected cost to build the facility is about US$5bn. Tesla expects to achieve a minimum of 30% reduction in production cost for its car batteries when the factory opens 3. The Tesla Model X full-size crossover utility vehicle will weigh about 10% more than the Model S and will share about 60% of its parts content. Tesla expects to begin deliveries in Q3 2015


The established OEMs are naturally very proud of their in-house development abilities. “At Toyota we will never give up our durability, reliability and mass production ability for democratizing technology,” Killman adds. “The [tech companies] have a different approach. We know the advantages of our processes, especially regarding reliability.” It would also be wholly unjust to suggest that the established car makers and suppliers aren’t pushing the boundaries of technology and innovation themselves, building on their experience to usher the automotive industry into a new age. Car makers have renewed their focus on innovation since 2008, with the number of registered patents rising sharply in the past four years. Having lagged behind in the league tables, there are now 14 established OEMs ranked in the top 50 companies in BCG’s latest global innovation study, compared with 10 car makers in 2012 and only five in 2005. Toyota, Ford and BMW are placed in the top 10 alongside tech organizations in the form of consumer electronics and internet giants. In fact, since the annual study first launched, there are now more car manufacturers than technology companies in the top 20. Working partnerships

As the e-powertrain movement gathers momentum, it is becoming clear that the spirit of cooperation will play a key future role for the established OEMs as well as the new breed of tech companies. “Ultimately car makers are experts in assembling cars and everything that goes with that,” says Offer. “Already a lot of the technology is developed either in partnership with or by suppliers, so I see the tech companies as just

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 39

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forming a different type of supplier relationship, alongside those that already exist.” Until October 2014, Daimler was a small shareholder in Tesla, and it is insistent that even after offloading its 4% stake in the EV company – a move that puzzled some analysts given Tesla’s rise – it’s current JV projects will continue. The offshoot of the latest collaboration between the two organizations resulted in the development of the Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive. “We have supported Tesla as a start-up company for many years and have learned a lot. At the same time, Tesla was able to profit from our automotive expertise,” says Dr Thomas Weber, member of Daimler’s board of management and head of research for Mercedes-Benz. In fact there’s a growing number of examples of healthy partnerships between tech brands and car markers, with

1. The B-Class Electric Drive is partly a result of an EV technology joint venture between Tesla and Mercedes-Benz


2. The close proximity of JLR’s research facility in Portland, Oregon, to Intel Labs is enabling the development of next-gen digital vehicle prototypes with in-vehicle cockpit experiences that connect car, device and cloud

“The greatest challenge for the tech companies is typically that they start off as ‘gifted amateurs’. While they bring with them a fresh perspective and a deep understanding of their core technologies, they have to learn by doing, so they often spend time learning the things that industry insiders take for granted” Kim Wagner, senior partner, Boston Consulting Group

software an especially important component of this type of information sharing. Ford partnered with Microsoft on its MyFord Touch in-vehicle connectivity interface, and Jaguar Land Rover has even broken soil to be close to the right partners. “We have a new technology and research development center in Portland, Oregon, and we chose that location because we want to be close to the core of the consumer electronics industry,” states Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology at JLR. “As a result, we have also built up close cooperations with companies like Intel that we can communicate with, influence and leverage about the desires, demands and expectations of our customers. This will enable us to get the best from new technologies and to play a major part in the evolution of new tech.” 2

POWER TRIP Whether its decision to launch the new Model S P85D a week after the Paris Motor Show was a deliberate move to signal its independence from (and indifference to) the rest of the automotive world, Tesla was always going to grab the industry’s attention with its latest creation. The Model S P85D is, without doubt, Tesla’s most important launch to date. Its dual motors, one on each axle, digitally and independently control torque to the front and rear wheels, resulting in precision control of traction. Furthermore, digital torque controls and a low center of gravity provide very competent handling, or so the company’s founder, Elon Musk, says. But it is the power and performance that really sets the Model S P85D apart from all other EVs. It’s capable of 0-100km/h (0-60mph) supercar-like sprint times of 3.2 seconds, delivering 100% of its huge peak torque from a standing start. This, ladies and gentlemen, is enough to outperform

any gasolinepowered car in the same class, whether that might be a Maserati, BMW M, Mercedes-AMG and so on. The launch of the Dual Motor Model S also showcases Tesla’s strategy for smarter vehicles, with the inclusion of Autopilot, hardware that includes forward radar, 12 long-range ultrasonic sensors, numerous cameras, and a digitally controlled electric braking system. It also promises to activate the potential of this system with future software updates, so as it develops active safety, collision avoidance and a multitude of other functions, Autopilot, says Tesla, will be able to relieve drivers of the most boring and potentially dangerous aspects of road travel, while allowing the driver to remain in control of the vehicle.

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 41


Where to next?

It seems that assisted driving is where all roads converge, because software and computing power – the defining innovative parts of this technology revolution – are such an essential piece of the overall automotive jigsaw. “Autonomous vehicles are the wildcard. Most OEMs are developing technology for various degrees of autonomy, and the transition to the automotive end game is not very clear,” says Offer. “We probably need a trailblazer who isn’t afraid of convention, like Google, to actually push this faster than the incumbents believe is possible.” Google’s move into this area has been much publicized, but it isn’t the only company to experiment with selfdriving tech. Audi recently claimed the speed record for a self-driving vehicle (topping 240km/h with its RS7 at Hockenheim racing circuit), and Tesla’s Model S is set to include its newly announced Autopilot hardware, which is designed to set up the vehicle for future software updates that will enable assisted driving. Suppliers are at the vanguard of these developments too, explains PA Consulting’s Lippautz. “It’s not so much about traditional car makers. The Tier 1 suppliers who drive innovation, such as Continental, Bosch and Wabco, are looking at self-drive technology from the commercial vehicle side.” Offer agrees with such an outlook: “Google probably won’t be competing with the OEMs but is probably going

1 1. The self-driving Audi RS7 took just over two minutes to complete a lap of the Grand Prix track in Hockenheim, Germany


2. A human was put behind the wheel of the RS7 for a comparison lap. The driver took five seconds longer to complete a lap of the circuit

“Autonomous vehicles are the wildcard. Most conventional car makers are developing technology for various degrees of autonomy, and the transition to the automotive end game is not very clear” Dr Gregory Offer, lecturer in mechanical engineering, Imperial College London


3. Volvo is pushing ahead with its own self-driving vehicle plans, having put 100 autonomous cars on public roads in Gothenburg, as part of its Drive Me project. The Swedish OEM plans to have self-driving cars on sale by 2017

42 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

to interfere and potentially be in a position to threaten the suppliers of technology in the future.” In this sense, established car makers, along with their suppliers, also have consumer experience on their side. Research by YouGov, commissioned by Virgin Disruptors, highlights that 43% of British travelers would not feel comfortable with driverless vehicles being on the road, and one in four people stated they would never use or get into a driverless car. So finding a way to resolve reticence by the public on such a huge technological leap forward is a challenge that car makers are perhaps best suited to. “That is a continuous journey, and from our point of view it will take another five to 10 years before we as an industry can offer autonomy. However, at Jaguar Land Rover, autonomy is something where the question soon becomes: Why take the joy of driving away from the customer?” says Epple. And the man at the center of all this change, Elon Musk, fully agrees: “Autonomous driving is nice to have but not required. Sustainable transport is what’s required.”

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Drawing parallels with its Hybrid Synergy Drive journey, Toyota is set to launch a production fuel cell vehicle, meaning that cars that emit nothing but water vapor have finally arrived


t’s taken a while – nearly five decades, in fact, since the technology first made an appearance in an automotive application – but fuel cell vehicles at a showroom, ready-to-sell level are finally set to arrive. Toyota is leading the pack with its production-ready Mirai, which will be launched first in Japan in the early part of 2015, and then in North America and Europe by the second quarter. Gerald Killman, head of powertrain operations for Toyota Europe, can’t hide his delight that such a momentous day is almost upon us. He’s been one of the staunchest supporters of the technology over the years, even when development seemingly went quiet as governments lobbied hard for OEMs to shift their R&D focus to battery electric vehicles. “Launching this vehicle will be a staggering moment,” says a smiling Killman, who’s quick to add that it’s important to factor in two things: “One is the perspective of looking back to the past with this technology – was what we wanted to do feasible? And secondly, are we alone or not?” On the first matter – looking back – Killman is keen to draw parallels with another technology that Toyota has championed: the company’s Hybrid Synergy Drive. “Back in 1997, we had another front-running technology – our hybrid powertrains. When we launched the first Prius, I think the general understanding of the potential of this technology was not shared [by the wider industry] as we initially thought. And, admittedly, we too discovered the

44 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

further potential of this technology as we continued to advance it. But, what we have today with seven million hybrid vehicles sold, is just amazing. Some of our mainstream models, like the Auris, have a more than 50% hybrid share and even small vehicles like the Yaris have a more than 30% hybrid share. This shows that the technology is truly accepted, and that’s something we did, continually communicating to the market within the given lead time. Hybrids are now seen as a mainstream standard with all its advantages – so seamless drive, quiet operation, and reduced or no emissions. Now, what we did in 1997 can also be applied to what we’re doing in 2015 with FCEVs. Here’s a brand-new technology [for the market] that we’ve worked on so much, but we’ve proved new technology can work and that’s our driver for fuel cells.” As for the second matter – going it alone – Killman says there are some key differences between Toyota’s journey with hybrids and fuel cells. “With hybrids in 1997, we were alone for a very long time,” he laughs. “But, with fuel cells, we see that we’re not alone, there are other OEMs going the same way, albeit perhaps with a slightly different timescale. So, we think more here that the amount of support from other OEMs – including us – with fuel cells will drive things forward to overcome the constraints, because the constraints to this technology are not on the OEM side, but rather on the infrastructure side.”


Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 45


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All roads lead to hydrogen – or do they?

With the raft of car makers prepping fuel cell vehicles for market launch in the next 24 months being proof that the technology is now in place, infrastructure – and infrastructure issues alone – seems to be the only hurdle left to overcome. But what an obstacle that is. For Toyota Europe’s powertrain chief, a broader approach – involving governments, local authorities, new hydrogen suppliers and existing forecourt operators – is key to overcoming the FCEV’s greatest remaining challenge. “We as an industry are working in partnership and in cooperation – several OEMs in fact – with policy makers and energy providers to make sure this new powertrain technology does have a future and does happen. This will be one of the key enablers because having a new infrastructure was not necessarily the case for hybrids in the 1990s.” And Killman is resolute that its not up to car makers alone to make sure that the infrastructure materializes. “It’s not on our active agenda; however, it is on our partnership agenda,” he states. “We need to make sure that the infrastructure is there for our cars, while 2


1. Toyota’s Mirai (Japanese for ‘future’) produces 155ps and will, its manufacturers claim, travel up to 480km (300 miles) on a single fill 2. The vehicle’s fuel cell powerplant combines stored hydrogen with air to generate electricity, emitting only water vapor

the infrastructure providers have to be sure there are cars needing to be refilled, otherwise they won’t make money. It’s a chicken-and-egg situation and by us launching this fuel cell vehicle we’ve broken that vicious circle.” Of course, Toyota isn’t the only car maker accelerating FCEV launch plans. Hyundai-Kia, Honda, BMW, GM, Renault-Nissan and Daimler are all working hard too, finalizing – or in some cases fast-tracking – development for various model introductions due in 2015 and 2016. This has meant a rapid increase in hydrogen refueling stations popping up across Japan, Korea, North America and Europe. In London, for example, there will be 15 hydrogen refueling points within the next 12 months, while across Germany that number will be around 50. Granted, such figures are not huge, but progress is progress, says Killman: “It’s around those areas where we will initially launch this car because if there’s no infrastructure, then these cars have little meaning. Then, from these areas, we see that the energy will come to steadily grow the technology, vehicles and infrastructure throughout Europe. It will take time, for sure, but it took hybrids 17 years to get to where we are today – and really 17 years is not that long. So, if we say it’ll take a decade or more for hydrogen technology to experience the same breakthrough, for me that’s okay.” A matter of engineering

For Killman and the various Toyota powertrain teams around the world, there were a few challenges to developing a market-ready fuel cell vehicle, starting with “making the whole thing work!” he says. “We began fuel cell development in 1992 and until we had the first car running several years later, having the system working reasonably, so that we could run tests, was the first breakthrough. “The second thing was overcoming two main technical constraints: one was storage of hydrogen and the other

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 47


was cold start. We overcame both around four to five years ago. So we have a standardized, cross-industry reference point of 700 bar storage and cold start of -30°C. “Then, for the last few years, it’s been a real battle with costs. We have incorporated our manufacturing know-how in order to drive the costs down. While our prototype vehicles were beyond the million dollar/euro mark, we’re now at costs where we can offer this car for ¥7m (around US$65,000) in Japan.” Along with infrastructure, cost is the only other factor that could kill the FCEV, so just how did Toyota tackle this thorny issue for its fuel cell sedan? “The key driver was reducing the number of expensive components. So, while in our prototype cars and fleet trial cars we had four bottles of hydrogen, we now have two. Sizes have been adapted, but for the manufacturing processes, we’re not building four units – so there we could drive down costs. Taking another example, the fuel cell stack is not big and bulky any longer – we’ve optimized the size of the membrane and this has enabled us to install the stack underneath the driver and passenger seat.” The architecture also sees the front compartment of the vehicle house the electric motor, electronic control system and boost converter. Increasing the voltage produced by the fuel cell, the converter has enabled both the size of the motor and the number of cells to be reduced, in the process helping to further cut costs and increase performance. Nearly all the principal inner system workings of Toyota’s fuel cell powertrain – including the tanks, the stack and the

1. Advances in the fuel cell stack and optimization of the membrane mean it can be situated under the driver and passenger seats


2. The reduced-size fuel cell stack and one of the Mirai’s two carbon fiber hydrogen storage tanks are located in the vehicle floor 3. The Mirai’s styling includes front intakes which direct air to the fuel cell stack, where it is combined with hydrogen



48 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

membrane – were developed in-house, and retaining that expertise and know-how within is key to the way Toyota pushes ahead with new breakthroughs. “When it comes to core technology, Toyota always develops in-house,” reiterates Killman. “So with hybrids, for example, we developed electric motors, power electronics, software – everything – in-house. Now we have moved to a stage where it’s standardized and we work with suppliers. Fuel cells are the next core key technology to be competitive and for that we need to understand those manufacturing processes, enabling us to drive those costs down.” Another impressive example of Toyota’s FCEV costcutting comes from new developments relating to the Mirai’s stack humidifier. “This is a unit that takes up space and cost in a fuel cell vehicle,” explains Killman. “In our latest cars we’ve actually eliminated the humidifier, reusing the humidity from the exhaust gas, which of course is water vapor, to the fuel cell stack. It sounds rather simple but technologically it isn’t, but we’ve made that step.” As emissions legislation gets tougher, it’s safe to assume that products like the Mirai represent the powertrain endgame for the automotive industry, finally bringing into effect a sustainable transportation utopia. But Killman is diplomatically not so sure: “I think it’s one of the road maps that we need to follow, but it’s not the only solution. “It’s too early to say how high a percentage this technology will take of the overall market. Only the future will show that, but what we can say is that it has big potential – big potential for the city, with its zero emissions capability, as well as big potential out the city, with a good driving range allowing for long-distance driving. Now, you put these two together and there’s a very logical usage of the technology – and it’s not maybe Toyota’s main driver – but long-distance daily driving in the city is undertaken by buses. Therefore, Toyota and our sister company Hino are working on fuel cell hydrogen buses for city use because that could be a next stage – and then that will help make an even greater business case to create an infrastructure.” In fact, such is Killman’s belief on this issue that he says in the initial phase fuel cells are probably more applicable for public transportation, but longer term, “I strongly believe that infrastructure will not be a limiting factor.” And neither will actual vehicle application – D segment offerings such as Toyota’s first FCEV are just the start: “In 1997, we’d have never imagined a hybrid Yaris today, so absolutely ‘yes’ to fuel cell sports cars, minicars and hatchbacks. That’s something we should do!”

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Park & charge 50 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International


Should old, large diesel engines really be powering our inner-city buses? E&H visits metropolises in Asia, Europe and North America to discover which cities are overcoming various challenges to embrace e-powertrain technologies for their public transportation networks WORDS: SAUL WORDSWORTH


here’s no denying that the landscape of public transportation is a mishmash of different solutions, technologies and applications all in varying states of development, but one thing is for certain: buses as actual vehicles can last a long time – decades, in fact – and once a decision has been taken to adopt a certain powertrain, traditionally large diesel engines, nothing else is going to change in a hurry. “Diesel buses remain extremely popular,” confirms Mike Weston, director of buses at Transport for London (TfL). “This is a vehicle that has matured over many decades. It gives you flexibility. It’s reliable. You can fuel it up once a day and don’t have to recharge it. At the moment, most alternative technologies fail to compete on a truly like-for-like basis.” And from the perspective of bus transit operators across world, there is one primary objective to meet: on-time service. There may be supplementary objectives such as cost savings and environmental concerns, but timekeeping is the reason that public transportation remains such a conservative market. “Range anxiety, cost, and to an extent the limited number of electric and hybrid options, are the reasons cities mostly stay with diesel buses,” observes Mathias Wechlin, director at IPT Technology, a leading inductive power transfer technology provider. “Awareness needs to spread much further to really alter mindsets. However, it is

noticeable that more operators are starting to rethink their position and begin pilot activities to gain experience of their own.” Air quality is a serious concern in many major cities across the world, and such fears are not limited to urban hubs in developing countries. In Paris, in the second and third quarters of 2014, only alternate odd and even license-plated vehicles were allowed into the city center in an effort to reduce pollution. Following this initiative, Paris announced its plan for 100% electric buses by 2025. “It would be unfair to say that most buses are old and emission unfriendly,” counters Adrian Wickens, engineering product planner at Volvo UK. “The progress on emissions standards since 1988 has been immense. The argument that diesels are unclean doesn’t necessarily hold water. There has been a lot of work done on reduction, but that also doesn’t mean NOx isn’t a problem. After all, diesel engines still idle in heavy traffic.” In this respect, hybrid drivetrains have an important role to play, says Mat Lawrence, a former engineer and now head of technical sales for BAE. “Everyone knows the benefits of reducing CO2 emissions,” he adds, “so local air quality is improved immeasurably with the reduction of particulate emissions. There is no question that series hybrid architecture is the right one for city center operations.” It’s a given that hybrid buses are cleaner, quieter and use about 40% less fuel than conventional diesel applications, thus reducing CO2 emissions by the same amount, but the bar to entry is wrapped up with uncertainty and expense. So without incentives, either through threat of fines or offer of subsidy, or a defined political agenda, electric is a tough sell, but that’s not to say that certain metropolises are not attempting to achieve a sustainable public transportation utopia.

“This is a vehicle that has matured over many decades. It gives you flexibility. It’s reliable. You can fuel it up once a day and don’t have to recharge it. At the moment, most alternative technologies fail to compete on a truly like-for-like basis” Mike Weston, director of buses, Transport for London

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 51



The UK

When it comes to fully implementing advanced bus propulsion technology, London is a trailblazer in every sense. The UK capital’s fleet is the cleanest in the country and boasts more than 800 hybrid buses. This already impressive figure will increase to 1,700 units – 20% of the entire fleet – by 2016. If that’s not impressive enough, local authorities are currently testing eight full electric vehicles on the city’s routes. Only last year, TfL was awarded US$7.99 million (£5 million) from the Department for Transport’s Green Bus Fund for a further 46 hybrid buses. The fund acts as an incentive – a cost differential that bridges the gap between standard and electric buses. “For the medium term, diesel-electric buses will be the mainstay of our fleet,” confirms TfL’s Weston. “Essentially, most are electric buses driven by an electric motor and just happen to have a generator on board. The challenge with pure electric is the operating range. Most double-deckers in London run 18-hour days minimum, and on a Friday or Saturday night they might come back for half an hour, get washed and refueled, and be back out on the road. Finding an electric vehicle that can do that is impossible.” This would explain TfL’s 2015 inductive charging hybrid pilot project, which is part of a wider European scheme. The charging will take place at bus stands at either end of the route and should reduce running costs and extend the driving range of diesel-electric doubledecker buses in the capital. If the vehicle is running late, or there has been an accident or a power cut, it can still provide a passenger service by switching to diesel.



1. London’s public transportation system already includes more than 800 hybrid bus applications, with further initiatives planned 2. Foothill Transit Ecoliners run almost exclusively on compressed natural gas 3. Deutsche Post DHL’s e-fleet will be expanded to 120 vehicles this year 4. The BYD Lancaster all-electric bus is being manufactured in the USA

52 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International


London might lead the way today, but for more than a decade Europe has been awash with experiments in hybrid and electric vehicles in the public sector. As early as 2002 Genoa and Turin were running wireless charging systems with hybrid buses and both installations have been in continuous operation ever since. This year Amsterdam Schiphol Airport placed an eye-opening order for 35 BYD all-electric buses to transfer passengers between aircraft and terminals. The Sustainable Bus System of Schiphol (SUBSS) project comes at a time when


“It’s one place where we can make a huge impact, second only to helping people out of their single-user cars and onto the bus” Roland Cordero, director, maintenance and vehicle technology, Foothill Transit

particular stand out. The first is the StreetScooter, an electric-powered two-wheeler built specifically for mail and parcel delivery. With a maximum speed of 85km/h (52mph) and a range of 80km (49 miles), it is CO2-free and almost silent. The scooters are also part of the Post’s other major project, last year’s carbon-free delivery initiative in Bonn. For this the e-fleet was expanded to include small e-vans up to five tons plus a number of StreetScooters. This year a further 40 electric vehicles were added to the fleet, making 120 in all. Next year the region’s remaining diesel vehicles will be removed from service and replaced by electric operators. By the end of the pilot project there will be a total of 141 electric delivery vehicles on Bonn’s roads and this translates into savings of more than 500 tons of CO2 a year. USA

airports are under pressure to reduce pollutants. The buses themselves employ many advanced technologies, including BYD’s iron-phosphate batteries, in-wheel hub motors and regenerative braking. The batteries contain no toxic electrolytes or heavy metals and can be easily recycled. “But save for Schiphol, very few agencies are committed to completely reworking their fleet to electric,” admits Micheal Austin, vice president of BYD America. In Germany, Deutsche Post DHL has been experimenting with an increasingly ecofriendly fleet of vehicles. Two projects in

Above: Foothill Transit’s Roland Cordero is a big fan of compressed natural gas, but the company is also expanding its pure BEV fleet


In Los Angeles County, Foothill Transit, which is fast approaching its 26th year of service, currently operates a fleet of 330 buses, all of which run on compressed natural gas except for 15 fast-charge battery electric applications. Foothill began using electric buses in 2010 to cover an area of more than 830km 2 (320 square miles) and connect to more than 25 cities, including Los Angeles. The fast-charge battery electric luggers operate on a route that is a 25.9km (16.1 miles) long round trip and make a stop at a Transit Center at the halfway point, where the buses charge from 60% back to 100% within five minutes while passengers board and alight. “The fleet rule for transit agencies, enforced by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), requires the state’s largest transit systems to purchase a certain percentage of zero emission buses (ZEB) with new bus procurements annually,” explains Roland Cordero, director of maintenance and vehicle technology at Foothill. “In addition, Foothill is committed to supporting the development of sustainable fuels for commercial applications like public transportation. It’s one place where we can make a huge impact, second only to helping people out of their single-user cars and onto the bus. We were the first transit agency in the USA to use the fast-charge electric bus model. Our electric buses hold up under the stress of a rigorous schedule and improve the quality of life in the communities they travel through by eliminating greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution.” But despite such positives, Cordero admits there are some downsides to electric buses as well: “While electric cars can be charged at night when power prices are low, buses have no choice but to do so in the middle of the day at peak time. The limited range also prevents the technology from being used on longer routes, so it’s hard for us to completely convert to electric vehicles. For some agencies this technology won’t be feasible until such issues are addressed.” Also out in California is BYD, the electric bus supplier for the SUBSS project in the Netherlands, which continues to go from strength to strength on a global basis, with VP

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 53




battery power of comparable electric vehicles and do not need to stop at a charging station. As such, many see the KAIST OLEV as truly being a vision of the future and the city of Gumi in South Korea has been running one such vehicle since 2013. Running behind schedule

Austin revealing that in China alone the company has orders for more than 4,000 buses. “We also have orders from Stanford University and 25 from LA Metro,” he enthuses. “The CARB has great power and sets the emissions bar very high, but part of the problem in the USA is that there are some transit companies with routes of 300 miles (482km) a day. In such cases inductive technology will help extend range. Meanwhile there are both positive and negative political implications.”

1. BYD supplies electric buses for customers across the world, including the pioneering SUBSS project in the Netherlands 2. A Volvo 7700 diesel bus converted to run on electricity. Pictured here, the bus is being charged at a wireless charging stand

South Korea

Among Asian countries, India, Japan and particularly China all boast a number of electric and hybrid public transport applications and initiatives, but it’s at the state-funded Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) that an incredible engineering breakthrough has been made. Selected by Time magazine as one of the 50 best inventions, the KAIST OLEV (OpenLeading Electric Vehicle) takes inductive charging to the next level with its road-embedded chargers. A similar system was patented as long ago as 1894 by Nikola Tesla for use by tramcars in the USA, but it has taken until now to properly develop what might be termed a recharging road. Unlike most inductive charging systems, OLEV charges vehicles while they are stationary or in motion via electric power strips under the road. As a result they consume one-fifth of the

“Save for Schiphol, very few agencies are committed to completely reworking their fleet to electric” Micheal Austin, vice president, BYD America

54 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

While most stakeholders are desperately keen for electric and hybrid public transportation vehicles to replace what might be seen as the 20th century technology of the IC diesel engine, the transition is one that for now at least requires a helping hand. Subsidies, state-funded development, threat of fines for not meeting emissions regulations, and even the opportunity for some old-fashioned national pride, are all reasons why certain countries, councils, local authorities and institutes are pushing harder than others. But there’s no denying that development and adoption rates are running slowly. “The biggest market for hybrids is the USA,” states Volvo’s Wickens. “To be blunt, the main reason is a federal government that funds new bus purchases. With that kind of financial support, you would be a fool not to go with it.” Meanwhile, with the stop/start nature of inner-city traffic there remains scope for other public vehicles to become fully electrified. “Although hybrid and electric technologies are suited to public transportation, I would warn against grouping everything from buses to rubbish trucks to ambulances as one,” notes Lawrence of BAE in a telling final observation. “You need to look at each application in terms of its own duty cycle. Buses as city-center applications are heavy stop/start vehicles with often large passenger loads. This means they are ideally suited to hybrid, as is anything last mile. But the moment you leave the city you encounter higher average speeds with fewer stops. Neither hybrids nor electric are so well suited in this scenario.”

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58 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International


Taking charge

Wireless charging technology has the potential to shake up the EV landscape on an unprecedented scale. But how close is the industry to making this dream a reality?


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Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 59



espite a growing number of vehicle launches, government initiatives and technological breakthroughs, the electric and hybrid vehicle industry is rarely short of skeptics keen to point out that major obstacles remain before the roads are humming with legions of e-drivetrains. The truth is, consumers might be coming around to the idea of EVs, HEVs and PHEVs, but the reality and the logistics of keeping one on the road still makes many people think twice before buying one. Wireless charging – essentially the ability to transfer electricity from a power supply to a vehicle via a magnetic field, and without a physical connection – has long been heralded as a potential knock-out blow to EV naysayers. But for all its promise, how far away from implementation could this technology actually be? Tried and tested

You might not see it on everyday passenger cars just yet, but the technology to enable wireless vehicle charging is not only available, it’s already been proved. “The technology itself is not a stumbling block any longer,” states Andrew Daga, chairman and CEO of Momentum Dynamics. “If you were to walk in here today, we would turn on the switch and show you that it works. There is no impediment to the technology.” Momentum’s wireless development, which is currently operating in a number of pilot programs, can charge at power levels up to 50kW – assuming the vehicle in question has a battery that can take it – with efficiency levels in excess of 90%, and has been designed to safely and reliably transmit power through both air and water. Main: Qualcomm’s Halo development is currently being used in Formula E to charge the BMW i8 safety car Right: Qualcomm has deployed its technology in numerous projects around the world. Shown here is dynamic charging in action

“We’ve proved that it works, and we’ve proved that it’s fit for purpose. What we’re waiting for is standardization – to get everybody agreed on the system parameters that need to be adhered to” Joe Barrett, senior director, Qualcomm

60 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

Joe Barrett, senior director at Qualcomm, tells a similar story. “Although the technology is over 100 years old, it’s only in the past 25 years that the power electronics and components have got to the point where you can produce a wireless charging system that actually works and is fit for purpose – for charging electric vehicles.” Qualcomm has been providing wireless power in factory automation since the 1990s, and the company’s Halo technology – currently utilized to charge the safety car in the Formula E championship – has been used at a variety of power levels (including up to 20kW as part of Qualcomm’s project with the world record-breaking Drayson racing team), and in a range of applications, including a program to charge buses in Turin which uses multiple pads to raise power levels still higher. US organization Hevo, like many other wireless developers, also has products rolled out in various pilot programs. Industrial applications of wireless charging, such as factory vehicles and materials handling equipment, are nothing new, and uses in the public transport sector, such as charging passenger buses during their frequent and predictable stops, are showcasing the effectiveness of the technology. “Industrial EVs operating in warehouses and factories, or small neighborhood EVs used for utility purposes, will benefit greatly from wireless charging, and present a very large market opportunity,” says Hevo’s chief engineer Aditya Sharma. “However, shortly after entering those markets, Hevo’s high-power unit will target light-duty passenger and commercial EVs, as well as heavy-duty EVs, such as delivery trucks.”


OFF THE GRID The majority of charging systems – be they wireless or otherwise – are still beholden to some form of electrical infrastructure. After all, power has to come from somewhere. California-based Envision Solar, however, has plans for vehicle charging that isn’t at the mercy of the nearest available connection to the grid. The Electric Vehicle Autonomous Renewable Charger (EV ARC) is the result of an eight-year project. “The goal was to create the world’s first transportable solar EV charging station that required no construction or trenching, switchgears, transformer upgrades and so on,” says Desmond Wheatley, CEO of Envision Solar. “A unit that can hurdle the biggest challenge facing EV infrastructure deployment today – site acquisition.” The 2.3kW solar array generates 16kWh a day, stored in a 22kWh battery. It can fully charge one EV

per day, or provide a quarter-charge to multiple vehicles. The EV ARC incorporates all charging connections currently available, with wireless charging to follow as the market matures, adds Wheatley. Already in full production, the EV ARC is, its creators claim, limited only by the amount of sunlight and the availability of unshaded parking. “So, in other words,” Wheatley says, “there aren’t a lot of limitations to this technology.”

Left: The inner system workings of the Halo WEVC technology

Setting the standard

Left: Drayson Racing continues to serve as an important testbed for Qualcomm’s wireless charging innovations

In short, then, there are plenty of examples of wireless charging in existence around the world. And there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that it is an efficient and safe technology too (see Knowledge of power on the next page). So why hasn’t the technology yet made the leap to modern passenger electric vehicles, essentially allowing the EV to overcome its range anxiety issues? “We’ve proved that it works, and we’ve proved that it’s fit for purpose,” explains Barrett. “What we’re waiting for is standardization – to get everybody agreed on the system parameters that need to be adhered to.” Daga agrees with the Qualcomm director: “The technology does not slow down the implementation any longer,” he says. “What will slow it down, and what has slowed it down, is integration with the vehicle, and the adoption by the major automotive companies. The unspoken truth is that all – and I mean all – of the auto makers are going to electric vehicles, and they are all moving toward wireless. And the way we know this is their participation in the standards bodies. They are all represented – even companies like Toyota, which claims not to be interested in battery electric vehicles [due to its interest in hydrogen power]. They’re all interested in moving the wireless charging standard to full implementation as soon as possible, so that they can begin managing the supply chain of the product, and begin integrating it into their vehicles.” And there are signs that a shift is coming, evidence that OEMs are beginning to look at the bigger picture, and at solutions that encompass more than just their own products.

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 61

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infrastructure front, standardization activities need to be kept as neutral as possible in order not to restrict future innovation,” Krammer continues. “Interoperability needs to be ensured – it must be possible to use the same infrastructure to charge vehicles of different makes.” None of this is news to wireless technology pioneers, however, many of whom are well aware of the developmental bottleneck that has been created. They are keen to push forward, but also acutely aware that a lot of time, effort and money could be wasted in developing equipment that could quickly become obsolete. “In the absence of standards, first implementations [of wireless charging technology] can only be proprietary solutions,” explains Mathias Wechlin, project manager and engineer at German company IPT, which has partnered with Transport for London to develop bus station wireless charging stands “We see our main task as being to focus on the vehicle-integrated side of the system,” says BMW’s head of inductive charging development, Josef Krammer. “In our cooperation with Daimler, and our mutual technology partner Brusa, we are concentrating chiefly on the development of compact, standardized components.” Yet while collaborations and JVs are all well and good, until the industry as a whole agrees upon benchmarked standards, the speed of development will be hamstrung. “On the

IPT has built up extensive expertise and know-how in wireless charging solutions, participating in various feasibility studies and pilot projects for over 15 years

“The technology itself is not a stumbling block any longer. If you were to walk in here today, we would turn on the switch and show you that it works” Andrew Daga, chairman and CEO, Momentum Dynamics

KNOWLEDGE OF POWER While the basic concept of wireless charging is relatively simple to grasp – the transfer of energy between objects via an electromagnetic field – this hasn’t stopped a few misplaced beliefs in the technology from springing up. “There’s a preconception that wireless charging is more expensive and less efficient than plug-in,” says Momentum’s Daga. “Actually, the reverse is true. A

very heavy copper cable is an expensive thing – people are stealing wires because of the value of copper, and there’s a certain fraction of plug-in chargers that are disabled right now because they need a new wire. With wireless, you don’t have that.” In most cases, wireless is also able to boast efficiency levels that match (and often exceed) those found in plug-in charging. And it’s safe, too: “To get a seat at the table

with a car company, you have to be able to meet the basic safety requirements,” says Qualcomm’s Barrett. “So, if you can’t meet those requirements – the ability to detect foreign objects, being able to detect any moving objects that might be under the car, field leakage, EMC requirements, those types of factors – then you just don’t get a seat at the table. You cannot deploy technology that isn’t safe.”

Left and above: Momentum Dynamics develops high-power inductive charging technologies for the automotive and transportation industries. The company’s Momentum Charger enables all classes of electric vehicles to be charged without supervision and under all weather conditions

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 63


Right: The Hevo Mobile App provides clear communication between the hardware components and serves as the sole interface with the end user Below: Interestingly, Hevo has also designed charging pads that blend into the everyday environment of a busy road, like manhole covers

for a diesel hybrid bus scheme due to take place in 2015. “Having standards that assure interoperability between chargers and vehicles will be key to leveraging the implementation of wireless charging on a larger scale.” Charging ahead

Despite such concerns, there remains a conviction within the industry that the shift to wireless is inevitable. “It is going to happen,” states Daga. “It is perhaps slower than some people would like, but it really has to happen. We’ve passed that point of no return, where the technology has been de-risked. It is available to the world, and it simply needs to be commercialized.” And although static wireless charging is yet to become widespread, developers are already looking at the natural evolution of the technology. “We’ve always seen dynamic charging as the ultimate game changer,” adds Barrett with the same conviction. “Then you can electrify the roads, which means smaller batteries, and cheaper vehicles that charge while they’re driving. Formula E is keen to get that technology deployed in racetracks, which will add a great dimension to the racing.” Progress on dynamic charging – through which vehicles charge in short, intense bursts as they pass over coils embedded in the road surface – is already impressive, despite the fact that static technology is far from commonplace. “We’re working on developing semi-dynamic and dynamic charging, and we have been for several years,” Barrett says. “We’ve already proven it working at low speeds, and the next step is to get it up to high speeds.” Momentum has already built such functionality into its chargers and, Daga believes, the only obstacle is the cost of installing equipment into roads. “The vehicle would be driving over a traveling wave of magnetic energy. All of this would be invisible and silent, and it’s well within the capability of our technology to do this.”

“Industrial EVs operating in warehouses and factories, or small neighborhood EVs used for utility purposes, will benefit greatly from wireless charging” Aditya Sharma, chief engineer, Hevo

The big day

With few doubts remaining over the actual functionality of wireless charging, the question remains: how long before we see the technology implemented? Opinions tend to vary from one developer to the next. “It will likely be anywhere between two and five years before the technology can be rolled out en masse,” says Hevo’s Sharma. “It mostly boils down to how quickly the vehicle manufacturers can meet the wireless charging standards currently being set forth so that suppliers and auto makers are on the same page.” IPT’s Wechlin is a little more cautious: “We don’t have a crystal ball, but we would venture that, over the next five

64 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

to 10 years, electric drive systems will gain a considerable share of the total vehicle market. And we are confident that wireless charging will be well-positioned within this share.” Others are a little more optimistic. Barrett says, “We believe, based on our discussions within the industry, that in 2017 you will be able to tick a box when you order your EV and specify that you want wireless charging.” And while Momentum’s Daga believes that plug-in charging will be obsolete in 10 years’ time, the widespread implementation of wireless technology could become a reality considerably sooner, if the industry’s malaise can be overcome: “I lose my patience a little bit with those folks who say this is still years away. The only reason this technology is years away is because of the slowness of the auto makers to make a decision. It could be implemented next year if they wanted to do it!”







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66 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International


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rangers If electric vehicles are to provide more power, go longer on a single charge and eventually replace IC-engined products, battery technology needs to reach a new level. But can that be achieved with lithium-ion chemistry? WORDS: MAX MUELLER


ack in 1925, Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota Industries, offered a prize of ¥1m for the invention of a revolutionary electric battery. He set the bar rather high, as revolutionary in his book meant a device capable of delivering 100ps over 24 hours and weighing no more than 225kg. A quick calculation shows why, almost 90 years later, researchers won’t be claiming the reward any time soon. A ‘Sakichi battery’ has an energy density of nearly 12kWh per kilogram, placing it on par with gasoline and outclassing today’s lithium-ion cells by a factor of 60.

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 67



Yet if the electric vehicle is to come into its own, providing mobility to the masses, the industry needs a big breakthrough that conventional lithium-ion is unlikely to deliver. In this respect there is no need to despair, as new concepts are appearing on the technology horizon, shrouded only by the choice of the right battery chemistry. So just what does the future hold for lithium-air, lithium-sulfur and lithium ultracapacitors, and will these new systems mean the end of the road for lithium-ion before the EV has jumped out of its niche and into the mainstream? Air max

For a battery technology after Toyoda’s own heart, look no further than lithium-air. Since the concept was first suggested for transport in the 1970s, it has always remained a good 25 years away. However, important advances in materials science at the turn of the millennium prompted IBM to launch its Battery 500 research project in 2009, in pursuit of electrical storage to power a passenger car for 500 miles (800km). On paper at least, lithium-air makes perfect sense. In discharge mode, oxygen from the atmosphere enters a porous carbon electrode, where it reacts catalytically with lithium ions to form solid lithium oxide, which gradually fills the pores. When the battery is recharged, the lithium oxide decomposes, releasing lithium ions and freeing up pore space in the carbon. The resulting oxygen is released back into the atmosphere. In theory, replacing the cathode with air results in enough weight loss to launch the system into the Sakichi stratosphere, with a possible energy density of 11.1kWh per kilogram. Sadly, though, the practical hurdles of lithium-air match the enormity of the reward. As well as having to manage the fire hazard of highly flammable metallic lithium, researchers must deal with the fact that oxygen degrades the electrolyte and renders it unable to conduct a charge. Many similar problems have stopped Battery 500’s principle investigator, Winfried Wilcke, from making any predictions except that the technology “won’t happen this decade”. At IBM’s project development partner, the US government’s Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), researchers recognize such problematic issues. Khalil Amine, a materials scientist and

68 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

“Few organizations, perhaps only a handful, are working on lithium-air because of the many challenges” Khalil Amine, materials scientist and joint leader, lithium-air battery study group, ANL


Advancing modeling technology enables battery simulation on electrode, cell and pack level



MODEL BEHAVIOR The role that simulation plays in battery design and development is as important as it is complex. In terms of modeling, batteries pose multiscale problems, with phenomena occurring on different levels ranging from the microscopic to millimeter, centimeter and decimeter scales. Despite this, data must be correlated to make sense of the overall picture. “The chemical reactions that happen within a cell will affect battery performance and, in turn, the cooling strategy will influence the electrochemistry,” explains Sandeep Sovani, director of global automotive industry at Ansys. “Another challenge is the complexity of interconnected physics, such as electrical, fluid and thermal fields. Four or five years ago battery simulation was restricted to regular finite element analysis to calculate things like flow behavior for the cooling strategy. But a recent partnership project with GM, the

National Renewable Energy Laboratory and ESim has enabled us to create a simulation tool that integrates the various scales. We can now mimic a battery at electrode, cell and pack level over an entire drive cycle faster than real time – in under a minute at times – without a loss of accuracy.” In another related engineering development, Ansys is claiming to revolutionize practice in battery simulation and other automotive applications by introducing certified embedded software generation. “In the aerospace industry, we’ve been delivering tools that automatically generate embedded software that is certified to the highest safety standard. Now we’re transferring this method to the transport environment, which means the entire code-generating process will be certified to safety requirements such as ISO 26262 at ASIL D level, eliminating the need for software verification,” Sovani says.


1. ANL researchers testing low-cost carbon catalyst materials for a lithium-air battery technology cathode 2. The newest generation of lithium-ion battery (foreground) has an energy density three times that of batteries in today’s EVs 3. An ANL chemist tests materials for potential application in the development of new battery technology 4. A tech illustration of how a lithium-ion battery functions. All ANL images courtesy of the Argonne National Laboratory

joint leader of ANL’s lithium-air battery study group, comments, “Few organizations, perhaps only a handful, are working on lithium-air because of the many challenges. We’re looking at new electrolytes and our extensive knowledge of lithium-ion to progress the technology, as well as a new approach for creating more stable catalysts. We’re taking full advantage of ANL’s advanced photon source expertise and our Center for Nanoscale Materials to better understand the problems of lithium-air. Our objective is to obtain very high energy density and cyclability of the system, which is very challenging.” Other battery developers, however, are more skeptical about the chances of lithiumair entering the mainstream. “Come 2030, you will find many variations of battery chemistry, each tailored to its application.

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 69

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“When the economies of scale match, lithium-sulfur will have the cost advantage and enable manufacturers to produce affordable vehicles with a long driving range” Tom Cleaver, project manager, Oxis Energy



We expect Li-sulfur to be mature enough to displace Li-ion, particularly in pure EVs,” predicts Tom Cleaver, project manager at Oxis Energy. Last year the developer received a grant from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board to lead a joint research project, with Imperial College London, Cranfield University and Lotus Engineering, into lithium-sulfur batteries. By late 2016 the Revolutionary Electric Vehicle Battery (REVB) partnership is aiming to realize an energy density of 400Wh/kg, a cost reduction to US$250/kWh and an effective use of 90 to 95% of the energy stored, all of which compares well with current lithium-ion systems coming in at 150Wh/kg, US$500/ kWh and 60% efficiency. For Cleaver, though, price remains at the heart of the battery EV issue. “Look at Tesla – the Model S claims a 300-mile [483km] range but costs US$85,000. To make an affordable car that drives 400 miles you need much cheaper cells. Tesla is attacking this problem by hitting economies of scale with its gigafactory [see Silver State Secures Gigafactory, overleaf]. But it’s using cobalt in the electrodes, which is around US$30,000 per ton. We use sulfur, which is US$200 per ton. When the economies of scale match, lithium-sulfur will have the cost advantage and enable manufacturers to produce affordable vehicles with a long driving range.”

1. Oxis Energy staff in a dry room. The Revolutionary Electric Vehicle Battery partnership aims to realize a battery density level of 400Wh/kg by 2016 2. A detailed Oxis Energy comparison of current and future Li-S and Li-ion capabilities, in terms of both volumetric energy and specific energy

Super capacity

Elsewhere, researchers are looking beyond the concept of the battery as the sole solution for a vehicle’s electrical storage. Goodwolfe Energy, for example, has been working

“In one test of some 1.2 million cycles, the system lost only 30% of its capacitance with a mere 20% deviation in the internal resistance while operating at 60°C. It has the potential to last for the entire life of the vehicle” Ian Goodman, CEO and co-founder, Goodwolfe Energy

with a number of organizations on combining the power density, longevity and low discharge rate of ultracapacitors with the energy density of lithium-ion systems. “In terms of power density, lithium-ion capacitors are very good indeed. You’re looking at a 40kg unit producing a nominal 100kW of power,” explains Ian Goodman, CEO and co-founder of the company. “The peak rating is over 200kW, which would be very useful in an acceleration event. The cell itself is comparable in voltage to a standard lithium-ion cell at 2.4-3.8V, and after modifying our battery management system we’re now producing modules and systems with this technology. It’s expensive when you consider energy density, at around US$5,000 per kilowatt-hour, but at the other end of the scale, power density is 26kW per US$1,000 – that’s phenomenally cheap. True, you can’t go very far on it, but in a hybrid application it’s at the right price point for mass production, especially for large commercial vehicles where the IC engine will play a role for years to come.” Another strength of the device is its sheer longevity. Lithium-ion capacitors have withstood more than 1.7 million cycles, according to validation carried out by the company. “Charging at 400V and 200A, it’s the right power range for a large 4x4 hybrid. In one test of some 1.2 million cycles, the system lost only 30% of its capacitance with a mere

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 71


Tesla’s future growth – including the creation of additional new products that sit alongside the Model S – will be underpinned by the new giggafactory (right)

20% deviation in the internal resistance while operating at 60°C. It has the potential to last for the entire life of the vehicle.” It’s no wonder, then, that for the Goodwolfe CEO, lithium-ion capacitors could bridge the gap between current battery chemistries and the technologies of the future. “For transitional means of transport, especially hybrids and commercial vehicles, the system has massive potential,” he concludes. Premature end game?

So just how soon will these advances ring the death knell for the tried and tested lithiumion cell? Not as fast as some might think, according to battery specialist Seeo. “We very much believe that lithium batteries – whether you call them lithium-ion or lithium metal – will continue to be the driving force of this industry right up to 2030 and beyond,” says vice president Ulrik Grape, a battery specialist with over 20 years’ experience. The Californian company launched in 2007 with the goal of creating a new class of high-energy lithium-ion storage based on a nanostructured polymer electrolyte. Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory pioneered the idea and received funding from the US Department of Energy’s Batteries for Advanced Transportation Technology (BATT) program. “Our core

SILVER STATE SECURES GIGAFACTORY After months of speculation, Tesla Motors’ CEO, Elon Musk, has finally revealed that Nevada will be the home of the company’s all-new and all-important gigafactory. Having fended off competition from Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California, Nevada governor Brian Sandoval could not hide his joy in securing the facility, which is estimated to represent investment of around US$5bn from Tesla and its partners. “This is great news for Nevada. Tesla will build the world’s largest and most advanced battery factory here, which means nearly US$100bn in economic impact to the Silver State over the next 20 years. I am grateful that Elon Musk and Tesla saw the promise in Nevada. These 21 st century pioneers, fueled with innovation and desire, are emboldened by the promise of Nevada to change the world.” Due to open in 2020, the gigafactory will see Tesla preparing, providing and managing the land, buildings and utilities, and Panasonic manufacturing and supplying

“We very much believe that lithium batteries – whether you call them lithium-ion or lithium metal – will continue to be the driving force of this industry right up to 2030 and beyond” Ulrik Grape, vice president, Seeo

72 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

cylindrical lithium-ion cells and investing in the associated equipment, machinery and other manufacturing tools based on mutual approval. A network of supplier partners will produce the required precursor materials. Tesla will take cells and other components to assemble battery modules and packs. But in order to meet projected demand, Tesla will continue to purchase battery cells produced in Panasonic’s Japan factories. Tesla says that the gigafactory will enable a continuous reduction in the cost of longrange battery packs in parallel with the manufacturing volumes required to enable the company to meet its goal of advancing mass market electric vehicles. J B Straubel, Tesla’s CTO, adds, “The gigafactory represents a fundamental change in the way large-scale battery production can be realized. Not only does the gigafactory enable the capacity needed for the Model 3, but it sets the path for a dramatic reduction in the cost of energy storage across a broad range of applications.”

technology is a solid, dry polymer electrolyte with a lithium metal anode. This allows us to make the cathode from different materials such as lithium-ion phosphate, resulting in an all-dry, all-solid system with high energy density and much better safety as we’ve eliminated volatile electrolytes. A stable setup like this also translates into a long battery life and attractive cost profile,” Grape explains. The current cell boasts an energy density of 220Wh per kilogram which, according to Grape, is second only to the much more expensive cobalt system used by Tesla. “We’re working with some higher-energy cathode materials to improve energy density further with a target of 400Wh per kilogram at cell level. With efficient packaging, you’re hitting numbers that become competitive with IC powered vehicles and we’re on track to implement this within the next couple of years,” he promises.


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04. 2014 Subject to revisions without prior notice. E&OE



Quest for power The result of 10 years of study and research, liquid metal battery technology promises low-cost power with an impressive lifespan WORDS: JIM McCRAW

74 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International



n the USA, there is at least one man who believes that the right combination of cheap materials and good science can produce batteries that will change the way we store and use energy. That man is Donald Sadoway, professor of materials chemistry at the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Sadoway, whose degrees in chemical engineering and chemical metallurgy are from the University of Toronto, has been working on this project at MIT for 10 years – with his team, Group Sadoway: Extreme Electrochemistry, and with his company, Ambri, named after Cambridge, where MIT is located. He is a TED lecturer, frequent television guest, occasional music video performer, and made the list of Time’s 100 Most Influential People In The World in 2012. Sadoway became interested in batteries after a test drive of a Ford Ecostar electric van in 1994, a project that used sodium-sulfur batteries operating at 325°C. He was impressed because the vehicle’s performance, even then, was “like a 1960s muscle car”. So, he says, he went back to Cambridge and got to work on batteries.

SADOWAY BIOGRAPHY Born March 7, 1950, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Donald Robert Sadoway’s research seeks to establish the scientific underpinnings for technologies that make efficient use of energy and natural resources in an environmentally sound manner. This spans engineering applications and the supportive fundamental science. The overarching theme of his work is electrochemistry in non-aqueous media. Research interests include liquid metal batteries, metals production by molten oxide electrolysis, rechargeable solid polymer batteries and aluminum-ion batteries.

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 75


(–) Terminal Cell lid

Low cost, long life

The primary goal of the liquid metal battery (LMB) project is to develop a low-cost and long-life battery for grid-scale stationary energy storage, but the LMB can also be downscaled for all manner of other purposes, including automotive propulsion in electric and hybrid vehicles. The Sadoway liquid metal battery uses three elements: a positive electrode made of an alloy of lead and antimony, which is placed at the bottom of the cell; a negative electrode of an iron-lithium alloy at the top of each cell; and an electrolyte that is a solution of mixed molten salts, all operating together at a top temperature of 450°C. The current element ratio is approximately 80% metals and 20% electrolyte. The salt is included, Sadoway explains, to force the bionic reaction, but does not contribute to power storage. “The ideal battery would have super-thick electrodes and super-thin electrolyte. You want the metals thick enough to prevent shorting, but not excessively thick because you’re just giving up volume. The voltage drop across the electrolyte is voltage you don’t access in the external circuit.” A previous combination of alloys worked only at temperatures in excess of 700°C, and one of the goals of the program is to find a combination of alloys and salts that will operate at 250°C. Sadoway says there are some 20 patents already associated with the LMB program, with more to come.


Negative electrode (liquid metal)

Electrode (molten sald)

Positive electrode (liquid metal)

Cell body

In the event that the case of a liquid metal battery is breached or broken, its contents will remain solid and therefore free from fire or explosion – unlike lead-acid or lithium-ion

(+) Terminal

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Sadoway mans the helm of Group Sadoway: Extreme Electrochemistry, an adept research group comprising about 30 postdoctoral associates and visiting scientists, technical staff, graduate students and undergraduate students

76 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

The battery design (and the metals used in it) makes the steel case a positive connector, since the bottom layer is directly connected to – and has the same polarity as – the case, with the top layer (a kind of metal foam) acting as the current collector. “We use the metal foam like a sponge,” Sadoway explains. “The metal foam on the top has a connector that goes up through the center of the battery and has an insulator, and that becomes the negative terminal – the exact opposite of an AA battery. That way you can stack these cells, because the pin that goes through the top has a button. If you put another one on top of it, now you have positive to negative and you can double the voltage. “These things are built in a protective environment,” Sadoway continues. “So we don’t have to go to extremes of vacuum-sealing them, but it is preferable to seal them under inert gas. We have actually built cells in open air, and the metal on the top reacts to consume whatever


oxygen and nitrogen are present and, within moments, the atmosphere inside the cell is conditioned. The main issue is to keep the humidity relatively low so you don’t lose effectiveness.” The start-up energy is small, as Sadoway explains: “You have to heat the battery up to kick off the chemistry, but the charging and discharging keep the reaction going. It doesn’t take that much energy to heat something up to that temperature. It’s like priming a pump.” In addition to the lower operating temperature, which should simplify the battery’s design and extend its overall working life, the new formulation will be less expensive to make. As for safety, Sadoway states, everything inside the battery returns to a solid state at room temperature and “it’s just a brick”. Practically speaking, this means it can be safely shipped by truck or air, since it won’t leak or start a fire – unlike lithium-ion batteries, which cannot be transported by air. The power figures are impressive. “The voltage figure on a cell is a little bit less than 1V,” Sadoway says, “so you have to stack these in series to get up to 20V or higher, because the cost of a transformer that converts DC to AC current goes way up when the voltage of the DC cell goes down. It’s a lot cheaper to transform high-voltage DC into AC. We can’t change the voltage on the cell, because of the metallurgy. In a stack of 2m 3, which is about the size of a refrigerator, the energy is about 10kWh – enough to power a typical home for a day.” Sadoway’s team found that, while antimony produced a high operating voltage and lead gave a low melting point, a mixture of the two combined both advantages, with a voltage as high as antimony alone, and a melting point between the two – contrary to expectations that lowering the melting point would come at the expense of also reducing the voltage. “The 85% efficiency figure that we have is a very, very low fade rate, and that’s the one particularly troubling thing for the lithium-ion batteries in hybrid and electric cars, cell phones and laptops. On day one, we’re overjoyed

Above: This interior cross-section of an early 4in liquid metal battery prototype shows that the battery can be scaled up or down, depending on its intended purpose Right: The battery runs at 450°C so its workings are impossible to photograph. However, this room-temperature mock-up simulates it via use of mercury (bottom) and steel foam instead of hot, liquid metals

because it runs for a long time, but after about a year, we tend to discover that it runs for about 30% less time, and after two years, it runs for about 60% less time. Eventually, after three years, it turns into a paperweight. The 85% figure after 10 years of daily cycling means 3,650 cycles at 85% of capacity.” Automotive application

“As for putting it into a car, the temperature is still too high,” Sadoway explains. “The 450°C operating temperature level is too high for transportation. But we are looking at new combinations of alloys and new combinations of salts, because we think that if we can get that temperature down to 250°C – less than the temperature of your kitchen oven – then that is something that could go into a car. Then, if I add in 85% retention over 10 years, and I throw in a price point that is about five times lower than lithium-ion – a lead-acid price point with lithium-ion performance and long service lifetime – I have a winner.” Sadoway insists that he and his team haven’t invented a battery, however. “We have invented a battery field, and we have got other ideas. If you want a car battery that can take

“The initial concept has been realized, to the point that we feel we are on the right path, and that success is imminent in terms of something that would be scalable and economically viable” Donald Sadoway, professor of materials chemistry, MIT

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“The ideal battery would have super-thick electrodes and super-thin electrolyte. You want the metals thick enough to prevent shorting, but not excessively thick because you’re just giving up volume” Donald Sadoway, professor of materials chemistry, MIT

you 400km (249 miles) on a single charge at a price point, if I could put a Chevrolet Volt on the showroom floor for US$20,000, I’d take over the world. The missing piece is the battery. With the right battery, we could put a Chevy Volt on the showroom floor that will last for 10 years with no complaints about loss of range, and at that point, the price of oil goes back to US$20 per barrel.” Such an electric car would theoretically be plugged into house current, trickle charging to keep the battery going, Sadoway suggests, and severe weather considerations would not need to be considered – such a battery could virtually freeze solid and still function once it starts to draw current and heat up. Another consideration, Sadoway says, is that several LMB-equipped electric cars on a car carrier could flip over and the batteries could not catch fire in their cold state. “A high-temperature battery is safer than a low-temperature battery, because if you breach the case on a lead-acid battery, it will just keep leaking. And if you break the case on a lithium-ion battery, you have got a really flammable liquid all over the place. However,

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if you were to break the case of a liquid metal battery, then everything inside of it will remain a solid.” Powering forward

The future for the technology, Sadoway believes, is assured. “The initial concept has been realized, to the point that we feel we are on the right path, and that success is imminent in terms of something that would be scalable and economically viable,” he explains. “This started with the idea that we wanted to develop security for the grid, and that means, in the first world, giving us a type of grid that is stable against rolling blackouts and brownouts, and frequency fluctuations. For two out of seven people on the planet, it would mean giving them access to electricity through wind, solar and water. With liquid metal batteries, wind and solar, they would have sustainable power.” Sadoway says that, in computer software and app terms, his team has now progressed to LMB 5.0, but that his own recent research, as yet unpublished, has found a path to new energy storage methods that are yielding three times the energy density of anything they have done up to now – and which would enable them to cut pricing threefold. The LMB research was supported by the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency and by French energy company Total.







[email protected]


All shook up A recent trip to Jaguar Land Rover confirmed that project Ingenium is just the start of a leaner, more efficient engine future for the British car maker, which will soon also include a variety of all-new e-powertrain creations


aguar Land Rover is on a roll. New products, starting with the Range Rover Evoque a few years ago through to the most recent unveiling of the Jaguar XE, are helping to transform a company whose market share dipped dangerously below 15% in 2008, but hit a 40% high in the last 12 months, culminating in more than 425,000 JLR vehicles leaving various showrooms around the world. And such a rapid and momentous turnaround is just the start of things to come for the former Ford PAG member – with there being no let-up in new vehicles being developed. According to senior execs, such as Dr Wolfgang Ziebart, director of group engineering, the British car maker plans to launch no fewer than 50 products in the next five years, many of which will sport hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, in the process safeguarding the future of Jaguar, Land Rover and Range Rover against a backdrop of tough emissions legislation. “We will invest £3.5bn [US$5.6bn] in new products,” states Ziebart, a former BMW board member who headed up product development. “What does this mean? In the past, we brought out a new car once every second or third year, but going forward we’ll launch a major new car every six months. It’s a significant change of pace for us.”

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JLR’s all-new architecture will allow for advanced hybrid powertrains to be rolled out across Jaguar, Land Rover and Range Rover model families, but surely a plug-in F-Type is out the question?

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Emissions mission

JLR’s emissions mission is underpinned by project Ingenium, but the impact of such ambitious growth plans is already being felt on the OEM’s various engineering divisions. “To give you a scale of it, we currently have 2,000 engineers in powertrain – that’s twice as many as we had only five years ago, so we’re growing really quickly,” says Ron Lee, powertrain engineering director. A further £500m (US$805m) is being spent on an all-new state-of-the-art powertrain manufacturing center in South Staffordshire, nestled nicely between JLR’s three existing sites at Halewood, Castle Bromwich and Solihull. Having recently been opened, it’s the first new plant JLR has built from the ground up and will create 1,400 jobs when at full capacity. More significantly, the 100,000m 2 base will be home to Ingenium engine production, a project that’s close to Lee’s heart. “Ingenium is a new engine family concept for us. These lightweight, low emission and configurable petrol and diesel turbocharged engines on a common architecture will deliver both efficiency and performance, whether they’re driving a Jaguar or a Land Rover,” he says. “We were able to design Ingenium the way we wanted because we had that rare and fantastic opportunity to start with a clean sheet of paper. We weren’t handcuffed by any of the usual restrictions or compromises that are forced onto us, so we had no existing production machinery that we had to reuse. We had no carry-over engine architecture that we were trying to amortize. There was no existing plant that we had to modify. And capping it all off, the engine is going into an all-new vehicle. This was a truly rare moment.” Costing the best part of £800m (US$1.3bn), work on project Ingenium started just over four years ago. At its very core, the powertrain family has a design based around a deep-skirt aluminum cylinder block featuring thin-wall, press-fit, cast-iron liners. The lightweight blocks share the same bore, stroke, cylinder spacing and a 500cc cylinder capacity, allowing for a modular setup that guarantees configurability and flexibility.

“I feel PHEVs will be a key technology for us and it will mean that in the future we will be able to enjoy products such as the Range Rover, as opposed to driving micro cars” Dr Wolfgang Ziebart, director of group engineering, Jaguar Land Rover





is the total weight of the XE AJ200D unit

reduction in JLR’s operating CO2 emissions has been realized since 2007 per vehicle built

of the 425,006 JLR vehicles sold last year were based in China

72,000 hours of dyno testing and 2 million of real-world miles testing was undertaken during Ingenium development

29,000+ JLR employees globally

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£3.5bn (US$5.6bn) investment will result in 50 new models in five years


“We looked 10 years into the future and asked ourselves what are the things that might happen with this engine? We then went to a number of the big consultancies and asked them the same question independently” Ron Lee, powertrain engineering director, Jaguar Land Rover

Main image: The South Staffordshire 100,000m2 engine manufacturing center will be home to 1,400 personnel and is JLR’s first new plant built from the ground up Below: Work on Ingenium, a flexible and modular engine architecture, started four years ago. It won’t be long before new hybrid derivatives are added to the family

Lee, who during his three decades at the company has just about seen it all, sheds more light on the powertrain strategy: “In among all the other engineering challenges and goals of this program, we needed the new engines to fit seamlessly into our installations for both northsouth and east-west architectures. They also had to be able to accommodate front-, four- and rear-wheel-drive configurations, and deal with auto, manual and hybrid transmissions. Finally, the new family has to be able to cover smaller and larger displacements for the future.”

Similar to what Volvo has undertaken with its VEA investment, Ingenium’s modular nature serves to reduce complexity, raise quality and simplify manufacturing. And like VEA and VW’s MQB, JLR’s architecture has been designed with an eye on the future. “When we set out on the program, we looked 10 years into the future so that we could look at all the technologies that Ingenium may use moving forward, and we protected the engine in terms of developments for fuel systems, performance upgrades and electrification, so as these technologies become ready and available, we can easily introduce them,” adds Lee. That means options like three-cylinder designs and cylinder deactivation have both been factored in, as well as various forms of powertrain electrification. “We looked 10 years into the future and asked ourselves what are the things that might happen with this engine? We then went to a number of the big consultancies and asked them the same question independently, so the likes of Ricardo, AVL and FEV. They all submitted their findings; we compared each one carefully and then went through all the key technologies looking at how we would implement each system. These are things that would fit with a design change to the existing layout, and we know that each one has a plausible way of being deployed.” E-powertrain plans

Ingenium is not just important to JLR in the immediate future, powering the XE in 180ps/430Nm and 163ps/380Nm in AJ200D form, with the latter becoming the most efficient Jaguar ever, achieving 75mpg (3.7l/100km) and 99g/km CO2; the new engine family will also act as a catalyst for the car maker in order to fully embrace powertrain electrification. In this respect, Ziebart is a man with emissions on his mind: “The major challenge for all of us is CO2 reduction and improving fuel economy. Governments have set tight regulations on emissions, so going forward from 2020, in the EU the average consumption of vehicles should be below 100g of CO2 per kilometer, which is roughly 75mpg. These are very, very tight regulations.” According to the engineer who headed up the 3 Series platform in a former BMW life, what this means for JLR on a company-wide basis is that fuel consumption between 2007 and 2020 needs to have been slashed by 45%. “So, in 2007, our car fleet had an average of 242g CO2, but by 2020 this needs to go down to 132g. Currently we’re at 180g, so there’s still a way to go for us to achieve the remaining target.” But Ingenium, insists Ziebart, will play a starring role in getting JLR over that 2020 line. “I would say that 50% of future target achievements when it comes to emissions will come from the powertrain.

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This means the improvement of conventional engines and transmissions, and adding electrification to the IC engine, so everything from micro and mild hybrids, through to full hybrids, plug-ins and battery electric vehicles.” Ziebart says that other areas for automotive engineers to look to for emissions reduction include vehicle weight, as well as coming up with new measures relating to parasitic losses. “But it’s the powertrain that’s the biggest single contributor to emissions,” he warns. “The situation is such that we can leave no stone unturned to squeeze out fuel economy improvement.” That means advanced hybrid powertrains based on Ingenium architecture are not far off for JLR. “Hybrids are very important to the industry, but are also extremely important to us in particular,” confirms Ziebart. “In spite of the many improvements that we have achieved with combustion engines, for vehicles like ours, such as the Range Rover, there is currently no obvious route to arrive at a double-digit CO2 per kilometer figure, except by using hybrid powertrains. “So, we have introduced the Range Rover Hybrid and, going forward, we assume that the electric part of the powertrain, the e-motor, will become greater and more powerful, whereas the combustion engine might get smaller.” Range Rover last year debuted the company’s first conventional hybrid production models, but plug-in derivatives are on the agenda too: “I believe that plug-in hybrid technology will come close to full battery electric systems, especially if you offer enough range during the electric part of the operation. I feel PHEVs will be a key technology for us and it will mean that in the future we will be able to enjoy products such as the Range Rover, as opposed to driving micro cars.” However, for now – and until the new engine facility is up to speed and fully ramps-up Ingenium production –

SELF-DRIVING INGENIUM? JLR’s investment in Ingenium ensures that its new vehicles will come equipped with efficient engines brimming with technology that also provide power and performance. And on a companywide level, the new powertrain family also guarantees the car maker’s future, bringing in-house all engine R&D expertise and production capability, allowing it to react to changing market demands, and implementing new technology. But what does the long-term future look like for JLR’s powertrain plans? And might Ingenium one day even include self-driving aptitude? “Autonomous driving, from our point of view, is a continuous journey that started in 1996, when Jaguar was the first to bring ACC in the XK to the market,” says Wolfgang Epple, JLR’s director of research and technology. “Over time, various supporting functions have been implemented, such as emergency braking and subfunctions that help to make the car more autonomous, taking more of the load away from the driver. That is a continuous journey, and from our perspective, it will take another 5-10 years before we as an industry can offer driving autonomy.” However, the former BMW, Lotus and Proton chief engineer says that when discussing autonomous driving, it’s important to think about the enjoyment people get from behind the wheel. “Basically, every driver has two states. The first is commuting from A to B, a tedious work /school journey that really nobody likes to do. The other is the more emotive state, driving on country roads and enjoying the fun of motion and mobility. For us, the tedious one is where autonomous comes in, because there the driver can do something else in the car, being more productive and staying connected. The other, second state, is where we want to maintain the joy of driving and being in control.”

“In 2007, our car fleet had an average of 242g CO2, but by 2020 this needs to go down to 132g. Currently we’re at 180g, so there’s still a way to go for us to achieve the remaining target” Dr Wolfgang Ziebart, director of group engineering, Jaguar Land Rover

Range Rover was the first JLR brand to launch a hybrid powertrain, but soon Jaguar and Land Rover models will follow

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it’ll be business as usual for JLR as it continues to buy in co-developed Ford/PSA Peugeot Citroën motors, but eventually the plan is for Ingenium family members to replace such units across all ranges. However, this will happen on a model-by-model, organic basis, says Ziebart. “In the past, engine technology was very much a stable technology, so we carried over an engine at least for two or three generations of vehicles and, in some cases such as the V8, an engine can have a life of five decades! But now going forward, with all the challenges we have, engine technology has become one of the most dynamic technologies. So there are changes and improvements more or less every year, not every decade. “It’s extremely important to have a very flexible approach and to take this capability in-house,” he continues. “While our current engines are state-of-the-art, going forward we see that if it’s possible to introduce a new technology [on an engine that’s bought in], then you must negotiate with a third party to introduce that new technology, and in that situation you’re already in a no-win position. Having this capability in-house and in our own hands means we are securing our future.” In a telling final remark, Ziebart adds, “It’s a great time for the company, and in particular for engineering. We have the financial means, the engineering skills and the ambition to be number one in automotive technology.”


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Easy rider Analysts have predicted that 2015 is to be a breakout year for electric motorcycles, as more products come to market and consumers switch on to battery-powered biking. So E&H hit the road to get the insider view from the manufacturers, while also investigating the wider implications for electromobility on two wheels WORDS: FARAH ALKHALISI


drenaline junkies and cost-conscious commuters alike – not necessarily mutually exclusive bedfellows – are eyeing up the growing number of electric motorcycles hitting the market. And it’s not just about work-home traveler scooters and e-motor-driven mopeds, or at the other end of the spectrum, electric superbikes such as the TTXGP and TT Zero competitors. New sports bikes and rugged urban designs are bringing e-riding to a much wider audience, and electric off-roaders such as the KTM Freeride E – one of the first electric offerings from an established big-name brand – are becoming available, representing a new market shift for these well known companies. Making things even more interesting are numerous start-up organizations vying aggressively to become the Tesla of two wheels. “It’s really amazing what we’re seeing – the level of interest in some areas is four times the level we measured last year,” outlines Abe Askenazi, CTO of Zero Motorcycles, a California-based company founded in 2006 and one of the highest volume e-bike makers yet. But such momentum has come after a slow start, due, Askenazi believes, in part to the market itself not being ready for electric motorcycles: “People were still not convinced that this was technology that was here to stay, something that was real.” Another factor, he believes, was that the bikes themselves did not offer range and performance on par with comparable IC-engined models. However, since various technical and engineering upgrades, sales have taken off. “Last year, we moved around 1,000 vehicles, and we’re looking to significantly increase that volume this year,” Askenazi says with enthusiasm. “And we have seen a definite pick-up in consumer interest in Europe too.” Part of that growth can be attributed to Zero’s experience of racing in the super-stock series of the US TTXGP – which it won last year – marketing the brand further and informing audiences about its product range: “We’ve learned a lot about cooling; we’ve learned a lot about our battery

Left: Over 70,000 hours of engineering, design and development have resulted in the creation of the Saietta R, an all-electric motorcycle from Agility Motors Right: A high-tech electric powertrain means the Saietta R can combine a super quick 0-100km/h sprint time of three seconds with an emissions-free range of 193km (120 miles) Below right: At the heart of the Agility Motors electric motorbike is an advanced axial flux permanent magnet electric motor with 72kW and 127Nm torque and an 11kWh lithium-ion battery

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management; and we’ve learned a lot about charging, because you have to charge very quickly between warm-up and the different heats throughout the day. And we’ve learned a lot about the suspension and the braking and all those more traditional things.” At its HQ in London, Agility Motors is preparing to scale up production of its Saietta R, a 169km/h (105mph) sports bike with an advanced composite monocoque chassis, capable of doing 0-100km/h (0-60mph) in three seconds but delivering a driving range of up to 180km (112 miles) at urban speeds. Demand for this premium-level street machine is “growing at a rate of knots”, reveals Agility CEO Lawrence Marazzi. “It’s a very exciting time to be in the industry.” Agility, whose R&D experience has been honed by working with the highly successful TT-winning Agni Racing team, expects to deliver around 700 e-bikes next year. “And the year after that we’ll be delivering closer to 2,000,” forecasts Marazzi, who hints at plans for broadening the model line-up and a longer-term target of 10,000 units. The experience of both organizations supports the general notion that electric motorcycles will break out as a transportation alternative this year, as announced by Navigant Research in its Electric Vehicles: 10 Predictions for 2014 White Paper, released in January. Taking to two wheels is an increasingly appealing option in urban areas to beat traffic jams and parking problems; and going electric offers the opportunity to save money on fuel as well as benefiting from

Project LiveWire is Harley-Davidson’s first attempt at an all-electric development as the company looks to adapt in a changing market, attracting new buyers to the brand. The prototype has been designed to offer a top speed of 148km/h (92mph) and a 96km (60-mile) driving range

LIVE WIRE Until now, making all electric motorcycles has been the preserve of small start-ups and custom bike-builders – but the established brand-names in the two-wheeled world don’t come any bigger or more legendary than Harley-Davidson, whose electric bike, the Project LiveWire concept, has been out on tour across the USA to gauge consumer reaction. LiveWire is all part of the 111-year-old company’s ongoing plans to widen and future-proof its range and its global reach, following a general overhaul of its product development and manufacturing operations. “Project LiveWire is just one element in our efforts to preserve and renew the freedom to ride for generations to come,” explains Matt Levatich, president and COO, at LiveWire’s unveiling earlier this year.

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any local incentives, such as exemption from tolls or congestion charging. An add-on to this is the continued increase of rail and bus fares in most countries and cities around the world, making some commuters think seriously about switching away from public transport. However, those that are opting for electric motorbikes are generally going for relatively low-powered models: “I’m sure there’s a market for a high-performance electric two-wheeler, as there is a market for high-performance electric cars; Tesla is a good example of this,” explains Neville Jackson, chief technology and innovation officer at Ricardo, whose motorcycles and personal transportation division has been working on electric and hybrid two-wheeler projects. “But how big it is, I’m not sure. I think the really big market is the smaller, lighter-weight, lower-cost vehicles.” Torque curves and learning curves

“Project LiveWire is just one element in our efforts to preserve and renew the freedom to ride for generations to come” Matt Levatich, president and COO, Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson is giving away little technical detail on the bike as yet, but the basic specifications of the prototype include a 0-100km/h (0-60mph) time of around four seconds, a top speed of 148km/h (92mph), a 96km (60-mile) driving range and a 3.5-hour recharging time on a Level 2 (240V ) charger. The LiveWire’s lithium-ion batteries are sourced from an as-yet unnamed technical partner, and its electric motor – thought to develop around 75ps and 70Nm of torque – has been developed with input from San Francisco’s Mission Motors. This latter nugget of supplier information is particularly noteworthy because Mission is bringing its own electric superbikes to market via its now-independent Mission Motorcycles division. In addition, the company is also evolving as a product supplier and engineering/

technology consultancy, and its recent CV namedrops support for Team Mugen, one-two winner in the latest TT Zero on the Isle of Man earlier this year. The LiveWire’s design and chassis structure are the work of Harley-Davidson’s in-house team, however, with care taken to ensure that it is characteristically a Harley despite its lack of a throbbing petrol powerplant. “It’s an expression of individuality and iconic style that just happens to be electric,” states Mark-Hans Richer, senior vice president, who also points out that although the traditional Harley exhaust note may be gone, the bike makes its own singular noise. “The sound is a distinct part of the thrill,” he adds. “Think fighter jet on an aircraft carrier. Project LiveWire’s unique sound was designed to differentiate it from internal combustion and

From an ownership perspective, riders are having to get to grips with a different experience – one with no engine noise, no conventional engine braking, and no gears. “Electric motors make power very differently to IC engines; they make most torque at low rpm, whereas IC engines you have to rev up and shift from one gear to the next to stay in the sweet spot,” Askenazi describes. “The beautiful thing about electric motors is that the sweet spot is everywhere – from 5mph (3km/h) through to 80mph (49km/h) – and you don’t have to be as good a rider and you don’t have to work as hard to get the power that you want.”

other electric motorcycles on the market.” The riding experience is claimed to be ‘visceral’ but the single-speed transmission should make it easier for novice riders to get to grips with, and suit the day-to-day routines of urban commuting, a key potential role for all future electric motorcycles. The test-bikes also feature selectable riding modes, allowing riders to choose between power performance and energyconserving range settings. While Harley-Davidson is keen to emphasize that this bike is still very much in concept form, there’s no doubting the company’s serious intent to bring an electric model to production some time soon. The Project LiveWire experience gives potential customers the chance to take a test ride, with the specific aim of collecting

feedback on their expectations for a road-going electric machine, and this will further inform the bike’s ongoing development. “Because electric vehicle technology is evolving rapidly, we are excited to learn more from riders through Project LiveWire to fully understand the definition of success in this market as the technology continues to evolve,” explains Richer. Further signaling that this is more than just market research or a one-off show bike development, Harley-Davidson has hired former General Motors engineer Jim Federico, leader of the Chevrolet Volt and Spark projects, as its new vice-president of engineering, and the motorcycle OEM is also advertising a number of jobs for electrical engineers to form an electric vehicles engineering team at its facility in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

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The Zero DS features advanced cell chemistry and battery management systems to provide a 210km (130-mile) driving range. Each cell in the DS’s power pack is individually controlled and monitored to ensure maximum health

The Zero Motorcycles CTO also points to the ease of riding and the purity of the noise-free experience as factors in winning over consumers to the electric cause. “Once you’ve lived with an electric vehicle, it’s very difficult to go back to an IC engine. It feels crude, it feels like old technology”. The feel of engine braking on an e-bike can be replicated through the regenerative braking system as well as KERS, although Agility’s Marazzi notes, “I haven’t been on a single test ride where somebody has said to me, ‘It’d be really nice if I had another gear’.” He believes that fixed-speed transmissions are particularly appropriate in urban environments, as this is essentially one less distraction for vulnerable riders. Yet through sophisticated management software, he says, “We can raise the intensity of the emotions, the satisfaction and the enjoyment, and we can also simplify the whole experience, making the interaction much more intuitive and seamless.” Zero gives the rider the choice of three regen braking modes: sport; eco, in which speed and torque are limited and the energy capture is stepped up for maximum efficiency; plus a further custom setting in which personal preferences can be set. Riders can also set up their bikes using a smartphone app. Askenazi, who formerly worked at Buell, says that programming selectable settings is less complicated in an electric motorcycle because there are no complex fueling maps or effects on emissions to deal with. Pondering packaging

When it comes to system integration and implementation, there’s always a battle for the OEs and their engineers. “We’re always fighting for millimeters in terms of packaging,” confirms Askenazi. “The heaviest part on the motorcycle is the battery, so it’s the hardest thing to package because it

“Once you’ve lived with an electric vehicle, it’s very difficult to go back to an IC engine. It feels crude, it feels like old technology” Abe Askenazi, CTO, Zero Motorcycles

is the largest. But when you put the battery together with the motor and the controller as a whole powertrain package, compare this to an IC engine with an exhaust system, air box and a gas system, and overall weight is lower, not by a lot, but it is lower.” For Marazzi, starting with a clean-sheet architecture purpose-built to accommodate an electric powertrain is a brilliant advantage for his engineers. He adds, “Tell me something that storing electrons has in common with burning gasoline!” In the case of the Saietta R, combining this fresh factor approach with a particularly short wheelbase allows for heightened handling agility, he says. “Where you don’t have exhausts hung out the back, everything is really concentrated, and that reduces our polar moment of inertia and enables the bike to change direction that much more quickly. And not only do electric motorcycles not need exhaust systems, we also don’t have to have anything like the level of cooling or wasted heat, and heat that we have to dissipate,” Marazzi continues. “The phenomenal difference in cooling requirement, in ancillary equipment for the cooling system and isolation from heat on a

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normal IC motorcycle, accounts for a whole lot of equipment you have to package. None of that exists for us.” And this benefits not only the overall weight of the bike, but also its aerodynamic design. Technology transfer

Electric motorcycle-makers have been keen to move into licensing and supplying their proprietary technologies and expertise for use in automotive applications as well in machines built by companies in other sectors. Zero, for example, has worked with a team racing high-performance go-karts – “they did exceedingly well last year in all the competitions when they entered with our powertrain and we learned a lot from that collaboration,” says Askenazi – and the OE has been in talks with further companies over powertrain supply for street-legal vehicles. Marazzi is confident that his organization’s “licensed technology will definitely go into four-wheeled vehicles”, so it’s no secret that Agility has been speaking with OEs in the light commercial vehicle and marine sectors to further extend its in-house powertrain technology. He also points out that “there’s a huge industry for industrial electric vehicles – if you even just count airports, or vehicles for the movement of parts in a warehouse, all of those applications represent a big sector”. And for him, the Saietta R development is as much a showcase for the company’s technologies as it is a product in itself, and opting to build a motorcycle as a calling card rather than a car was a carefully considered decision: “We can do things much more quickly, for a variety of reasons, and yet the value for a brand is almost as significant, because motorcycles are highly emotive – everybody’s excited by them.” Such optimistic thinking serves to further underline the idea that although electric superbikes and the higher-performance e-machines may account for only a small premium-level proportion of total sales in this growing space, the likes of the Saietta R and other headline-grabbers, such as the California-built Mission RS and Lightning SuperBike, or the Venturi-developed 200ps/200Nm Voxan Wattman, all have an important role to play as halo products to raise the profile of electromobility on two-wheels. And what’s more, public visibility of electric vehicles in fleet usage is also thought to be significant in encouraging mainstream consumers to consider transportation that’s driven by an electric powertrain. The electric motorcycle-builders are not an industry sector to be viewed in isolation, but rather another vital piece of the greater e-mobility jigsaw.

ON PATROL Electric motorcycles are increasingly being deployed by police and security forces for their stealthiness as well as energy efficiency and zero-emissions operation. Oregon-based Brammo has moved into this niche, and California’s Zero Motorcycles has so far supplied 100 bikes to the Colombian city of Bogota last year, 60 to the Hong Kong police, plus further bikes to various municipalities in the USA. “We have an expectation that fleet is going to be a significant proportion of our business,” confirms CTO Askenazi. Zero has also built prototypes for military trials. “One of the requirements for the US Special Forces was 60-second charging, and there is no technology right now that will allow true 60-second charging to

A key growth area for Zero Motorcycles has been the supply of e-motorbikes to police forces around the world

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happen,” adds Askenazi. “But you could be charging a couple of modules at base, you could be riding while those are being charged, and then come back to base and within 60 seconds put fresh batteries in and be back out.” Zero’s optional modular platform enables the removal of battery modules for charging, and sharing of interchangeable modules between different bikes on the same platform – a highly useful function for all fleets. The military also liked the appselectable settings, adds Askenazi: “If they want to limit the speed of the bike for base operation, or limit the torque to ensure that the guys are conserving energy, they can do that, and actually that’s something you can’t easily do with an IC engine.”

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created Against an energy crisis backdrop, one company s. So just an all-electric urban runaround in the early 1970 lution? why didn’t the Enfield 8000 kick off the EV revo WORDS: JOHN SIMISTER

94 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International



atteries. They represent the overriding challenge for electr ic vehicles today, and they were the single biggest problem decades ago, too. In the case of the Enfield 8000, introduced in 1973, its eight 12V lead-acid batter ies, at 309kg, accounted for nearly one-third of the total weight of the compact electr ic city car. That was a lot of mass for an e-motor of just 8ps (hence the car’s name) or 6kW to shift. Just imagine what an Enfield would be like with modern lithium-ion cells… but we’ll come to that later. Somewhat ironically, the Enfield did briefly look like it might make it as Britain’s first viable electr ic car. Its styling was cute, it was fun to drive, it was just about zippy enough to cope, and it had extraordinar ily efficient aerody namics, with a Cd of just 0.275, thank s partly to the generously curved windscreen and a lack of drag-inducing frontal air intakes. As far as Britain’s Electr icity Council

The Enfield 8000 grew out of a winning design in a 1966 Electricity Council competition for a contract to build a compact EV

(the body which oversaw power production) was all concerned, it was the future of urban mobility. And before way ago, es decad four over this was taking place even GM’s ill-fated EV1. Energy crisis

a 1966 The Enfield 8000 grew out of a winning design in a Electr icity Council competition for a contract to build the on based name, its e despit d, small electr ic car. Enfiel the Isle of Wight, had started its electr ic-car program with it before made were these of three 465 in 1969, but just lwas re-imagined as the fractionally more conventiona year. that later ed looking 8000, reveal It was in 1973 when Enfield’s moment of oppor tunity first really came. The Yom Kippur War had triggered the r energy crisis as oil supplies suddenly lost their forme nly sudde power ic electr and nty, taken-for-granted certai if it seemed to represent an energy-secure future – even still depended rather too much on coal-fired power stations. Then Britain suffered its miners’ strikes, which put paid to that. Never theless, between them, the s up Electr icity Council and various local electr icity board

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 95



didn’t seconds from rest, but prov ided you often, too s eme extr visit these performance full one from s) mile (50 m 80k get t you migh battery charge. at That figure might have been somewh tive nera rege of form e som better had there been the off foot your “Lift y. bilit capa ing brak the same accelerator and the car continues at the in y arth McC e Mik rved obse d,” spee ly week of on editi September 8, 1973, of the magazine Motor. “It is an indication any other and e tanc resis extent to which rolling inated.” elim been have ions frict sary unneces arthy McC to out ted poin Eng ineer Adraktas s, and part ing mov t eigh only were e ther that perhaps four of them were wheels. That was 0’s 800 the of tion lifica simp glib ly an over its ze hasi emp does it system workings, but used enth y arth McC . tion plica com of lack The non-proprietary ing elds, typically using components of the 8000 about the smooth ride, the quiet runn and dow n the country bought 65 Enfi s, the click ’s unit er rol furth a cont or with and , e mot ders Greec the in r-rea from made t were apar them to transpor t traveling mete ing turn tiny the Isle n es, the to uctio brak ted expor until prod light and prog ressive 55 examples going to private owners “Any ing: of Wight for assem bly hold road llent exce the and e, circl ended in May 1976. twitch ponents and corner is taken flat-out, with just a From 1973, the non-proprietary com eld had Enfi the And and el.” ce whe Gree ing in e steer mad of the subsystems of the 8000 were arch Rese stry Indu an , or assembly even passed the Mot then exported to the Isle of Wight for crash -on head ) m/h (48k eld ph Enfi 30m the use on’s ciati beca Asso arrangement that came about its than car safer ire a iona ping mill test; this was probably company was owned by Greek ship engineered by most recent emulator, the G-Wiz. Giannis Goulandris. The car itself was e worked also had who , ktas In 1969, Enfield took a pair of prototyp Adra tine stan Con fellow Greek posium sym d worl be the for re-tu ia squa forn a Cali used to 0s and 800 on the Apollo space project, t. panels. The of electric vehicles, the first such even spaceframe structure clad in aluminum h muc ered trigg USA tic the plas ss lded acro e -mo driv The shor t-lived 465 had an injection but ers, own on stati opprobrium from gasmonocoque structure, incidentally. Reagan ng, rear-wheelthen-Governor of California Ronald Proprietary parts included a coil-spru (Los idea llent els whe exce an d Bug; 10in thought the Enfield drive back axle designed for the Bon and lem) le prob g g-ax smo r swin t, majo pivo a lowhad ed, eles Ang from a Mini; and the wide-bas a new a Hillman Imp. suggested building the little cars in front suspension (and rear lights) from , of ened i, happ r Min neve inal It orig ry. an facto ia than forn ter Cali The Enfield was 200mm shor applied sure pres and of s use seat just two course, possibly beca its tiny size made possible by having who es pani red com cove oil net the bon by t ris shor land the e Gou to a stowage ledge behind, whil ries, each of them used his ships. four of the eight motive-power batte sat under the The problems of restr icted range and with a 110A h capacity. The other four eld s, light ered ry pow lengthy charging put paid to the Enfi stowage ledge, while a separate batte y head a – e pric of the h touc with g little alon se, That o. rpri ente wipers and, indulgently, a radi buy ld wou h whic , ty1975 spor in gly risin US$4,493 (£2,808) luxury blended well with a pair of surp to 280) ed (US$ mm £180 er-ri with r leath d, Rove ishe ge ly-d Ran a you looking bucket seats and a deep today spare, or nearly four Mini 850s. But steer ing wheel. Enfields few a keep its still el, car tunn the ral of cent sts the usia er enth The motor sat snugly und and pace r s bette ng serie a getti es l triggered 1973, running, sometim Mike McCarthy in the September 8, demands met as the accelerator peda motor ern mod e e mor a mor r with ively Moto ress nces zine prog dista maga se ly ter grea edition of week of mechanical switches to relea ing at a selected by pressing and enhanced, lighter batteries runn power from the batteries. Reverse was eld Enfi an , rity ated pola upd s the ch Thu swit ge. to volta d, er boar high a rocker switch on the dash than now ant site relev e oppo mor te in the could just be even and make the motor’s armature rota nd arou h reac . d 1969 coul in eld was it direction. Given time, the Enfi (30mph) in nine 65km /h (40mph), having hit 48km/h

“Lift your foot off the accelerator and the car continues at the same speed”

96 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International


98 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International



The move to multispeed transmissions for EVs and PHEVs remains in its earliest stages, but despite this, innovators are confident that there is a future beyond the current single-speed solutions



ingle-speed simplicity has, so far, been the predominant transmission of choice in the EV world, with even high-profile – and high-cost – creations such as the Tesla Model S and BMW i3 featuring just the one forward gear, not to mention the more price-sensitive electric urban runarounds and microcars. Nonetheless, suppliers and OEMs are working on a variety of more advanced and complex multispeed developments in response to market trends and the ever-increasing pressure to enhance energy efficiency. Generally speaking, there’s an increasing desire for automated transmissions – especially in developing regions – which in turn is influencing R&D activity. “The increasing living standards in many parts of the world lead to a growing demand for a comfortable driving experience, resulting in more customers seeking an automated transmission,” confirms Harald Merkel, technical specialist in friction technology at BorgWarner. “A DCT [dualclutch transmission] offers a good performance, comfort and the flexibility to integrate with a hybrid or electric powertrain. The wet dual-clutch technology, combined with hydraulic actuation and supplied by an on-demand electric pump, is the optimum solution to satisfy customers in all segments.”

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 99

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In EV applications specifically, the DCT provides high efficiency and low parasitic losses, enabling smooth shifts without torque interruption. “An electric motor has much higher rotational speeds than an IC engine,” Merkel explains. “So, the transmission should be robust and efficient enough to handle high rotational speeds and high ratio steps between two gears. Wet DCTs are ideal for this challenge. “However, what is new or different with a DCT for EVs and HEVs is the emphasis placed on the electronic communications needed to match the electric machine to the torque and speed requirements during shift events. The transmission enables more robust shifts and control strategies, and the clutch sizing and cooling requirements are lower.” Paolo Mantelli, head of performance automotive engineering at Oerlikon Drive Systems, agrees with his BorgWarner counterpart on the move toward automation: “We specialize in the niche sector rather than the high-volume market, but we can see some clear trends emerging, such as the move toward non-manual transmission types in all but the most exotic performance cars,” he says. “However, because they are light, efficient and compact, AMTs [automated manual transmissions] are making a comeback against DCTs, thanks to the possibility of using an electric motor to overcome their traditional weakness: torque interruption during shift events.” The Oerlikon Graziano OGeco automatedmanual development, optimized for a high-performance hybrid application but suitable for a variety of powertrain and driveline architectures, provides the “fastest possible shift speed in maximum performance mode, without compromising shift comfort in low to medium performance modes”, says Mantelli. “It matches the refinement of a DCT by using torque infill from the electric motor, but at lower cost, higher efficiency and with less weight.” Oerlikon Graziano’s DCT technology has formed the basis of its 4SED powertrain: an integrated twin-motor, four-speed setup, in which the e-motors replace the original pair of clutches and synchronizers.

CVT comeback

Having been maligned by many outside its stronghold market in Japan during the past few years, continuously variable transmission (CVT)-based solutions for the EV movement shouldn’t be ruled out either. Bosch recently claimed that within a few years, the market share of CVTs will grow from 20% to 25% of all automated transmissions fitted. The Tier 1 also points out that CVTs can save fuel in hybrid powertrains because they enable the IC unit to run at higher speeds closer to its optimum operating point; more energy not used for forward propulsion is then captured in the battery, increasing electric range. Meanwhile, FEV exhibited a two-speed eCVT earlier this year, for use in an EV or as part of an extended-range hybrid system, and demonstrating suitability for packaging within a downsized engine compartment; this transmission, with no torque converter, is said to be 10% lighter, shorter and less costly to make than a comparable DCT.

“Cost is less of an obstacle than you might think, because multispeed solutions can use a lower-cost motor for the same installed performance as a singlespeed transmission” Paolo Mantelli, head of performance automotive engineering, Oerlikon Drive Systems

Number crunching Top: Paolo Mantelli, head of performance automotive engineering at Oerlikon Drive Systems, believes that there is an industry-wide shift toward automated transmissions Right: Oerlikon’s eDCT system provides EVs with greater range, while reducing vehicle weight and battery pack size

However, developing more advanced transmission technologies for what is still a very small market sector remains financially challenging. “Transmissions for EVs are still a very niche part for us,” admits Bernd Vahlensieck, ZF’s head of driveline technology, advanced engineering and design, who thinks that single-speed systems will remain the norm in EVs for some time yet. “There is demand only for niche applications,” he adds.

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 101


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the motor for much of the time at around 90% efficiency instead of 60-70%.” Interestingly, both engineers identify particular issues, though – not least the expectations of the end user. “The challenge is to perfectly match a transmission shift event with the electric motor controlling torque management and speed,” underlines Merkel. “The usual expectation for shift changes with EVs is to be seamless, quiet and undetectable by the driver.” Mantelli adds: “You cannot separate satisfying driver expectations from meeting the other technical requirements. Ultimately, any solution must be appealing to the consumer in terms of cost, range, performance and driving comfort.”

Yet, “Cost is less of an obstacle than you might think,” counters Mantelli, “because multispeed solutions can use a lower-cost motor for the same installed performance as a single-speed transmission. However, where lowest cost is the main priority, a single-speed reduction transmission will always have an advantage.” Cost aside, there are important technical disadvantages to single-speed transmissions. “There is a fundamental mismatch between the rotational speed of the road wheels and the preferred operating speeds of an e-machine,” Mantelli points out. “Although it is true that an electric motor generates maximum torque from zero rpm, the motor efficiency is poor at

“Transmissions for EVs are still a very niche part for us. There is demand only for niche applications” Bernd Vahlensieck, head of driveline technology, advanced engineering and design, ZF

such a low speed. For the lowest-cost solution, a driveline with no reduction gearbox is attractive, but performance, efficiency and range will all be compromised.” Therefore choosing the right number of ratios is necessary to provide the optimum solution for a particular application. “Modern simulation techniques enable detailed comparisons of vehicle efficiency and performance attributes to be made at the concept stage, while evaluating the alternatives,” adds the Oerlikon engineering head. Despite this, the general consensus across the industry is that multispeed transmissions can play an important role in maximizing energy efficiency levels and, in the case of pure battery-electric vehicles, increase the overall operating range. “Transmission efficiency is a key enabler that can help optimize battery range and cost,” says BorgWarner’s Merkel. “Multispeed transmissions also give the OEM the opportunity to operate the motor and the generator in a more efficient range.” Indeed, according to Merkel, BorgWarner’s three-speed version of its eGearDrive, in an electric bus application, enables the 150kW motor to operate within a 92-95% efficiency range for both driven and regenerative braking modes. Mantelli concurs: “There is a genuine improvement in overall efficiency with a multispeed transmission, typically of around 15%. This can be taken as a performance increase or an extension in range, depending on the control strategy required. The overall efficiency improvement comes from operating

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER The move away from the traditional engine-gearbox layout, combined with increasing electrification in a diversity of market segments, has opened up opportunities for small start-ups as well as the major suppliers – and far greater potential for technology transfer between different industries and sectors. One example of this comes from London-based electric motorcycle maker Agility Motors, which has won an award from the UK government’s Technology Strategy Board for its multispeed transmission for electric vehicles, developed initially for a motorbike. “It literally has no clutch,” says Agility CEO Lawrence Marazzi. “This means far fewer components, much lower weight and lower cost, and you can increase the efficiency and change the way the transmission interacts with the rider if you control various elements.” Agility’s debut product, the Saietta R sports bike, is single-speeder, but the multispeed transmission has been designed to be licensed for a wide variety of uses. “When we developed it, we knew there would be a great deal of interest in it for light commercial vehicles. The system can be scaled and changed for all sorts of other applications, but is absolutely applicable right now in its current design for light commercial vehicles,” says Marazzi, describing the technology’s low cost, efficiency and “tiny” size, and suggesting that it would also be suitable for marine and industrial applications.

Top: Bernd Vahlensieck, head of driveline technology at ZF, says it will take a while before EVs become mass market Above: ZF’s nine-speed automatic transmission combines economy and performance benefits Below: Agility Motors, developers of the Saietta R sports bike, has designed a multispeed transmission

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 103


Integrated innovations

For some applications, alternative products are emerging that bridge the gap between the more complex multispeed designs and lower-cost single-speed simplicity – including those in which the transmission and motors are integrated into a single module. Oerlikon Graziano’s 2SED technology, for example, is a simpler option than the 4SED and OGeco offerings, essentially being a two-speed seamless-shifting transaxle designed for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles that can be coupled with a transverse electric motor. “It has been defined as perfect for inner city transport, not only for the reduction of CO2 emissions and noise, but also for considerable cost savings,” enthuses Mantelli. “The 2SED transmission has been demonstrated in a Mercedes-Benz eVito electric taxi. Depending on driving style, compared with a single-speed it showed improved acceleration, gradient climbing and top speed, or reduced energy consumption.” Meanwhile, the MSYS multispeed traction system developed by Drive System Design in collaboration with Yasa Motors, MIRA and Jaguar Land Rover integrates an axial flux motor with a three-speed hydraulic powershift transmission to give a 40% weight Top: Oerlikon Graziano’s OGeco hybrid AMT with torque infill provides very fast shifting, says the developer Above: Production of ZF’s hybrid eight-speed automatic transmission for passenger car applications at the company’s Saarbrücken plant Left: ZF’s dynamic driveline test rig for passenger cars, which can be used for EV and HEV optimization

104 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

saving and claimed efficiency improvements of 10-15% in an EV compared with an equivalent single-speeder, as well as drawing less power for shifting than a DCT. BorgWarner’s eAWD has hybridization and powertrain combined into one compact, robust package consisting of two electric motors as a rear-axle module. Supplementing the enginedriven front axle, one motor provides propulsion torque to the rear wheels and a smaller second electric motor adjusts the differential torque left to right between the rear wheels on a balancer shaft to allow torque vectoring. This nicely demonstrates how electrification can complement handling and stability control technologies, as well as enabling all-wheel drive. Also suitable for all-electric vehicles, eAWD eliminates the need for a mechanical power transfer unit and propshafts. ZF, too, has been working on an electric axle drive system: “It’s an electric drive with high power density that is centered on the axle, with very good driving dynamics and a better range,” says Vahlensieck. The high-tech system is especially, but not exclusively, suited to subcompact and urban vehicles. Going a stage further in weight and space saving, ZF’s Electric Twist Beam concept (eTB) integrates the transmission and motors into two separate drive units within a semi-automatic suspension system, thus also enabling torque-vectoring. Direct-drive in-wheel drive systems are also on the verge of coming to market. Protean Electric’s Protean Drive, which comprises motors, inverters, control electronics and software in a unit packaged behind a wheel, went into production this year, and a drivetrain is now under development for FAWVolkswagen’s Bora sedan in the Chinese market. Multiple outcomes

Ultimately, however, it seems that the development of transmissions for electric and hybrid vehicles will be more about appropriate solutions for different applications, and different regions or markets, rather than the emergence of any one predominant and all-conquering technology. ZF’s Vahlensieck believes that, in the foreseeable future, “there will be mainstream – with a simple one-gear, probably two-step, transmission – and niche solutions for special and maybe not so cost-sensitive applications.” Oerlikon’s Mantelli agrees: “The preferred technology depends upon the requirements of the application. An urban delivery vehicle with large payload variation, a range-sensitive commuter vehicle and a hybrid luxury sports car will each prioritize different aspects of their performance. We would expect to tailor a transmission solution individually for each one.”

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Degrees of

separation There’s no denying that all-electric commercial vans are having an impact in specific urban-based projects, but do hybridized powertrains promise more versatile – and cost-effective – solutions?


106 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International



hile the light commercial vehicle sector has been generally slow to adopt electric powertrains, vans such as the Nissan eNV200, Renault Kangoo ZE, Mercedes-Benz Vito E-Cell and Iveco Daily Electric are now rolling off production lines in increasing numbers and appearing on delivery routes in major cities, having undergone some extensive trial programs. Yet significant barriers remain for fleets and operators in going full battery-electric, and other electrification options are being considered alongside the purely plug-in preference.

“The fleet market tends to be quite conservative, as fleet managers thoroughly examine new technologies prior to adoption,” says Lisa Jerram, senior analyst at Navigant Research, on the release of a hybrid and electric truck report. “The key to market sustainability will be to focus only on those applications that provide the greatest payback or other ancillary benefits, and to ensure that the technology is sufficiently reliable for the fleet market.” As a result, Navigant forecasts very modest worldwide sales of just 105,000 hybrid and electric trucks a year by 2020, after a slowing of growth, which it puts down to analysis of cost paybacks and dependency on governmental subsidies.

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 107


This echoes feedback from customers. All-electric vehicles “come into their own” for urban operations and home deliveries, said Jim York, vice president of GoGreen DHL Supply Chain Europe, speaking at the e-Mobility North Sea Region conference in London earlier this year. As one of the world’s largest freight and delivery services, DHL operates 60,000 vans in Germany alone – where it incorporates Deutsche Post – and it’s in this market that the company has been trialing the new generation of delivery vehicles, including the Volkswagen e-Caddy. However, while saying that driving range itself is not necessarily an issue for inner-city usage, York says additional key challenges include the “massive impacts on a vehicle’s energy consumption” of heating and cooling, the need to upsize vans to get the desired payload, and limitations of local infrastructures to support a number of vehicles. If that’s not enough, DHL has also found that on low-mileage routes, fuel cost savings were not much of a gain over the return from economical diesel vehicles, and with high purchase prices and lease costs, the total cost of ownership of electric vans was higher in these instances. With this in mind, although still planning to incorporate some EVs into its fleet – for quiet overnight deliveries, for example – the courier conglomerate has been increasingly looking at hybrid powertrains as a solution, seeing them as being more versatile with their increased range and greater flexibility, and thus more commercially viable.

than a system in which the motor works only to assist the engine, with the latter demanding heavier, larger and more expensive batteries. On a smaller scale, the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid truck has recently been upgraded; other manufacturers promising new developments in this arena include Iveco, which showed a concept called Vision at the IAA show. This features Iveco’s Dual Energy powertrain integrating kinetic energy recovery, an electric motor-generator and transfer unit plus electric braking and steering into a chassis driven by a 2.3-liter common-rail diesel. The company says such a powertrain realizes a 25% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, along with an electric-drive range sufficient for local or low-speed usage, up to 50km/h (31mph).

“We see the same technology trends as we do in passenger cars, but slightly later and at lower adoption rates” Paul Rivera, managing director, hybrid and electronic systems, Ricardo

Heavy-duty hybrids

Hybridization technologies are already in production in buses and heavy-duty commercial vehicles around the world, such as the Volvo FE Hybrid. At the 2014 IAA show in Hanover, Germany, in September, MAN revealed its TGX hybrid concept, a parallel hybrid with a 440ps diesel engine and a 130kW electric motor, the latter acting as an alternator under coasting and braking. MAN believes that a parallel hybrid configuration is the most appropriate for long-distance heavy trucks, with the maximum opportunity for brake energy recuperation, storage and reuse. The German OEM has also been testing its range-extended Metropolis prototype – a waste collection vehicle with a 203kW motor driving its rear wheels via a two-speed automatic transmission, plus a Volkswagen V6 TDI sourced engine acting as a range-extender and generator – but sees electric-only operation as being technically more complex

The all-new Iveco Vision, featuring the manufacturer’s Dual Energy powertrain, was unveiled at the 2014 IAA Show

108 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International


Quick and cost-effective payback

But it’s not just the OEMs that have been busy developing e-powertrains for van and truck applications alike. Modular systems such as the ZF TraXon Hybrid development offer further possibilities. The German Tier 1’s module, mounted in the clutch bell housing, integrates a 120kW e-motor and enables low-speed all-electric driving, stop/start, energy recuperation and boosting of the IC engine, as well as the direction of otherwise wasted energy for auxiliary power supply to items such as cooler units or to facilitate additional functions such as coasting (engine switch-off at speed) and quiet, efficient electric power take-offs, all to give a projected fuel saving of around 5%. Bosch, meanwhile, suggests fuel savings of up to 15% from its parallel hybrid system, as tested in a 40 metric ton truck, which enables all-electric start-up, a short electric-only range, stop/start and electric powering of peripheral systems. Bosch’s compact module slots between an existing engine and gearbox, and can work in combination with waste heat recovery for energy saving at different points in its operating cycle. Paul Rivera, managing director for hybrid and electronic systems at Ricardo, says that


1. The MAN Metropolis prototype combines a 203kW motor driving the rear wheels via a 2-speed transmission, and a Volkswagen V6 TDI engine


2. The Metropolis is a range-extended waste collection vehicle that offers local authorities a low emissions solution

“Electrification is going to have to apply to a lot more vehicles than just that small niche” Jules Carter, engineering director, new product innovation, GKN

3. ZF’s TraXon automatic transmission system can be coupled with five drive modules (from left): a single or twin plate clutch; a dualclutch module; a hybrid module; an enginedependent PTO; and a torque converter clutch 3

varying optimum technologies differ by sector: “It depends on the size of the vehicle and the typical overall duty cycle.” He adds, “So the additional cost for a full hybrid system can be very expensive, because of the energy storage and the power electronics. In the smaller vehicles, there is a good amount of work right now investigating mild hybrid and 48V technologies even for commercial vehicle applications. If you get into 3/4 tons, then plug-in hybrids are a potential solution. As you get into very large trucks, full hybrids, because of the mass of that truck – on very small grades, even on a 1% grade – they can pick up 100kW in energy recuperation.” Ricardo’s projections see PHEV and pure electric commercial vehicles becoming more widely adopted from around 2020, with full hybrids having a mainstream presence in the heavy-duty sector from around 2025 and beyond. Rivera describes plug-in hybrid applications as being well-suited to smaller to mid-sized applications on a predictable duty cycle, with the opportunities to create export power – ideal for utility or telecommunications organizations with the need for on-site power – but with low-cost micro-hybrid and mild hybrid technologies as a much nearer-term prospect. “We’re seeing OEMs looking at whether or not they can apply 48V mild hybrid system with a 10-15kW belt-starter generator with the benefit of stop/start

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 109

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technology, a smaller battery pack and a small amount of regeneration,” adds Rivera. “In addition, if you have the right-size battery pack, you can run your air-conditioner or your heater for a little time before the vehicle has to restart”, with the 48V bus able to take on these and other power-hungry ancillary demands. The Ricardo MD is also keen to point out developments in the car market that will start to deliver economies of scale, noting, “We see the same technology trends as we do in passenger cars, but slightly later and at lower adoption rates.” Similarly, the need for lower-cost solutions is also driving the development of flywheeldrive technologies. “In electric buses particularly, you can be spending three or four times more on a battery pack than what our entire system costs,” states Jules Carter, engineering director for new product innovation at GKN Land Systems, who also points to the problem of battery charging downtime. “We don’t use a battery, we use quite a simple and straightforward flywheel system,” he says. GKN’s electric-drive system, combining an EVO motor and Gyrodrive flywheel, is showing 25% fuel savings on urban bus routes, and a three-year payback on its upfront cost – highly worthwhile for a typical operator keeping a bus for 12 years. Likewise, such an energy recuperation system is also well suited to other vehicles

While the electrification of existing IC models may be preferred to BEV solutions in the near-to-medium term, the DELIVER prototype (Design of Electric Light Vans for Environment-impact Reduction) showcases the benefits of a purpose-built electric vehicle. Produced as part of an ECfunded project, coordinated by ika (Institut für Kraftfahrzeuge) at RWTH Aachen University and involving partners including Fiat, Volkswagen and Michelin, it was created for tasks such as postal and supermarket deliveries or urban/suburban city council usage. Besides its flexible walk-through cabin developed to prioritize driver safety and stress-reduction, it has a powertrain layout that maximizes its capabilities. Its rear-mounted pair of 57kW, 42Nm Michelin in-wheel motors “represent a very compact drivetrain”, explains ika project coordinator Micha Lesemann. “As they only very slightly increase the wheel arches, the

gained space can be used for cargo volume; it resulted in a flat and very wide cargo floor.” A 2-speed transmission is accommodated, as well as an 80-cell Li-NMC battery pack, and the prototype is capable of a 100km driving range and a top speed of 100km/h, with a 700kg payload. “Although a major challenge remains with the low energy density of the battery, its high production cost and performance degradation over time,” says Lesemann, “many parts of electric drivetrains have a very mature level or are used in series production already.” Findings from the DELIVER program will inform the project partners and “the demonstrator vehicle will remain available for future research, not only on electric drives, but also on aspects such as ergonomics, design and charging”, he adds.

1. The MAN TGX hybrid concept features a 440ps diesel powertrain and a 130kW electric motor 2. MAN believes that a parallel hybrid setup, such as the one in the TGX concept, is the most appropriate for longdistance heavy trucks 2

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 111



1. DHL is actively looking to reduce its carbon footprint by using more vehicles with state-of-the-art efficient powertrains. Pictured here is a DHL delivery truck with a Volvo FE Hybrid drivetrain 2. Volvo’s hybrid powertrain includes a 7-liter diesel and an electric motor. The two power sources share a propshaft, with an I-Shift gearbox handling shifting


operating on a stop/start cycle, such as urban delivery vans and refuse trucks. In fact, the compact motor is apt for fitment in vehicles from passenger cars through to 20-ton trucks, as well as specialist construction or agricultural vehicles, and can be used as a motor or a generator in a range-extended system. And if that’s not impressive enough, GKN’s eAxle brings further gains, as Carter explains: “The benefit of the electric axle is that it allows you to make the diesel engine a lot smaller, particularly if you use the flywheel as energy storage, because if you need 200kW to drive your truck, you can get 100kW out of the flywheel and 100kW out of the engine, and then when you’re not accelerating, the engine will catch up and recharge the flywheel.” Small is beautiful

“The key to market sustainability will be to focus only on those applications that provide the greatest payback”

Given the modest rate of development, speed of adoption and market demand, it seems that all-electric commercial vehicles are likely, in the short to medium term at least, to remain a minority compared with both mild and full hybrid models – although that’s not to say that the market is not developing. Zones with noise or emissions legislation and enforcement, and specific applications on industrial sites or business parks, will all call for electric-only running modes and “there is a lot of movement in very small commercial vehicles, for campuses and for inner-city kinds of driving applications”, notes Ricardo’s Rivera, citing the Renault Twizy as an example of the sort of micro-EV under consideration for urban operation. Such low-cost electric quadricycle-type vehicles, or even scooter-style three-wheelers like the Toyota i-Road, are being marketed as last-km/ mile solutions for deliveries and personal

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Lisa Jerram, senior analyst, Navigant Research

transportation, as well as having possibilities for full on-demand hire and sharing schemes. Volkswagen is expected to put its e-Load Up concept – based on the popular Up city car – into production as a way of entering this emerging market segment. And while conversions of existing larger IC vans remain predominant due to cost constraints, ground-up developments and purpose-designed prototypes such as the DELIVER development demonstrate some innovative thinking (see Special delivery on page 111). Nonetheless, it looks as though incremental degrees of hybridization will play a greater role in the nearer-term process of a transition to electromobility in the commercial vehicle sector, with differing technologies in different types and sizes of vehicle. “There’s always going to be a real inner-city need for zero-emissions electric vehicles, but electrification is going to have to apply to a lot more vehicles than just that small niche,” sums up GKN’s Carter.

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An engine concept that stores energy in the form of liquid air has the potential to dramatically improve the efficiency of diesel powertrains and refrigeration systems WORDS: PHILIP BORGE 1


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he BBC’s flagship science television program, Tomorrow’s World, has been off the air for over a decade, but its ability to inspire innovation continues, not least with the Dearman engine. The concept is the brainchild of Peter Dearman, a classic British garden shed inventor. Dreaming of a fossil-fuel-free world since the 1960s, Dearman was inspired by a Tomorrow’s World report on liquid air and its potential application as a fuel source. Air turns into a liquid when cooled to around -196°C, a process that can be driven by renewable or wrong-time/ off-peak energy. Around 710 liters of ambient air is the equivalent of one liter of liquid air, which can be stored in an unpressurized, insulated vessel. The science behind the Dearman engine is rather simple. When liquid air is reintroduced to ambient or low-grade waste heat, it boils and turns back into a gas, expanding 710 times in volume. This expansion can be harnessed to drive an engine, while the by-product of cold exhaust is available for any processes that require both power and cooling functions. “The Dearman Engine uses this process, adding a heat exchange fluid [a combination of water and glycol] into the mix, promoting extremely rapid rates of heat exchange to occur within the engine,” explains Nick Owen, chief technology officer at Dearman. “This process gives rise to near-isothermal expansion.”



“The Dearman refrigeration unit is a major advance because it produces both cooling and shaft power from a single unit of fuel” Nick Owen, chief technology officer, Dearman

Combining cooling and power

The primary application for the Dearman engine is in transport refrigeration, as Owen explains: “A refrigerated vehicle is cooled using a truck refrigeration unit (TRU), which is powered by a secondary diesel engine, thereby consuming up to 20% of the vehicle’s fuel. The TRU engine is only compliant with off-highway regulations, which are a light-touch for low-power units, so it can emit up to six times the NOx and 29 times the particulate matter of a modern Euro VI truck propulsion engine. The Dearman refrigeration unit is a major advance because it produces both cooling and shaft power from a single unit of fuel – essentially giving two bangs for one buck. What’s more, it is zero emissions at its point of use, emitting only cold air as exhaust.” In this particular application, the fuel is vaporized in a heat exchanger inside the refrigerated compartment of the engine, cooling it and using the expansion to drive the unit. Shaft power can be used to power a conventional refrigeration compressor, or for auxiliary power. The impact of Dearman’s vision could be considerable. As well as being quieter, it reduces fuel consumption by

up to 25%, decreases CO2 emissions and is cheaper to run. And due to the Dearman TRU being zero emissions at its point of use, it delivers huge improvements in air quality. According to a recent report [Liquid Air on the Highway, June 2014], introducing just 13,000 Dearman engines would reduce NOx emissions by the same amount as removing 80,000 Euro VI vehicles from the road, or 1.2 million Euro VI diesel cars. And in terms of particulate matter, it would be equivalent to removing 367,000 such vehicles from service. This application, which is partly funded by a grant from Innovate UK, is gearing up for on-vehicle demonstration at the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA). Commercial field trials are planned for 2015, in collaboration with Hubbard Products. Recycling waste heat

1. The Dearman engine is a novel piston engine powered by the phase-change expansion of liquid air or liquid nitrogen 2. Peter Dearman, inventor of the Dearman liquid air engine, was inspired by the idea of cryogens being used as a source of fuel 3. The Dearman engine can be used either as a prime mover (main engine) or as a secondary unit to recover waste heat from an IC engine in order to increase efficiency

Another use for the Dearman innovation is as a waste-heat hybrid for heavy-duty urban vehicles. The Dearman heat hybrid, Owen claims, can solve an issue affecting IC engines – that around a third of the energy derived from fuel is lost as low-grade waste heat. The Dearman uses this waste heat to boil the liquid air and warm the heat-exchange fluid. The power produced is fed into the engine, enabling it to be downsized and increasing its efficiency.

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 115


2 1

Heat exchanger (2) providing cooling to goods compartment from refrigeration unit

Heat exchanger (1) providing cooling to goods compartment from cryogen

Refrigeration unit and Dearman engine

Cryogenic storage vessel

“A Dearman heat-hybrid system would be cheap to build, costing much less than an electric hybrid bus, and has the potential to reduce the diesel consumption of a vehicle by up to 25%,” suggests Owen. As well as reducing fuel consumption and emissions, the heat-hybrid technology could also be used to provide free cooling. “In a bus in a hot country, such as India or Tanzania, where we have already conducted some high-level market studies, this would mean taking the air-conditioning load away from the main drive engine.” There is also a proposed third application in development – a small, low-cost, zeroemissions unit. Proving grounds

one located each side of the piston ring, tribology is an area of ongoing development. That said, we are making good progress.” Indeed, the Dearman engine also has the potential for integration into existing engine architectures. It shares a similar structure to current IC engines, thereby enabling manufacturing infrastructure to be carried over easily. “In terms of putting one in the vehicle, it’s a straight swap in truck refrigeration or a prime mover – so the challenge is packaging the tank, not the engine. In the heat-hybrid it sits alongside the downsized main engine, and we have a package solution that works on a bus.” But Owen admits that refrigeration is the easiest market. “Think of it as a way of harvesting waste power from a liquid nitrogen cooling system. That being said, with the next-generation engine that we are currently designing, I think we can use almost half the liquid nitrogen of a simple system that cools by evaporation only.”

With such wide uses on the horizon, the company is working hard to prove its concept. “We have two engines running: one in our lab and another, integrated into a refrigeration system, being fitted to the truck by MIRA,” adds Owen. “It has made the heat exchangers thoroughly cold on the laboratory floor, so I can’t wait to see the results in the truck. We are also making great progress in the lab – we have already trebled the power output and improved efficiency by as much as 30% on the initial spec.” However, the development process has encountered some challenges, including achieving adequate efficiencies from the unit and maintaining durability. “The isothermal process worked quite well out of the box, efficiency gains have come from optimizing all the variables and attacking parasitic losses, and the next engine will be even better. The basic unit is now durable, but with two fluids,

Following the successful completion of tests at MIRA, the truck refrigeration engine is due to commence commercial field trials with Hubbard and a logistics operator in 2015. Low-volume manufacture is currently scheduled for 2016. The heat-hybrid waste-heat recovery system will be on a testbed in 2015. The development program has already brought about US$13.7m of investment to the UK, as well as sustaining more than 40 jobs. The Centre for Low Carbon Futures and the University of Birmingham both estimate that the engine could, if it develops as expected, be worth at least 2,100 jobs to the UK by 2025. “Innovative clean technologies tend to come at a much higher cost than incumbents, and this is often the reason for slow adoption within industry, however the Dearman engine breaks this orthodoxy,” states Owen. “It would be economic without subsidy, and this is one reason why liquid air is rapidly becoming recognized as a promising energy vector in the transport industry.”

1. Dearman is targeting commercial vehicle fleets as its primary market, with a specific focus on refrigerator trailers, as they have a huge impact on air pollution but are likely to remain untouched by new EU air pollution legislation due to come into effect by 2020 2. In 2014, Dearman, Loughborough University, MIRA and Air Products won funding from the Technology Strategy Board in order to build and test a liquid air engine fitted in a commercial vehicle 3. The low-energy density of liquid air storage means that it could rival electric battery power in vehicle applications

Industry adoption


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Sixth sense As technology continues to advance, our reliance on and relationship with machines deepens. This year’s LA Auto Show Design Challenge explores how future engineering innovations will transform human-machine interfaces that connect with our senses, predict our next moves and create a more human-like relationship with our vehicles, in turn helping to realize a truly sustainable transportation network


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INFINITI DESIGN SAN DIEGO This concept introduces a brand-new universal fuselage pod that can transform into three vehicle types and will be used for Infiniti’s unique triathlon competition, the ARC (Air, Rally, Circuit) race. The first stretch of the race is a Formula 1 grand prix course from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. The second portion is a desert race, which requires driving an off-road buggy to the Grand Canyon. And the final leg of the race is a gymkhana-style jet race through virtual pylons back to L A. The ARC triathlon will also be the debut of Infiniti’s new futuristic human-machine interface called Synaptiq, a system that will make the driver and machine become one by connecting the Synaptiq SUIT (Symbiotic User Interface Technology) through spinal lock attachment. It will enhance the driver’s passion and performance for racing as well as influence the design of a vehicle that will provoke imagination.

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 119


QOROS DESIGN SHANGHAI Underpinning the basis of the Qoros entry is a digital and physical concept, codenamed Q: Qoros Qloud Qubed, where the vehicle will become an intelligent, multi-dimensional personal management assistant. Q learns from the user over time through the five senses: sight, touch, smell, taste and sound. What’s more, the dynamics of the relationship between Q and the user is modeled on how human relationships develop over time. Q learns the user’s tastes, favorite restaurants, places regularly frequented, music preferences, friends, family and much more during the ownership period, and is designed to maximize safety by identifying when the user is acting irresponsibly and quickly switching to automated driving mode.

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ACURA At the core of this entry is a human-machine interface concept for Acura that comprises an exterior and interior shell, connected through a modular adjustable mesh material that can flex to suit a passenger’s preferences. Able to accommodate one or two passengers, the interior is constructed out of a fabric-like material that can be altered simply by pushing or pulling on the surface. With the help of biometrics and repeated use, this vehicle will be able to learn the user’s preferences, anticipate their needs and have the ability even to change its shape.

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 121


PETERBILT MOTORS The SymbiotUX (pronounced ‘symbiotics’), is a concept based on the projection that the future of transportation will be dominated by a transformational shift toward vehicles operating together in truly symbiotic relationships that will, in turn, improve efficiency, safety, wellness and travel enjoyment. An important part of this transformation will be the role of the truck driver, which will grow in stature and esteem, similar to that of an airplane pilot. SymbiotUX is a design concept that explores and illustrates how human-machine interfaces will be transformed by this future reality. The road pilot will have greater responsibility and therefore the spaces and interfaces of a vehicle in pilot mode will be purpose-driven to enhance pilot capabilities, leading to energy efficiency, fewer accidents, less traffic congestion and lower overall wear and tear.

Honda Advanced Design Tokyo The CARpet is a human-focused interior consisting of two elements – a carpet and a ball. The former is a highly flexible platform used to create a seamless and uninterrupted space with the freedom to change its shape to accommodate each user. Whether alone or traveling with friends, users can manipulate the car’s interior and make intuitive and natural forms for their ride. The second element, the Honda ball, allows drivers to interact with the vehicle during their autonomous journey. Within its closed shape, the Honda ball provides users with a calm interface that responds to voice, touch and gesture commands for human-tovehicle communication. In active mode, the driver can use the ball to control the car; the synergy between car and machine emulates that between a rider and their horse. Via the Honda ball, the car also interprets driver commands to determine its optimum move.

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A research team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory believes that recycled tires could form the basis of a new material for the anodes in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles WORDS: MIKE MAGDA


Parans Paranthaman co-led the team of scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

ioneering research has demonstrated that modified carbon black recovered from recycled tires has the potential to outperform graphite as an anode material in lithium-ion batteries, and at a lower cost. But the challenges ahead, according to scientists from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, include demonstrating the method with large batteries and adapting the process to a broad industrial scale. “We need more process optimization,” admits Parans Paranthaman, who along with Amit Naskar, led a team of researchers to the discovery, which could have a great impact on lithium-ion battery production at a time when there is increased emphasis on making electric vehicles more accessible to mainstream consumers. “We’re thinking you could save up to 10% on battery costs.” Advances in lithium battery technology and production have also made it possible for energy produced by wind and solar methods to be stored, but EVs are drawing more attention following President Obama’s launch of the EV Everywhere Challenge and news that Tesla is building a US$5bn lithium-ion battery gigafactory near Reno, Nevada. Analysts predict that the facility will create a massive shortage of graphite unless new mines come online or a suitable anode substitute material is found.

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TIRE RESEARCH Left: A comparison of the nitrogen absorption and pore volume of graphite powder, control carbon and tailored carbon

Carbon black is the new gold

The man-made carbon black developed by the Oak Ridge team is similar but superior to graphite in initial tests. According to a paper published in the RSC Advances, a small laboratory-scale battery was subjected to 100 charge cycles. The capacity then measured nearly 390mAh/g of carbon anode, which, according to Oak Ridge exceeds the best properties of commercial graphite. “This technology addresses the need to develop an inexpensive, environmentally benign carbon composite anode material with a highsurface area, higher-rate capability and long-term stability,” explains Naskar. While the technology is still in its laboratory infancy, some of the major steps in the eventual manufacturing process are already part and parcel of the tire recycling infrastructure. According to the team’s paper, the practice involves shredding waste tires and removing all metallic substances. The micronized tire rubber is then digested in a hot oleum bath – based on a sulfuric acid formula – to yield a sulfonated rubber slurry that is filtered, washed and compressed into a solid cake. The carbon black is recovered from this material through pyrolysis – a procedure that heats the rubber without burning in an oxygen-free atmosphere. In this process the waste tires are basically distilled down into fuels, gases and carbon. Numerous tire recycling operations throughout the world already have shredding or pulverizing capabilities, and carbon black is being recovered from shredded tires through many pyrolysis facilities. Much of that carbon black, however, is suitable only for low-grade applications such as hoses, toner or ink pigmentation. Even highquality carbon black manufactured from premium feedstock is not suitable as an anode material. However, the proprietary rubber pretreatment developed by the Oak Ridge team, combined with pyrolysis, results in a carbon monolith with a very different microstructure that makes it suitable for manufacturing anodes. The Oak Ridge research began when Naskar, a member of the carbon group, teamed up with Paranthaman in the battery group. “He understood all the chemistry,” says Paranthaman. “We were looking at low-cost batteries and testing different sources of carbon when we zoomed in on carbon black from tires.”

According to Paranthaman’s estimates, the current average figure of US$400 per kilowatt-hour for automotive battery power will need to drop to less than US$300 before electric vehicles become both practical and affordable for mainstream consumers. “US$250 is really the level at which you can penetrate the market,” he adds. The research team conducted tests using 250g batches of pulverized tire rubber. The electromechanical studies were based on the production of a CR2032 coin-sized (20mm) cell, commonly used in calculators and small devices. The anode material was constructed using 80% recovered carbon and 5% commercial carbon. A traditional binding material was used to adhere the mixture onto copper foil in order to form the anode. Charge/discharge cycling between 0V and 3.0V was conducted at room temperature under different rates on the test cells, and the results were compared with graphite-based anodes.

“This technology addresses the need to develop an inexpensive, environmentally benign carbon composite anode material” Amit Naskar, group leader, carbon and composites, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Right: The process to turn recycled tires into anode material now needs to be proved in larger batteries, and on an industrial scale

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 127


“Now we need to demonstrate this on a large battery,” says Paranthaman. “We’re looking for companies to license the technology and work with us in the next phase.”



Hazard warning

Despite such promise, researchers haven’t fully analyzed the industrial scales possible with this process. One ton of tires might require hundreds of gallons of pretreatment solution before slurry is filtered and compressed into cakes for the pyrolysis. “We are looking at demonstrating [recycled tires] as an energy material,” states Paranthaman, adding that recovery rates could be as high as 50% of tire material. There are numerous pyrolysis operations around the world using recycled tires as feedstock – especially in India, China and Eastern Europe. Carbon black is recovered along with fuel oil and gas – which is often used at the plant for heating operations. But recycledtire pyrolysis plants are often difficult to finance because of the high tonnage of tires required for them to be cost effective and the low value of recovered products. In the USA, environmental issues can also be a barrier. For example, the state of Texas recently filed a suit against a large recycling plant near the Mexico border, which it accused of engaging in hazardous and unauthorized pyrolysis operations.

1. A transmission electron microscopy image showing control recovered carbon, which has the morphology of fused particles with irregular shapes 2. Ground carbon produced from the sulfonated tirerubber-derived monolith has the morphology of a uniaxial nanostructure

FRUGAL FORMULA Motorsport has long served as a proving ground for developing everyday tires. And in this respect, Formula E, the world’s first fully electric global racing series, has provided the ideal opportunity for Michelin to further improve the energy efficiency of its road products as well as its production processes. The French company was awarded the contract as tire supplier to the championship back in 2012, and it took just one year for the team to develop the Michelin Pilot Sport EV according to the FIA’s technical requirements. At the time, the layout of the tracks was unknown and a final specification for the car had not been finalized, which presented an interesting challenge to the development team. “That was one area where we had to work with the organizer,” says Michelin’s motorsport director, Pascal Couasnon. “At least we knew what would be punishing for the tire – either full speed under loads or at low speed and full

According to the complaint, “The [pyrolysis] process turns a non-hazardous material – scrap tire – into a hazardous substance, a low-grade oil that may be used as fuel after additional refining. Tire pyrolysis facilities also have an inherent risk of fire and explosion if not properly designed, tested, operated and maintained.” However, there are tire pyrolysis locations that have the blessing of local and federal agencies, and new-generation, closed-loop plants coming through from the likes of Pyrolyx. The technology and hardware are available for clean, safe operations on a global scale. Tire pyrolysis plants have even been listed on eBay. And if the Oak Ridge research can be applied to an industrial scale, then supplying the battery market offers the profit potential that investors may need to launch new and larger facilities.

“They had to develop the batteries to run long enough for us to test and compare the tires” Pascal Couasnon, motorsport director, Michelin

acceleration. We also didn’t have a car, so we had to try and simulate that.” To conserve battery power, the tire’s rolling resistance has been optimized. In addition, teams will have just one set of tires to last them an entire race day. “Our goal is to show that we can produce a very fast tire that works in both the wet and the dry. By doing that, we can use what we learn on track in our road tires. The tread pattern is also close to that of the Pilot Sport Cup 2 road tire. This will enable us to prepare for the evolution of the next generation of Pilot Sport family tires. We have used very sophisticated compounds that can resist extreme conditions,” Couasnon explains. This also means a reduction in the number of tires produced and transported to each race (around 200 for 40 cars), which is more environmentally friendly. To further increase the transferability of technology from the track to the road, Michelin opted for an 18in tire: “We had the idea to use larger tires – big wheels on open-wheel cars. If you look at the tires on most single-seaters now, they have a very tall sidewall, which is something you don’t see on the street,” says Couasnon.

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Around 100 designs were analyzed virtually using Michelin’s in-house developed software, before the selection was narrowed down. “We built the tires and mechanically tested around 20 solutions in the lab for safety.” Rig testing also helped the team to optimize durability. For track testing, a dummy vehicle was built to mimic the load and weight distribution of a Formula E car. “They had to develop the batteries to run long enough for us to test and compare the tires,” Couasnon adds. Initially, test drivers chose a track layout that focused on road-holding, with each corner broken down into four zones: braking, corner entry, apex and corner exit. Once the production-spec race car became available in 2014, track testing began at Monteblanco, Spain; Clermont-Ferrand, France; and Donington Park, UK. “By the beginning of April 2014, we had narrowed the choice to four,” Couasnon notes. A test session at France’s Issoire Auverdrive Circuit (with all the Formula E technical partners) analyzed the four options before a final selection was made. The Pilot Sport EV is produced at Michelin’s Cataroux factory in Clermont-Ferrand.


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Long-distance The Toyota TS040 has consistently been the fastest car in this year’s World Endurance Championship. E&H got the inside track on its digital development


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itting at the pinnacle of sportscar racing, the World Endurance Championship (WEC) this season has brought in sweeping changes in the all-hybrid manufacturer ranks of the LMP1 Le Mans prototypes. Alongside extensive safetyoriented amendments, the new regulations demanded a 30% reduction in overall fuel use. But, as it turns out, race engineers are just as clever as the rule makers, so at Le Mans in June the new cars not only satisfied the revised regs without embarrassing economy-driving tactics, but actually went quicker than ever before. The new rules also aim to further improve parity between disparate hybrid solutions, including Audi’s turbodiesel/ flywheel combination; Toyota’s naturally aspirated gasoline/supercapacitor; and the returning Porsche’s small-capacity turbocharged gasoline/battery hybrid. That also meant that the 2014 Audi and Toyota racers were in effect as new as the all-new Porsche 919 Hybrid. Virtual reality

Toyota’s focus switched to its 2014 TS040 immediately after Le Mans 2013, aiming to retain the best ideas (although not necessarily hardware) of the outgoing TS030 and further optimize performance and reliability where the new regulations opened doors – including being able to use the high-powered, four-wheel-drive hybrid technology it had available since 2012, but whose use had been prevented by the regulations. Design of the new car started in November 2012, with the very first monocoque (the component needing the longest lead time) laid down around September 2013 for roll-out in January 2014. But Toyota has one complication that

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 131

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that Audi and Porsche don’t, namely chassis and powertrain development taking place on different continents. TMG (Toyota Motorsport) physically tests individual chassis elements in Cologne, with weekly video conferences on the testing/design process of all powertrain elements in Japan, using CAD models to progress layout and installation work as well as virtual development. All virtual analysis is done on open TMG-developed software, to plug-and-play external data around the main parameters. So a powertrain from Japan can be plugged into a chassis from Cologne without it ever being there, and its compatibility and performance assessed within the virtual car. A key element in this phase is hardware-in-the-loop simulation, which simulates inputs such as engine, gearbox, ECU, chassis – and even the driver – more dynamically than using recorded track-session data. For example, HIL recognizes that if the engine gives more power, as well as the car going faster, the suspension may endure greater forces, whereas simply replaying speed-related track data wouldn’t change those forces. TMG started what it describes as its groundbreaking use of HIL a decade ago, during Toyota’s F1 period, and more than 10 man-years went into developing the system. In 2011, TS030 became Toyota’s first complete car developed essentially from scratch using HIL – a far bigger and more complicated task than the incremental F1 changes for which the system had previously been used. HIL’s connected approach makes the main car functions modular in the virtual environment, so any virtual data set can be swapped for a real-life set at any given time. Any improvement in simulation accuracy of one module (such as the engine) has a direct (positive) effect on the accuracy of all the other modules. The key benefit of simulating all parts in parallel is to remove the risk of finding knock-on problems at roll-out. In linear development, individual areas can work perfectly in isolation, but many problems emerge when parts come together. So, for

RACING RIVAL: PORSCHE 919 HYBRID Porsche followed an essentially traditional virtual and component-rig development path, but initial track testing of the 919 Hybrid, from June 2013, highlighted that pitfall identified by Toyota: the knock-on effect of unforeseen problems with a key component on other areas. In Porsche’s case, a major vibration issue with the 2-liter

V4 only became evident at roll-out, but was severe enough to cause suspension breakages and even distort driver feedback, as it blanketed crucial details of the underlying chassis feel. It triggered a major engine redesign, costing the program valuable time and underlining the value of a truly connected virtual regime.

example, a gearbox seizes beyond a rev limit, but fixing that reveals the clutch overheats if used for too long over that same limit. HIL’s parallel approach eliminates the chain reaction. More than a shell


RACING RIVAL: AUDI R18 E-TRON QUATTRO Data capture and analysis don’t stop after the development phase. Audi’s 2014 R18 e-tron quattro monitors more than 1,000 channels of onboard information, generating more than 20Mb of data per lap – transmitted selectively from car to garage in preset cycles (some individual elements lasting only milliseconds), or as needed, mainly in short data-bursts as the car passes the pits. The on-car electronic architecture links multiple ECUs via a CANbus network, and as well as familiar mechanical elements, now meters instantaneous and cumulative fuel-flow, hybrid-energy deployment, cockpit temperature and GPS-generated road speed and location information under caution periods for official monitoring.

With HIL, an overall shell model is developed at concept stage, with individual component models developed in parallel. Continuous evaluation of component concepts is possible on the shell, which in turn gradually becomes more refined. The more data that’s submitted, the more accurate the simulation. Problems caused by the interaction of components are seen at an early stage and refined out. For example, given 2014’s new parameters, ECUs were changed to simulate new fuel/energy control systems. Wind tunnel results are linked directly to HIL and anything that reaches a physical model has been pre-validated as a potential improvement in CFD, minimizing cost, saving time and setting challenging targets. Continuously updated wind-tunnel results (TMG has its own tunnel on-site) are returned to the CFD simulations, not only to feed information but also to improve correlation. In this respect, Toyota cites very good correlation between virtual and physical aero data, but admits that empirical assessment on track is difficult. Using Flow Vis is useful, but the main correlation for model versus full-size car is in the tunnel. Correlating any discrepancy between 60% and the full-size car is typically done once for each generation. Knowing how the model behaves with powertrain variations enables more confident prediction of drag and downforce targets. For TS040, that meant being able to quantify how drag/downforce balance had shifted with the fuel-saving regulations. HIL draws from a seven-post rig for assessing complete suspension/vertical dynamics; MTS 329 rig-testing of complete front and rear suspensions for performance and reliability; a transmission lubrication rig for functionality and oil system optimization (such as reducing tank capacity); wheelbearing rigs; full powertrain testing on a high-dynamic engine dynamometer and driving simulator information.

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 133

HYBRID RACERS 1. A 60% model of TS030, predecessor to Toyota’s current car, in one of TMG’s two wind tunnels. Both have continuous steel-belt rolling roads with a maximum speed of 70m/sec 2. A TS040 gearbox on the transmission lubrication test rig. By simulating the g-forces and analyzing the oil flow, the oil tank can be reduced in size as less contingency is required 3. The Le Mans track, used for the World Endurance Championship, is available in TMG’s high-tech simulator


TMG says that the big question for driving simulation is, “Can we solve this using a virtual driver or do we need a real one?” With real drivers, however good they might be, each lap isn’t 100% repeatable, so the data is quite ‘noisy’. However, that said, in some areas, real driver feedback is essential: the driver’s feel is subjective, so anything that strongly affects balance benefits. What’s more, the simulator’s digital driver accepts an oversteering car without emotional issues like loss of confidence, lap times or control. But in the real world, driveability is vital in delivering optimum times every lap. So, theoretical performance is useless if the car is so twitchy that the driver never has the confidence to push hard. A driver might say the car feels soft, or disconnected in high-speed corners, but it’s hard to know what that means mechanically. Via the simulator, engineers can quickly and safely recreate scenarios to define the physics behind such descriptions, helping set up the car on track. The software is a TMG development, DynSim, which models engine, gearbox and driver inputs, with XPI helping with integration at the beginning, and supplying visual displays and track scans. Abstract developments can also be simulated. For example, what happens with radically different suspension pick-up points, or physically impossible settings? This is particularly valuable when it comes to major changes in areas such as suspension geometry. If an abstract change is judged to have worked, then the engineers know what characteristics have been generated, so even if the original concept is physically impossible (or banned), they can still search for practicable solutions that create similar characteristics and fall in line with the regs.

Early in the design process, digital tools can also predict key driving characteristics, energy management strategies and cockpit ergonomics for alternative design directions, allowing a driver to evaluate the most appropriate, and then referring back to the individual strengths and weaknesses of the previous car. Toyota carried out mandatory LMP1 crash tests at TASS International Safety Center in Helmond, Netherlands, (private dynamic tests were conducted before at the FIAcertified tests), and says that providing greater driver protection in the new car wasn’t especially difficult to achieve – the challenge was to do so without adding weight. The company started track testing – 18 days, over 25,000km (15,535 miles) – at Paul Ricard (France), Motorland Aragón and Vallelunga (both Spain) later than LMP1 rivals partly because of the emphasis on rig-testing individual components for reliability and basic performance. When TS040 hit the track, it was expected to run without major problems – thanks to HIL – so a potential showstopper on component A doesn’t affect the testing of components X, Y or Z. With early lock-in of operating windows for particular setup items (such as ride-height and suspension travel), the problem should end there, unless those windows prove unsuitable. Only detailed setup remains. Virtual and physical component testing can massively reduce track testing (and therefore cost), thanks to painting a more complete picture of each component’s reliability and interaction. And HIL is coming to the fore in road-car development at TMG and elsewhere as an efficient way to test high-value, low-volume components and prototypes bred by racing.

134 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International



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Innovation by Tradition


Go to commercial Using a wealth of experience gained in the defense industry, a global power electronics supplier is making strides into the commercial hybrid market


In the vehicle power market, customers look on characteristics such as a lengthy product life and extreme ruggedness as not only desirable, but entirely fundamental. So when a supplier of power electronics has a proven track record with a client as demanding as the US military, it’s no surprise to see such a pedigree highlighted. DRS Technologies – a leading technology supplier of products and support to militaries and other contractors around the world – has no shortage of such experience. “Our power electronics capabilities were born on the battlefield,” says Matt Johnston, vice president of business development. “We’re one of the largest producers of power generation and conversion products for the US military. Besides being the largest producer of tactical diesel generators on the battlefield, DRS has supplied more than 50,000 UPS products, and has them in service around the world. We understand rugged power electronics, and have done them for a long time. More importantly, we understand reliability and what it means to be ‘mission ready’.” DRS is certainly well established in the defense industry, and has developed a line of power products for military vehicles. And in the past few years, the company has begun a move into the commercial hybrid sector. “We saw a gap in the onboard vehicle power (OBVP) and exportable vehicle power (EVP) markets,” Johnston states. “We had commercial customers come to us because they needed rugged power electronics that hold up in harsh environmental conditions, and that met the demanding power requirements of modern commercial vehicle applications.” Industry experience

It helps that many of the design principles that govern power electronics in military applications also hold true in the commercial

Above: The BDC-15 bidirectional charger Right: DRS facilities in Bridgeport, Connecticut

“We’re coming to the commercial market and we understand that, bar none, the biggest challenge is cost-competitiveness” Matt Johnston, vice president, business development, DRS

sector. “We understand product life better than many companies,” adds Johnston. “Typically, you don’t supply goods that don’t have a minimum of a 10-year life, and tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of MTBF hours. It has to be rugged and it has to be reliable.” The two markets are different, however, and expanding the company’s purview into the commercial sector required a level of adaptation – and the ability to address the primary concerns of commercial customers: cost and value. “We’ve had to modify some of our design aspects and manufacturing approaches to be more cost-competitive,” Johnston explains. “There are differences in specification requirements between military and commercial uses. In terms of shock and vibration resistance, for example, we don’t have to worry about things like

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 137


“We had commercial customers come to us because they needed rugged power electronics that hold up in harsh conditions, and that met the demanding requirements of modern commercial vehicle applications” Matt Johnston, vice president, business development, DRS

explosive blasts. Also, temperature and cooling requirements on the commercial side are rising to levels similar to military specification and we’ve already solved those.” Maintaining product performance across a range of applications is key. DRS’s onboard and exportable power portfolio ranges from 2-100kW (with plans to expand up to 200kW in the future) and offers solutions for customers wanting everything from cost-effective work-site export power and bidirectional V2G charging to generator replacement applications – all providing the same ruggedness and durability that has made DRS so well known in the defense sector. But, as Johnston is keen to stress, DRS isn’t feeling its way blindly into a new market. “We have a core competency, and a great product performance legacy. We’re coming to the commercial market and we understand that, bar none, the biggest challenge is costcompetitiveness. That’s not new to us. We’re not some big, dumb DoD contractor saying, ‘My stuff lasts a really long time, so I’m going to come to your market and sell it at three times the commercial price.’ That isn’t going to happen. We understand cost and value very well and have shown our ability to win in the commercial markets.” DRS also did plenty of homework before setting out its portfolio. “We got in front of our commercial customers and asked what it was they wanted,” Johnston says. “We interviewed dozens of customers when we were shaping the product line. We started with our core competency, incorporated direct input from the market, and yielded a product line.”


1. DRS’s 100kW export power vehicle inverter. The company plans to expand its portfolio up to 200kW in the future 2. A 4kW inverter. DRS conducted extensive customer research before finalizing its portfolio 3. Products such as the DRS 2kW inverter meet customer requirements for low-power solutions


technologies are getting very widely adapted and we have great relationships with some major OEMs.” This trend and market focus is growing throughout DRS – and its parent company, Italian industrial powerhouse Finmeccanica. “Some of our best technologies are starting to make their way very nicely over to the commercial space,” Johnston confirms. “My intention, my hope and my desire is to do the same with vehicle power.” Nor is the transfer of technology one way. “As much as we’re taking some of our technologies to the commercial market, we’re also looking at commercial technologies to bring to the defense market,” Johnston continues. “Because of cost sensitivities, most defense contractors, including us, are aggressively looking outside the company for technologies that would fulfill the requirements in our space. We’re reaching out and bringing in COTS solutions and ruggedizing them. I think you’re looking at a new way of DoD guys doing business.” Johnston cites lithium batteries as an example of a product that, following increasing testing and uptake in the commercial and passenger electric and hybrid markets, is now being considered for use in military applications. “For years, the defense industry looked at lithium and said, ‘No way. We like to blow things up on purpose. We don’t like to have things blow up by accident. We go to great pains to make sure that never happens.’ Lithium batteries were taboo for a long, long time. But that’s starting to change now. I sit in a lot of meetings and a lot of conferences where the benchmark for lithium technology being adopted in the defense industry is the hybrid vehicle market.” The commercial and military markets for vehicle power electronics are converging. And rather than merely hopping on the bandwagon, DRS is committing substantial expertise and resources to leveraging its experience and skill set in this new sector. “We’re going to get out there and establish our brand in the commercial space as well, as we’ve done in the defense space,” Johnston states. “That’s our challenge. When people think about vehicle power, they should think about DRS.” 3

Changing markets

The shift from military to commercial applications is more widespread than initially apparent. That makes it a smart move for DRS to have already made such a switch – and not just in the field of power electronics. “DRS has a lot of technology in the vehicle market,” Johnston explains. “Many modern vehicle technologies were derived from military applications. Some of our IR camera

138 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International


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Supply and demand As consumer popularity continues to grow for EVs and HEVs, car makers are facing tough new challenges on an R&D level to meet market needs WORDS: KARL VADASZFFY


he breadth and depth of GKN Driveline’s capability to fully develop, build and supply driveline components is such that the Tier 1’s technology can be fitted to all applications on the automotive spectrum, from small, ultra-low-cost market-entry cars through to more sophisticated premium vehicles. And central to the eDrive business unit of the global engineering solutions provider is advanced technology that focuses on innovation in the area of alternative power and sustainable energy, in systems that are designed to deliver performance. GKN Driveline’s eAxles support the electrification of a vehicle via a secondary driven axle arrangement, while the primary engine remains an IC unit that can be disconnected. Meanwhile the company’s eTransmission technology has been developed to manage the torque on the primary axle of fully electrified vehicles. The eAxles concept, implemented in projects such as the pioneering Porsche Spyder 918 and groundbreaking BMW i8, provides electric drive, parallel hybrid function and all-wheel drive in one configuration, maximizing the benefits for the end user by offering improved performance and reduced fuel consumption and emissions. In this area, the supplier’s newly developed AF125 eMotor – an axial flux machine – has already got many talking within the industry, with its high torque density of 11Nm/kg and compact size of 258 x 110mm. Dr Rainer Link, managing director of the eDrive business unit, says that further advances in eMotor technology, such as the AF125 development, are crucial for the EV movement. “Axial flux machines, which are ideally suited for applications where high power and torque need to be balanced against low weight and volume, are better choices

The world’s first multimode transmission debuted in the acclaimed Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid

“The multimode transmission enables a car to be run in pure electric drive and serial and parallel hybrid modes” Dr Rainer Link, MD, GKN eDrive business unit

than conventional radial flux machines. They offer higher torque and power densities due to better utilization of the electromagnetically active material.” Outlander project

As such, GKN Driveline’s electric drive transmissions are designed for vehicles ranging from small city cars through to high-performance electric vehicles. What’s more, the company was responsible for developing the world’s first multimode transmission, which can be found in Mitsubishi’s current Outlander PHEV. “The multimode transmission enables a car to be run in pure electric drive and serial and parallel hybrid modes – that is, with or without the IC engine – enabling the car to be run in the optimum mode depending on the traffic situation,” says the mechanical engineer Link.

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 141



“A challenge in developing this technology included the extremely tight packaging space we had to work in, because there’s the IC engine, the transmission and the electric machine to pack in the front of the vehicle in an east-west configuration. Other related challenges included efficiency goals, low track losses, smooth engagement and seamless, smooth shifting.” But in a development project that spanned only three years, Link’s engineering team with the lead of Theo Gassmann, GKN’s eDrive engineering VP, overcame such hurdles. Now successfully launched, the Mitsubishi Outlander (as previewed in the January 2014 issue) features two electric motors, one in the front and one in the rear, both of which deliver an output of 60kW, helping the environmentally friendly SUV reach a top speed of 140km/h (87mph) without the aid of the IC engine. The Outlander PHEV’s all-electric driving range is rated at an impressive 52km. When in parallel hybrid mode the vehicle’s 2-liter gasoline engine kicks into life at 60km/h (37mph) to support the eMotors. At lower speeds the powertrain can support the battery by charging or providing additional power in serial mode. But the Outlander is not the only vehicle that’s benefitting from advanced GKN Driveline technology. A range of eTransmissions is also supplied for battery electric vehicles including Fiat’s 500e as well as the Citroën Berlingo EV. “For the Fiat 500 fully electric car, we needed to use the transmission to reduce the RPM of the electric machine to the axle,” explains Link. “Here, the main challenge was in the technology. Because there’s high RPM, we had to ensure efficiency was maintained. In addition, we had to optimize NVH handling. The eTransmission can deliver up to 2,800Nm peak output torque and accepts motor input speeds of up to 16,000rpm. “In order to serve a highly dynamic and complex market, we have developed families

“For the Fiat 500 fully electric car, we needed to use the transmission to reduce the RPM of the electric machine to the axle” Dr Rainer Link, MD, GKN eDrive business unit 1. GKN’s eDrive business segment has become a leader in developing electric machines based on axial flux motor technology for use in hybrid and electric vehicles 2. GKN engineering know-how ensured that the Fiat 500e’s transmission operates to reduce the RPM of the e-machine on the axle


142 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

of transmissions with flexible interfaces that can be matched with eMotors from various automotive companies such as Bosch, Siemens, Mitsubishi and BMW.” Looking ahead, Link believes the further growth of the GKN eDrive business unit will be rapid over the coming decade, because “in the future, most cars will be hybrid or fully electric vehicles. As soon as we move toward mass production, costs will come down. And when cost comes down, more cars will be bought by consumers.” The MD also argues that there will be a reduction in the number of gears used when powertrains are electrified or hybridized: “Hybrid transmissions will have fewer speeds, be less complex, and will use the electric machine to provide efficiency and driving performance.” And in a bid to stay one step ahead of the stiff automotive e-powertrain competition, GKN Driveline is already focusing on providing technical solutions to enable it to integrate the whole system – gearbox, eMotor and power electronics – in order to reduce all system interfaces, which in turn realizes further optimization while minimizing overall weight.

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IGBT gate drivers

The availability of digital gate drivers offers a new realm of efficient possibilities to meet the high safety targets of future inverter systems

E-mobility is becoming reality and EVs and HEVs are now being produced and commercialized on a large scale. This has a tremendous effect on all electrical systems in a car, presenting new efficiency, size, safety and cost challenges. This means that new concepts have to be developed at both component (microscopic) and architectural (macroscopic) levels. Infineon’s broad portfolio of complementary components for e-mobility applications, including microcontrollers, gate drivers and IGBT power modules, supports the development of optimized system solutions for EVs and HEVs. Typically, an inverter consists of a high-power IGBT module, controlled by a logic device operating in the low-voltage (12V) battery domain (Figure 1). Today, one single device manages the very specific demands of highly integrated logic technology and high power technology: this is the gate driver IC. The primary function of the gate driver is to provide the necessary voltage and current signals to turn the IGBT on and off efficiently. Output current limitations of driver ICs are usually overcome with an external post-driver (or booster) stage. Infineon’s automotive EiceDRIVER family (1ED020I12FA2, 1ED020I12FTA and 2ED020I12FA), for instance, can source or sink up to 2A, which means it can already drive MOSFET and smaller IGBT power modules. Additionally, the low- and high-voltage domains need to be electrically isolated, and for this purpose Infineon developed a coreless transformer technology (CLT). This integrates the two coils of a transformer into one integrated circuit. Inductive-based data

Figure 1 (above): A detailed graphic outlining an inverter consisting of a high-power IGBT module that in turn is controlled by a logic device, which operates in the low-voltage (12V) battery domain. Figure 2 (below): The I/O monitor of Infineon’s new AURIX microcontroller family compares the IGBT state with the original PWM command in real time

transfer is enabled bidirectionally: the PWM control signal from the microcontroller can be sent across the galvanic isolation barrier to the IGBT, and feedback signals can be sent back to the LV side of the device. The CLT offers multiple

advantages over other isolation technologies: it does not show the degradation over lifetime that is typically seen with optocouplers; it shows high immunity to electromagnetic interferences and transients; and it can be

easily implemented within standard chip production processes, which leads to significantly lower system costs than for discrete solutions. A monolithic process also supports integration of additional functions on the device.

Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 145


Introduction of the ISO 26262 standard means that future traction inverters will have to meet the highest safety standards up to ASIL C or D. One of the main safety requirements stipulates that in the event of failure, the system shall prevent or limit the generation of unwanted torque at the wheel. This top-level requirement has a direct impact on the components used. To meet these evolving needs, Infineon has developed a new generation of gate drivers and boosters: EiceDRIVER SIL (1EDI2001AS, 1EDI2002AS); and EiceDRIVER Boost (1EBN1001AE). The EiceDRIVER SIL marks another significant step toward functional integration. It includes a standard middle speed (2Msps) serial peripheral interface (SPI) bus. This link to the LV main logic block is used to configure the device during system power-up and provide status information during runtime. The SPI does not have to control the switching behavior of the IGBT directly; it is a parallel channel to the regular PWM command. Part digitization of the gate driver enables the designer to implement several layers of diagnostic functions. At the lowest level, all internal key functions are monitored, such as oscillators, power supplies and internal data integrity. The second level is related to the interconnection of the device. Here, signal consistency can be checked by reading the levels of the signals sent, and received by the device over the SPI. One level higher, the device supports the injection of ‘dummy’ failures (e.g. false DESAT event). In this way, latent ‘sleeping’ failures can be detected. Correct failure responses of the system can therefore be guaranteed over the complete vehicle lifetime.

Figure 3: The above detailed information graphic showcases a prime example of an optimized inverter architecture

The next level involves ensuring that the PWM command is correctly received by the IGBT. The extended DESAT function supports continuous monitoring of the IGBT VCE voltage. The result of the comparator is sent continuously to the LV side, and the information is available in the form of a digital signal. The I/O monitor of Infineon’s new AURIX microcontroller family can then compare the IGBT state with the original PWM command in real time (Figure 2). Programmable delays compensate for the latency time introduced by the galvanic isolation barrier and the physical IGBT switching time. A commonly used approach is to delocalize a dedicated function over several components in order to achieve a cost-optimized solution. This is especially beneficial when implementing active short circuit (ASC) strategies. For a permanent magnet synchronous machine,

146 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

such strategies may be complex to implement. The IGBT is a normallyoff device, so the natural default state of the inverter is all switches open. However, at high rpm, the magnet excitation may lead to over-voltage, which could result in the destruction of the inverter. Therefore, the safe state of the inverter is, with some exceptions, the 0-vector, or ASC. Figure 3 shows an example of an optimized inverter architecture. The EiceDRIVER Boost is an advanced and thermally optimized post-driver stage. It has a dedicated input, which means the IGBT can be turned on directly whenever a PWM command signal is sent by the gate driver. The control signal activating this pin comes from a watchdog IC and is transferred through the galvanic isolation barriers via the low-latency digital channel of the EiceDRIVER SIL. Several monitoring functions, such

as the gate monitor and the output stage monitor, guarantee reliable activation of the safety path. Over the years, automotive systems have become increasingly integrated. The exponential rise in microcontroller computational power is leading to the gradual shift of hardware functions into software; similarly, digitalization is increasing functional integration and enhancing diagnostic capabilities. The availability of digital gate drivers offers a new realm of efficient possibilities to meet the safety targets of future inverter systems. This is the first milestone on the journey toward smart actuation in automotive inverter systems. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Infineon Technologies, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev










From Power Source

To Power Applied

GKN Land Systems is a global leading supplier of technology differentiated power management solutions and services. As off highway vehicle manufacturers continue to search for technologies that can bring greater fuel savings and reduced CO2 emissions, innovation, electrification and hybrid technologies are emerging as a global trend. GKN Land Systems, a leading supplier of technology differentiated power management solutions and services, has a number of new technologies in this arena.


GKN Hub DrivE

The GKN Hub DrivE is an in-hub electric motor drive system with reduction gear and brake. With an electric motor mounted at the heart of a wheel hub, electric motors are ideally suited to in-hub off-highway electric applications. It is a compact unit, delivering optimum efficiency and performance.

The AF-130/140/230 and 240 electric motors are three-phase permanent magnet motors

AF-electric motor

that use proprietary axial flux technology to deliver very high torque and power density in a compact and light-weight unit. This makes them particularly suitable for use in electric and hybrid vehicles, where low weight and compact packaging are important for delivering optimum efficiency in performance and design.

Further information on the new products can be found on the internet at www.gkn.com/landsystems/

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21.10.14 12:23


The induction motor equipped with a FAVI Rotor achieves over 90% efficiency. Its optimized design, its ease of industrialization makes the production costs of such a motor lower than those of a permanent-magnet motor.


Induction motors have found many applications in the rail transportation industry (tramway, subway, high-speed train) as electric traction for many years. It is a proven solution in terms of reliability and life span (no efficiency loss of the motor with usage). Integrating a FAVI Rotor in an induction motor increases the motor efficiency without compromising its sturdiness.


Car manufacturers always look for maximum power out of the smallest possible motor volume. Integrated in an induction motor, the FAVI copper rotor increases the power/volume ratio, up to 4 kW per kg of on-board motor. This saving in on-board weight produces a higher mileage per charge


- Starter-alternator and generator - Electric power-steering motor.

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Reluctance-assisted motors The development of reluctance-assisted external rotor permanent magnet machines could improve torque-speed ranges and further reduce the need for rare earth magnets Until now, the main rotor technology found inside TM4’s electric motors was based on surface-mounted outer rotor topology in which the magnets are glued directly to a rigid carbon steel rotor. However, in recent years, uncertainty and higher prices of rare earth magnetic materials, in combination with the demand for wider torque-speed operation ranges, have resulted in a drive to look for possible improvements in existing technology. It is well documented that the reluctance torque in permanent magnet machines can be used to gain better performance. However, introducing this concept in TM4’s outer rotor topology is a challenging task, due to the thin rotor structure found in the external rotor approach. After a thorough development process, TM4 overcame these challenges and will introduce this technology in 2015 as part of new products offered in both its Motive (light-duty vehicles) and Sumo (commercial vehicles) electric powertrain systems. Particularly of note is the design procedure used for the reluctance-assisted outer rotor permanent magnet machine, and a comparison of the new machine’s performance against a surface-mounted permanent magnet machine of the same dimensions. Normally, the advantage of an external rotor machine is its higher air-gap radius, which leads to a higher torque for the same magnetic force. This technological choice was made by TM4 when it first started working on the in-wheel motor technology developments that ultimately led to the company’s creation, and was kept and improved in subsequent products. To maintain this advantage, the thickness of the rotor should be

Reluctance-assisted external rotor permanent magnet machines can offer a greatly improved torque-speed range

kept as thin as possible. However, in order to create the reluctance torque, significant anisotropy (saliency) should be created in the rotor magnetic circuit, which is a demanding task due to the limited available space. In addition, there will be higher eddy current losses

because of the introduced anisotropy. Therefore it is not practical to use carbon steel materials to achieve this goal. On the other hand, a thin rotor made of lamination cannot support the centrifugal forces imposed at high speeds. Thus a strip of lamination is

added to the rigid carbon still rotor (Figure 1 on the next page) to achieve both the required saliency and the rigidity requirements. The dimensions of the magnets and the rotor lamination strip have been optimized by using a stochastic optimization algorithm,

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Figure 2: A performance comparison of the permanent magnet motor using the new reluctanceassisted outer rotor technology, and the original surface-mounted machine

Figure 1: A strip of lamination added to the rigid carbon still rotor satisfies saliency and rigidity requirements

and by considering the design constraints typically found in automotive applications. A stochastic optimization algorithm, such as a genetic algorithm (GA), is used in combination with finite element analysis-based software to find the optimum dimensions of the rotor lamination and the magnets. The same stator dimensions of a reference SPM machine currently produced by TM4 are used in the proposed reluctance-assisted machine. Like any other optimization problem, the first step is to define an objective function. Here, the goal is to minimize the quantity of the rare earth magnetic materials while satisfying all other constraints – such as ease of manufacturing, use of the same external envelope, lower cost, and equal or better performance. Minimizing dependency of the generated torque to the rare earth magnets

indirectly leads to higher torque-toback EMF ratio, which is an important factor in having a wide torque-speed range. The final solution after optimization had considerably less rare earth metal in comparison with the reference surface-mounted permanent magnet machine (SPM) machine with the same dimensions – up to 60% in some scenarios. By comparing the performances of the permanent magnet (PM) motor using the new reluctanceassisted outer rotor technology with the original surface-mounted machine, several improvements have been observed. As described previously, for a fair comparison the same stator assembly has been used in both machines for simulations. The comparison has been made for two different scenarios. In the first scenario, the maximum required torque of the new machine at low-speed

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condition is assumed to be the same as the SPM machine. In the second one, the maximum speed of the machine has been kept equal to the maximum speed of the SPM machine. The results of the aforementioned comparisons, as seen in Figure 2, enable us to make a number of important conclusions. In the first scenario, a 30% maximum speed increase has been achieved in comparison with the reference SPM machine, with around 35% less rare earth metal. In the second scenario, maximum torque has been increased by 20% with around 15% less rare earth metal. The percentage of the torque increase in Scenario 2 is lower than the speed increase percentage in Scenario 1. This is due to the core saturation as well as contribution of the reluctance torque. In addition to these facts, higher D-axis inductance of the

reluctance-assisted machine leads to easier field weakening, lower short-circuit current and, thus, the capability to tolerate short-circuit current continuously. This means it is easier to design a fault-tolerant machine with the reluctanceassisted concept. Finally, higher inductance means lower eddy current losses due to the PWM switching, which is a very important factor in determining the high-speed continuous power of the machine. Approaches to tackling the problem of torque ripple and cogging torque reductions have been discussed. Nonetheless, the obtained results showed a significant improvement in torquespeed characteristics with a significantly lower quantity of magnetic materials. Further development of methods to increase the attainable saliency ratio is ongoing. The first prototypes of these motors were tested by TM4 in the autumn of 2014, and commercially available versions will be integrated within TM4’s existing product line from January 2015. TM4 is currently supplying its powertrains to several OEMs and technical centers in North America, Europe and Asia in order to drive several type of electric and hybrids vehicles. Production takes place at TM4’s Canadian facilities in Boucherville and at its Chinese joint venture Prestolite E-Propulsion Systems in Beijing. Both are equipped with highvolume, flexible and automated production lines, and a large range of dynamometers and test cells, making it possible to conduct full validation and certification of electric and hybrid powertrains. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about TM4, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev



ELECTRIC DRIVE SYSTEMS Our electric motor and power electronics feature in the McLaren P1 hybrid road car and all cars in the Formula E electric racing series. We are now developing and supplying systems that utilise the latest Si-C switching technology to provide class leading efficiency and minimise heat dissipation. Small & lightweight systems to suit a wide variety of vehicle applications, particularly those where space is at a premium. Specialist in-house Hybrid / EV team to rapidly develop application specific systems to suit individual customer requirements. Full systems integration service to help streamline your development programme.

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Simulating BMS strategies Innovative rapid prototyping solutions are reducing the time required to refine the measurement, control and communication functions of battery management systems The battery management system (BMS) of a battery designed for a hybrid or electric vehicle performs a thankless yet important task. It ensures the best possible management of a battery’s small cells in accordance with the instructions sent by the vehicle’s control unit. Its design and development are complex and can require long, iterative processes. D2T, however, offers a simpler, more effective alternative. The BMS consists of both hardware and software. Its role is to communicate information concerning the state-of-charge and state-of-health of the control unit, which calls on the battery, via the BMS, to provide the necessary energy required by the driver and their vehicle. The task is complex: battery cells are chemical components that do not display a linear behavior with a single variable, but instead display behavior with several dimensions, including time, which is the most complex dimension to integrate. Managing these dimensions involves the use of complex algorithms and models. These models will also not be the same for a lithium-ion battery and a lithium polymer battery, or for different lithium-ion cells. Naturally, the BMS design phase, and definition of the best model for a given battery intended for a specific vehicle, becomes equally complex. It is not an exact science, but a process of refinement by iterations between the design of the model and its validation on the test bench. And it is here that surprises can occur. The first function of the BMS is to fully measure and control the voltage, current and temperatures of each cell. Depending on these measurements, it performs safety-


related tasks (passive and active protection) in relation to the vehicle’s control unit. It is also responsible for balancing the voltage of the cells while monitoring their state of health. Finally, it informs the vehicle’s computer of the maximum power available and the remaining autonomy, according to an estimate based on advanced algorithms.

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At its test center in Trappes, France, D2T proposes innovative, rapid prototyping solutions to reduce the time required to refine these different functions in the BMS. The central element is Morphee, a real-time test bench automation system launched by D2T almost 25 years ago, and a reference point for the market in this sphere.

With 2,500 licenses, 10,000 users, and 12 million testing-rotation hours per year, Morphee is a worldwide standard. Its new version works in Windows 7 and offers unequaled component testbed performance. It allows for integration of MATLAB Simulink simulation models on the testbed and can rotate in real time at


An illustration of the advantages of using Morphee to develop and refine a BMS

D2T’s test center in Trappes, where the company works to refine BMS functions

frequencies up to 10kHz. This functionality, along with its usual characteristics, makes Morphee an ideal system for new applications such as battery testbeds. Currently, a battery testbed often performs relatively simple operations such as charge/discharge testing, capacity testing and resistance measurements. However, these

testbeds will be used more and more to fine-tune the BMS. For this reason, they integrate advanced simulation functionalities. Morphee’s characteristics enable this type of testbed to evolve easily toward simulation. And this can be done painlessly for the user, as there is no need to be a computer expert to use the system.

The main advantage of Morphee is the interconnectivity it offers between all constituent elements of a battery test bench, irrespective of the connection type (CAN, EtherCAT and Profibus), including the power cabinet, climatic chamber, battery cooling system, domestic charger, the BMS (one or more), and any system specific to the battery manufacturer. This means these elements can interact and the tests can be targeted intelligently according to the battery’s behavior. Another advantage of Morphee concerns its capacity to incorporate real-time simulation models into the test bench. An HIL (hardware-in-theloop) structure can be implemented quickly between Morphee and the xMOD multimodel platform, which can execute a wide range of models, including AMESim, GT-Suite, MATLAB/Simulink and Flowmaster. xMOD is an application software that facilitates standalone and toolcoupling co-simulation between several simulation tools. With xMOD, models from different tools can interact in a single environment, and can even be used with HIL test benches, which can save a great

deal of time in increasingly complex powertrain development. The integration process does not impose the tools. xMOD does not intend to replace the original modeling and simulation tools, but aims to promote their coexistence. Thus, the advantages of using Morphee to develop and refine the BMS directly on the test bench are obvious. It centralizes all procedures and collects all information, just as the BMS does, but with added flexibility. The models and strategies of the BMS change as the tests are conducted – there is no need to develop specific equipment. As a result, gone are the days of costly to-ing and fro-ing between the design and test phases. The design engineer can now become a test engineer, and vice versa. What’s more, once the model has been validated in a simulation, the BMS hardware and software can be implemented with the certainty of a suitable strategy. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about D2T, visit www.ukipme.com/info/ev


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Heavy-duty mild hybrids Mild hybrid systems in commercial vehicle applications can offer great fuel savings, without the associated costs of full hybrid implementation In the commercial vehicle sector, hybrid system technologies offer the greatest potential to reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel efficiency. A major challenge of such hybrid technology concepts, however, is the cost and an unacceptably long returnon-investment period. Full hybrid systems for long-haul trucks would offer attractive fuel saving figures of 7-8%. However, the ROI is still very poor due to larger sized and costly hybrid components. From this perspective, mild hybrid systems offer a more attractive ROI. Mild hybrid systems for heavyduty commercial vehicle applications, operating at a moderate voltage level of 48V, are intended to drive mainly the engine auxiliaries when the need arises. Usually in a commercial vehicle mild hybrid system, the coolant pump is already variably driven (switchable in several steps), the fan can be activated on demand, and the air compressor can be decoupled via a clutch to avoid unnecessary idling losses. The potential for further savings with these components is rather limited. Another opportunity in a mild hybrid system is e-charging – used to electrically assist the turbo during load steps and reduce the response time of the engine. E-charging offers the possibility of further downspeeding of the combustion engine without compromising vehicle dynamics. Another key benefit is the potential to lower soot emissions during load steps, resulting in a reduced need for active regenerations of the diesel particulate filter. During combustion engine motoring, the energy is recuperated via a starter-generator and stored and reused on demand to operate

Implementing a mild hybrid system in truck applications offers potential fuel savings, but with far lower associated expense

the engine auxiliaries. In addition, an electrically coupled waste-heat recovery (WHR) system can be integrated into a mild hybrid system. This provides electrical energy, which can be used specifically in the e-motor. In order to limit the system cost, the existing 12V (US) and 24V (EU) board nets are served in addition to the 48V board net. With this approach, existing standard (lowcost) components can be applied. A battery system is used at each voltage level to stabilize the net and buffer the recuperated energy. Due to the application of relatively simple components, the additional product cost for such a mild hybrid system for a heavy-duty truck is low compared with a full hybrid system. Last but not least, the safety requirements are much lower with

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a mild hybrid system operated at a nominal voltage level of 48V than with a high-voltage, full hybrid system operated at 400V or above. A fuel saving potential of 2-4% – depending on the individual application – can be expected with mild hybrid systems, especially if the operating strategy is integrated into advanced and predictive vehicle energy management control strategies. AVL believes the potential for these systems is such that there will be a move toward mass production by 2020. The company has been analyzing the potential, as well as the operating strategy, of mild hybrid systems for commercial vehicles in detail. To use their full potential, AVL offers a unique system simulation approach: models of vehicles, real-time-

capable engines, vehicle cooling circuits, transmissions and drivelines – as well as models of the electrical components and board nets – are seamlessly integrated on one platform. Due to the use of real-time-capable engine and after-treatment models, the detailed impact of the mild hybrid system on engine performance during real-world driving cycles can be analyzed from a very early stage of development. With this approach AVL can reliably predict system performance with a virtual vehicle demonstrator. This approach saves both development time and cost. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about AVL, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev



CAE driving models The ability to simply and rapidly create virtual prototypes based on CAE data gives engineers the tools to monitor and refine NVH characteristics The advanced software tools for perfecting NVH are proliferating. Nowadays, before development even begins on new vehicles, non-experts can help set sound targets by ‘driving’ benchmark vehicles in a simulator that captures their subjective opinions. Then, during development of the new vehicle, engineers can deconstruct the noise and vibration experienced in an existing vehicle, to detect and quantify the sources of very specific sound features such as boom and rumble. The software that does this – source path contribution (SPC) – can also isolate the paths that the sound energy takes through the vehicle and the air to get to the observer, quantifying the sensitivity of those paths as transfer functions. Using Brüel & Kjær’s high-tech NVH simulator, engineers can create and drive a virtual vehicle based on such data. By combining measured data from SPC, and predictions from CAE modeling, they can experience the sound of new designs. Then anyone can evaluate these designs relative to the targets in the context of a dynamic, interactive driving experience where evaluation is more authentic. The sound can even be manipulated for further refinement. Until now, though, incorporating CAE design data has been limited to individual components, such as an engine mount source strength, from individual files. And creating new models has been laborious enough for NVH simulation to have been largely restricted to the initial setting of targets, rather than helping with their realization throughout the development process. That’s all set to change now that the NVH simulator can easily and directly incorporate large CAE models. This new important capability automatically converts

The simulation of vehicle sound based purely on CAE models helps set development targets by enabling designers and engineers to experience the NVH consequences of model updates on virtual vehicles in a free-driving scenario

standard CAE response data from all common CAE codes into readyto-run NVH simulator models. Careful testing has ensured that the simulator is able to recognize the file types and knows how to read them seamlessly. The fact that the simulator processes large CAE models quickly – in seconds rather than minutes – means it is helpful to the highly iterative design process. CAE designers and engineers alike can create a new NVH simulator model every time there is a design update. Minutes later, they can be sitting behind a steering wheel, experiencing in full the NVH

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consequences of that update while accelerating on a virtual road. And because it can now fully incorporate whole vehicle models of purely CAE data, the simulator can be used even earlier in the design process – sound modeling can begin based solely on CAE models, before the benchmarking of existing vehicles has even begun. In addition, as CAE models tend to be well refined by the end-of-life of a vehicle model, the development of its successor model’s sound can begin on a solid foundation. There are situations where CAE models are unable to predict the absolute sound energy levels

resulting from a design change, but where they are very effective at quantifying the change in response between the old CAE model and the new one. For these cases, changemodeling tools in the NVH simulator can calculate the ratio between the two CAE models and apply filters to a validated baseline model. Using this approach, the NVH simulator can provide a meaningful way of evaluating CAE design changes early in the vehicle program. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Brüel & Kjær, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev




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BMS safety standards Proper implementation of relevant safety standards in the development of battery management systems requires investment – but is also hugely beneficial Standards for functional safety are an important trend within the domain of battery management systems for large format lithium-ion batteries. Increasing safety awareness, customer safety anxiety, and focus on full-scale volume production of electric vehicles, are factors that encourage manufacturers and their suppliers to adopt standardized methods of formally verifiable functional safety. At Lithium Balance, the implementation of the ISO 26262 standard – Functional Safety in Road Vehicles – is therefore a strategically important choice in order to stay at the forefront of battery management system development. When the battery management system is developed as a standalone product, certain assumptions must be made on both the vehicle and battery pack level. In addition, a level of tailoring must be made to the safety activities specified. Both the process of describing the assumptions and performing the tailoring of safety activities are described in ISO 26262-10:9 – Safety Device out of Context. In order to educate those assumptions, the supplier is encouraged to perform certain parts of the vehiclelevel safety analysis work as a reference implementation that can be used to facilitate the vehicle integration process.

Levels of investment in ISO 26262

High-voltage interlock loop High voltage to drivetrain High voltage to charger

Charge proximity detection CANbus to charger CANbus to VCU

12V (ignition control) 12V (constant)

Mechanical interface Protection ground interface

A virtual rechargeable energy storage system upon which all safety analysis for the safety device out of context is performed

At Lithium Balance, the process has entailed the development of an item definition, a hazard analysis, a risk assessment, and a functional safety concept – as well as a technical safety concept for a virtual rechargeable energy storage system (RESS). All these documents will be fully disclosed to the system integrator, which could be either a vehicle manufacturer or a Tier 1 battery pack integrator. These documents specify a safety architecture that can be used in conjunction with a safety rated battery management system from Lithium Balance, to achieve functional safety in a RESS for a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or a pure electric vehicle intended for public road traffic. The safety architecture specifies a number of requirements. Some of these requirements are allocated to the battery management system, while others are allocated to other design parts of the virtual RESS. Each safety requirement has an associated Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL), which is derived from the hazard analysis

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and risk assessment. The standard deals with the concept of redundancy by means of safety requirement decomposition, a process used to split a safety requirement of a given ASIL into two or more safety requirements of a lower ASIL (for example, splitting ASIL D into ASIL C and ASIL A) allocated to redundant safety systems. ISO 26262 requires full independence and different implementation of the two safety systems to avoid both random and systematic errors – furthermore, the use of two identical systems in parallel is not permitted. Software and hardware development are both strictly regulated by ISO 26262, with requirements being imposed on development procedures, verification procedures and tools. The stringency of the requirements depends on the highest ASIL level allocated to the software function or hardware part. In all cases, simplicity, robust design patterns and usage of highly reliable components and subsystems are advocated – for high ASIL levels, these recommendations are

functionally mandated by the reliability metric targets specified by the standard. The safety activities generate a lot of technical documentation and require iterative safety analysis reports to be generated. In order to facilitate the development and maintenance of this documentation, a strong supporting tool is highly recommended. The Lithium Balance implementation was carried out with the assistance of Medini Analyze from IKV. The implementation of ISO 26262 for battery management system development requires a significant investment in requirement specification, design, implementation, documentation and verification. The benefit of this investment, however, is a system that is robust, safe and reliable, and one that can be efficiently adapted to fit vehicle manufacturer specific safety requirements. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Lithium Balance, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev



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Correct voltage conversions Hybrid and electric vehicles deal with new voltages in the areas of storage and generation and should be converted to the right voltage level for every specific electrical application

The challenge to improve the overall system efficiency of new hybrid and electric vehicles requires different working voltages in systems such as storage, generation and different main vehicle power networks. The energy generated in the electrical machine on voltage (AC), once rectified, is stored in the high-voltage battery (DC). The energy then flows to the various vehicle applications, which work at different and optimum voltages, to maximize efficiencies. This system evolution requires a variety of DC/DC converters to supply the right voltage for each specific work voltage for these new types of vehicles. Currently, Lear is working in the main DC/DC converter areas under discussion by the automotive community, including from high voltage to main network voltage (future 48V or current 12V and 24V); from 48V to the most common 12V and 24V; and from multiple voltage sources to main network voltage. Depending on the type of vehicle, there could be a high voltage (300-425V DC) converted (Figure 1)

Figure 1: Lear’s 400V-12V DC/DC converter meets the requirements of the main vehicle voltage network

to the main vehicle voltage network, which, since the 1950s, has been set at 12V, and supplies all the traditional electrical and electronic vehicle devices. In recent years, and especially in Europe, 48V (Figure 2) has emerged as the third voltage in vehicles to support the improvement of energy generation, key functional performance and robustness (such as stop and start for micro hybrids). The introduction of new power functionality at higher voltages also adds more complexity, including increased safety concerns.

Figure 2: Lear’s 48V-12V DC/DC converter supports the third voltage that has emerged in vehicles throughout Europe

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Also under discussion is the possibility that energy can be recovered from any energy source the vehicle encounters (thermal, vibration, solar, etc) to help complete vehicle energy balance. As such, Lear has created a multiple voltage input DC/DC converter, dubbed the Smart Energy Gateway (Figure 3), which is necessary to recover this energy and convert it to the main voltage network. In response to these issues, Lear is able to propose standalone solutions or components that can be integrated with other power electronics devices to assure flexibility in meeting customer needs, depending on the technical and economic challenges of different OEMs. Considering these challenges, there is no de facto standard yet, and the automotive community is looking for the best trade-off between technical performance (efficiency, power density, thermal management, etc) and cost. The efficiency of these power devices is needed due to the goal of reducing any wasted energy, which directly impacts on vehicle consumption and range of autonomy.

Greater device efficiency can be obtained through the right topology selection, along with other technical parameters such as switching frequency and key power switch technology. The thermal management of these devices also factors into this goal of efficiency – depending on the final power loss and whether the cooling system uses an air- or water-cooling technology, which itself has a big impact on the final mechanical concept and cost. In line with the pursuit of these objectives, Lear can also deliver the best power density proposal, obtained through the right balance from the standpoints of power, size and weight, considering the high impact these factors have in complete vehicle assembly.

Figure 3: Lear’s multiple voltage input DC/DC converter, the Smart Energy Gateway

FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Lear, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev




EDN GROUP has continually made significant contributions to the art of battery charging since its founding in 1993. Its DC/DC converters and battery charging products range from the hybrid resonant launched in 1994 to the newest generation of on-board chargers (EVO) to be used in heavy duty and rugged electrically powered applications.

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Electric powertrain testing Industry experience and an understanding of how testing equipment is used are vital in the development of accurate, flexible test systems for electric powertrains With its EPT line of electric powertrain test systems, D&V Electronics continues to break new ground. As a company, D&V Electronics is focused on providing the absolute best in e-motor and drive testing equipment. The understanding that is required to build such equipment is the result of more than 17 years of not only developing leading-edge measuring and analytical equipment for the automotive industry, but also of attention to detail and a deep and extensive understanding of how the equipment will be used, and how to make the user experience better. D&V has been developing and building production test equipment for electric motors for more than eight years, since the first BAS motors went into production. These attributes are no more evident than in D&V’s latest end-ofline electric-motor test system – the EPT-100. Starting with the most basic of requirements, the dynamometer platform, D&V uses a state-of-the-art load motor from Germany, with high-speed and low-inertia characteristics. The production tester is coupled with D&V’s battery simulator, providing accurate fast transition times, as well as bidirectional regenerative power capabilities. D&V has developed a system that will automatically engage and disengage the device under test (DUT) from the load motor. This innovation allows for reduced cycle times, because it eliminates the need for the operator to align the splined shafts. This is achieved with a driving shaft that not only extends and retracts, but also rotates until it detects a positive engagement. The tester has both a pneumatically assisted parts transfer system and an automatically locating and lock

D&V’s EPT line of electric powertrain test systems

system with horizontal to vertical movement. The tooling is built for the ruggedness of the production line, as well as being easily changeable for different motors. The ability of the system to offer unparalleled levels of performance and measuring accuracy are the reasons that D&V is a global leader in electric motor testing technology. Besides the precision high-speed drivelines and dynamic response capabilities of the dynamometer system, the purposely designed data acquisition electronics, along with the high level of software integration to tie it all together, allows for a great deal of flexibility

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in providing real-time, highly accurate results for engineers. The internal tester components and controller from the PC are linked via a network connection, which enables high-speed data transfer. This architecture provides expandability and high electrical noise immunity because of the excellent electrical insulation. D&V is able to provide production testing in less than two minutes, including BEMF and performance tests, with an easy user interface, while offering a software platform that can provide complex, fullfeatured analysis for engineering studies. Production testing results

include full resolver position measurement and the ability to automatically correct the angle to the drive to ensure that every motor is tested to the same level and characteristics. D&V Electronics is leading the industry in end-of-line testing equipment for electric motors, belt starter generators and integrated starter generators, with production test systems in operation in Europe, North America and Asia. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about D&V Electronics, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev



Ultracapacitor storage Efficient and suited to multiple applications, ultracapacitors can be used to store energy captured during regenerative braking During conventional braking, kinetic energy from a car’s momentum is dissipated as heat. Regenerative braking involves the capture of this wasted energy. In regenerative braking, the vehicle system is designed to capture braking (kinetic) energy by regenerating it into electricity. This electricity is then used to charge an onboard energy system such as a battery or an ultracapacitor. The stored energy is used for vehicle acceleration, thus reducing engine load and increasing fuel economy. Hybrid and electric vehicles present an excellent example of the use of regenerative braking. In these systems, the electric motor is used as both a motor and generator. During propulsion, the electric motor converts electrical energy to mechanical. During regenerative braking, the motor functions as a generator, converting mechanical energy into electrical, which charges onboard ultracapacitors. Regenerative energy capture is growing in popularity. With today’s rising fuel prices and increasing carbon emissions, all sectors of transportation are searching for ways to improve fuel efficiency. The automotive, rail, bus and heavy machinery industries are showing significant improvements in fuel economy with the introduction of regenerative energy capture. Fuel economy gains are much higher for vehicles that make frequent stops and starts, such as in-city driving. Maxwell Technologies has been collaborating with transportation engineers and integrators to provide ultracapacitor solutions for energy capture. Although batteries have been a traditional storage system of choice, ultracapacitors are gaining market share. The biggest advantage of using ultracapacitors for regenerative

American Maglev utilized Maxwell ultracapacitors for TriMet, resulting in reduced operating costs and energy consumption

braking applications is the ability to efficiently capture energy and deliver power – with greater than 95% charge/discharge efficiency – over a wide temperature range, thus maintaining the efficiency of the overall system. Field data for hybrid buses with Maxwell ultracapacitors has demonstrated greater than 25% improvements in fuel efficiency due to exceptional power performance, high cycling and operational life. The use of advanced Maxwell ultracapacitors for regenerative energy capture continues to grow – for example, for onboard energy storage in light rail vehicles. American Maglev Technology implemented the Maxwell ultracapacitors with 750V Energy Storage Units, for Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation Portland (TriMet). By using Maxwell ultracapacitors, TriMet saves thousands of dollars per month in operating costs and enjoys considerably reduced energy consumption. The storage system

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Energy storage at a station stop

also ensures voltage stabilization, catenary-free operation, and reduced load on the power substation, while traffic is increased with no additional substations. Maxwell is actively expanding its ultracapacitor footprint, transforming propulsion systems across all transportation platforms. The new DuraBlue Advanced Shock and Vibration Technology combines Maxwell’s unique and patented dry electrode formation and manufacturing process with a robust proprietary cell structure design to exceed the most demanding shock and vibration requirements of the growing

number of power-hungry applications in today’s global transportation markets. Unlike batteries, Maxwell ultracapacitor products store energy in an electrical field. This enables ultracapacitors to charge and discharge in fractions of a second, perform normally over a broad temperature range (-40°C to +65°C), operate reliably over hundreds of thousands (or more) duty cycles, and resist shock and vibration. Maxwell offers ultracapacitor cells ranging in capacitance from 1F to 3,400F, and modules ranging from 16V to 160V, which have been proven to deliver high power, whether used alone or paired with batteries, in a variety of applications from automotive and transportation to renewable energy or power industrial electronics. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Maxwell Technologies, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev



Gold-plated resistors A new family of resistors with gold-plated surfaces and contacts features low-ohmic components that can be mounted with conductive adhesive The new PMH-D and PLU precision performance foil resistors from Isabellenhütte are a new type of resistor, featuring a gold-plated surface. The VMx-A, a member of the VMx precision resistor family, has gold-plated contacts. The PMH-D and PLU bondable resistors are produced using the Isa-Plan process, in which layers of manganin foil, copper substrate and an adhesive with good thermal conductivity (ceramic filled) are pressure bonded. This highly temperature-resistant bonded combination of substrate and resistant foil ensures optimal dissipation of heat. A small increase in the temperature level of the component has a positive effect on stability and long-term drift. Isabellenhütte’s all-new gold-plated resistors can be mounted with conductive adhesive, making all of these resistor families well suited to applications in the automotive sector – which involves high temperature and load requirements. They are certified according to the AEC-Q200 quality standard for electrical components. The PMH-D (which measures 6.7 x 3.4 x 0.7mm) and the PLU (10.4 x 6.4 x 0.6mm) are designed for hybrid mounting with bonding technology. The bonding pads and the back side of the component are plated with a 0.1µm layer of gold, which makes soldering and mounting with conductive adhesive possible. The result is an ideal thermal coupling that makes best use of the available component surface. The resistors are designed to handle a constant load of up to 5W at 150°C and a constant current of up to 50A (PMH-D/size 2512) and 70A (PLU/size 3924). The PMH-D is currently available as a 2mΩ resistor and the PLU as a 1mΩ resistor. Both resistors have been designed

Isabellenhütte’s gold-plated resistors can be mounted with conductive adhesive and are well suited to automotive applications

as four-wire measurement resistors (Kelvin connection) and fulfill the requirements of RoHS guideline RoHS 2011/65/EU. As mentioned previously, the VMx-A versions of the VMx precision resistor family can be mounted with conductive adhesive – as opposed to merely being suitable for component mounting by means of reflow and IR soldering. Thanks to its small size (the type 2010 measures 5.08 x 2.54 x 0.4mm), high load capacity and precision,

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the VMP-A is a popular choice for automobile engine and transmission modules. The VMP-A resistor is also suited for application in power hybrids and power modules (DCB ceramic) in frequency converters. The gold-plated VMP-A resistor has a constant load capacity of up to 2W at 110°C and can handle a constant current of up to 20A. The resistor’s temperature range is -55°C to 170°C. Isabellenhütte has embarked on a partnership with the Power and

Signal Group, which is based in Ratingen, Germany. The agreement means that, within the European region, Power and Signal is now responsible for the distribution of Isabellenhütte products. Power and Signal also forms part of a new distribution network within the company. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Power and Signal Group, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev



EV drivetrain control Optimizing the drivetrain control strategy of inner-city electric delivery vehicles can improve efficiency and battery life, and reduce cost of ownership The growth of e-commerce has increased the need for fleets of delivery vehicles. These vehicles, when powered by combustion engines, operate inefficiently in stop-and-start, innercity duty cycles. Local governments, therefore, are encouraging the move to electric delivery vehicles in most inner cities. When fleet managers are willing to invest in an electric vehicle, they are faced with the issue of total cost of ownership – despite incentives that are available to offset the cost. Typically, battery costs are high, and anything that can be done to optimize the size of the battery pack according to the vehicle’s duty cycle, or to extend the vehicle’s range, will help accelerate the adoption of cleaner, more sustainable alternative transportation. Actia Automotive has evaluated the impact of the control strategy of a permanent magnet motor on a vehicle’s energy consumption – when used on these types of daily routes. Specific control strategies, optimized for an urban cycle, can improve the battery pack autonomy – enabling downsizing of the battery, increased operation range, or prolonged battery life. Modern magnet motors controls are usually based on a vector PWM

approach –using a space vector modulation (SVM) algorithm. This approach offers a variety of possibilities (involving two, four, or six pulses per switching period), each of which has advantages and drawbacks depending on vehicle usage. As an example, when considering the urban daily route of a 3.5-ton electric delivery vehicle, the optimum solution is to combine SVM2 and SVM4 approaches, while setting up acceleration pedal cartography to optimize vehicle performance to the routes. This approach is less beneficial when the vehicle is used on a highway. However, there are huge advantages for commercial fleet vehicles operating in the city – intra-city buses, shuttles and

Combining SVM2 and SVM4 strategies

Adopting a flexible SVM strategy can reduce overall electric drivetrain losses

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Optimized drivetrain control strategies can encourage electric vehicle uptake

e-commerce delivery vehicles, for example – which experience many starts and stops. The SVM strategy is adjusted to the vehicle speed. At low to medium speeds, two types of SVM are most efficient – SVM4 and SVM2 AC. In SVM4, which uses four pulses per switching period, one phase leg is not switched during the period. SVM4 offers the best energy efficiency, thus reducing inverter switching losses and providing full use of battery voltage range to the motor windings. In SVM2 AC, which features SVM with amplitude control and two pulses per switching period, only one phase leg is switched: the other two are not. SVM2 AC offers better energy efficiency than SVM4 by reducing inverter switching losses and allowing the motor windings the use of the full voltage range. However, motor losses slightly increase and the motor torque ripple generates mechanical stress and undesired vibrations. A balance between and SVM4 and SVM2 AC provides the best compromise. In applications involving medium to high speeds, there are also two types of SVM that are most efficient – SVM2 PC (SVM with phase control

and two pulses per switching period) and Full Wave control, which involves no switching period. Full Wave is used in most brushless DC applications, and offers the best energy efficiency for the inverter. However, losses and motor torque ripple increase. SVM2 PC and Full Wave provide the best use of battery voltage range – even more so when the motor needs to be flux-weakened, which is often required as soon as the motor reaches medium speed. A balance between SMV2 PC and Full Wave, again, provides the best compromise for these applications. A flexible Space Vector Modulation strategy to control the drivetrain of an electric vehicle can significantly improve the autonomy and life duration of a battery in an inner-city duty cycle. It also contributes to the optimization of the total cost of ownership, which is a major concern for vehicle fleet owners – and a key issue in increasing the usage of electric delivery vehicles in cities. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Actia Automotive, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


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Zero-emissions motoring The Formula E championship has the potential to accelerate research and development in electric motoring – to the benefit of the entire EV industry Electric vehicles – cars driven by one or more electric motors powered by batteries recharged from an external electricity supply – now have a global showcase. The official Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile single-seater Formula E championship commenced in September 2014 in Beijing, and continues until June 2015. The series will travel to 10 of the world’s best-known cities (including London, Miami, Buenos Aires, Berlin and Monte Carlo) and features 10 teams, each with two drivers. Teams will compete using the high-performance SparkRenault SRT_01E, with each driver having two cars. But Formula E is not just about glamorizing EVs. Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings, says that the championship will become “the framework for research and development around the electric car, a key element for the future of our cities”. Just as other technologies have been either invented or perfected in motorsports and later trickled down into conventional vehicles, Formula E hopes to do the same for EVs. To that end, leading electronics distributor Mouser Electronics is sponsoring the China Racing Formula E Team. Joining the sponsorship of China Racing are electronic component companies Vishay, a leading global supplier of semiconductor and passive components; and Molex, a leading technology provider with a product portfolio ranging from connectors to cable assemblies. Although the history of electric vehicles can be traced back to at least the 1830s, it is only in the past 20 years or so that leading global manufacturers have directed proper resources into intensive research and development. And EVs are

China Racing’s Formula E racecar – sponsored by technology suppliers Mouser, Vishay and Molex – accelerates hard at the inaugural championship event, which took place in September 2014 at the Beijing Olympic Green Circuit (Photo: Formula E)

catching up fast. A gasoline engine produces little torque and power at low revolutions, so it must work through a series of gears to enable the engine to build up revs quickly for acceptable acceleration. But the powertrain for an EV delivers all its torque immediately and smoothly, only tailing off marginally in the upper rev range. Power from an electric motor also builds smoothly across the entire rev range and hardly tails off even toward the unit’s upper limit. Although most modern electric vehicles use Li-ion power packs whose volumetric energy density of around 700Wh/l is well below that of gasoline (10kWh/l), the vehicles have much in their favor, including the efficiency of an electric motor

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compared with a gasoline engine – 75-85% against 25-30% for conversion of electrical/chemical energy into mechanical energy. An EV electric motor is also more compact than a gasoline engine, freeing up space for more batteries and greater energy capacity. The inaugural Formula E cars can reach 100km/h (60mph) from a standing start in three seconds, and realize a maximum speed of 225km/h (140mph). But the cars feature some performance restrictions. For example, during races, both the maximum power (150kW) and battery energy (28kWh) are limited, and drivers have to swap vehicles halfway through the race. The cars also have limited use of an additional 30kW for overtaking.

Further improvements in battery energy density, motor efficiency, speed and range are inevitable. Formula E was merely a concept three years ago, but technology is forged in the heat of competition. While Formula E was born out of the desire to promote clean energy, mobility and sustainability, perhaps the most tangible benefit will be its role as a testbed for EV technology that will stimulate further battery, drivetrain, motor and engine management. For more information, see advertisement on facing page. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Mouser Electronics, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


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Flywheel-based KERS A flywheel-based kinetic energy recovery system can offer many of the benefits of hybridization in heavy-duty applications, but without the associated high costs Having recently started passenger-carrying trials with operators, Torotrak’s Flybrid kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) aims to be the most cost-efficient hybrid system for bus applications on the market. The innovative flywheel-based unit is completely mechanical and, due to its relatively common components and materials, promises to be considerably less expensive than hybrid electric options on the market. At around one-third of the weight, a quarter of the cost and with only a five-year payback period, this newcomer offers an affordable hybridization alternative to the incumbent electric solutions. Initially aimed at singledeck buses, the system is also suitable for application in other commercial vehicles. The Flybrid KERS unit connects to the rear axle of the single-deck StreetLite midibus via a power takeoff (PTO) arrangement; this enables it to transfer kinetic energy directly away from the driveline to spin up the flywheel and slow down the bus. At only about 8kg, the flywheel itself is the key ingredient of the system – spinning exceptionally fast in a specially designed containment housing, it can deliver up to 120kW and 5,000Nm, on demand, to the driveline of the bus. The specially designed mechanical transmission between the PTO and the flywheel ensures that torque is delivered smoothly during the storage and release of energy, and provides driveability and driver control virtually identical to that of a conventional diesel bus. The Flybrid bus KERS unit is the result of a two-year project in partnership with bus manufacturer Wrightbus, and while the prototype units currently on fleet trial with customers such as Arriva are

A KERS-equipped Wrightbus StreetLite midibus at Cenex LCV 2014 – the result of a two-year project

exclusively fitted to Wrightbus StreetLite midibuses, there is the opportunity to use this technology across a wider range of vehicles in the near future. Torotrak firmly believes the same specification of unit could save fuel in a variety of bus models, including doubledeckers and coaches, and indeed across other varieties of commercial vehicle such as delivery trucks, refuse vehicles and HGVs. Further backing the viability of Flybrid KERS for commercial vehicle applications is its long design life – currently being proven through an extensive design verification plan and testing regime that runs thousands of kilometers ahead of the buses on the road – it is expected to reach 1,000,000km of service with only basic maintenance. Throughout this lifespan, the vehicle drives like a normal bus, can be serviced much like a transmission with no highvoltage components, and will see more than three million charge and

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Installation of the KERS unit does not affect the bus’s passenger capacity

discharge cycles without storage capacity depletion. The technology is being further developed to offer an affordable way to try out hybridization, particularly on routes, duty cycles or vehicle types where it might usually not be cost-effective. Further pre-production prototype trials are scheduled for 2015. The computer simulation tools that

Torotrak has developed as part of this project allow specific vehicle applications of the KERS to be simulated for fuel economy and energy storage, and are capable of including subtleties such as vehicle payload, drive cycle and even altitude – enabling the customer to virtually try before they buy. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Flybrid, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev



Vehicle safety processors In order to keep up with increasing demands from image recognition-based advanced driver assistance technologies, an all-new family of multi-engine processors is needed Improved car safety has been the biggest contributor to a reduction in the number of road deaths in Europe over the past decade, according to Euro NCAP – the European New Car Assessment Program. Increasing use of various autonomous systems with visualrecognition capabilities is expected to help further increase road safety in the coming years. Euro NCAP has been establishing numerous test protocols for various autonomous safety systems for some time now. Forward collision warning (FCW) and autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems have been included in the overall Euro NCAP safety rating for the first time in 2014. The program will add traffic sign recognition (TSR) and AEB with daytime pedestrian detection (PD) in 2016. AEB with both daytime and night-time PD will be added by 2018. More advanced features include 3D object detection, as well as driver monitoring to check for visual signs of tiredness and authenticate the driver’s identity. Systems that can see hazards and warn drivers of upcoming obstacles are heavily reliant upon high-performance image recognition processing technologies. Image recognition is extensively software-based. In an automotive ADAS application, however, the power dissipated by a highperformance CPU or DSP running at high-megahertz frequencies would present unacceptable thermal challenges. The effects of a high-performance software-based approach are unacceptable, and contribute to the demand for costeffective, low-power solutions. Performing complex or frequently used processing functions (such as transforms, filters, histograms and pyramid matching) in dedicated

Multi-engine processors are required to meet the new and high demands of image recognition-based advanced driver systems

hardware, rather than software, can accelerate algorithm execution to assist real-time performance, and can also maximize energy-efficient operation. However, a suitable processor must also be able to run multiple driver-assistance applications simultaneously. For cars that need to ‘see’, a multiengine processor with an array of multichannel dedicated hardware accelerators is the ideal platform. As the total number of driverassistance systems requiring image recognition has increased, Toshiba has evolved its automotive imagerecognition processor family with its latest processor family – the fourth-generation TMPV760, which features up to eight media-processing engines (MPE) units, eight camera inputs and multiple hardware accelerators. These include pixel calculation and filtering, an enhanced

affine transform for distortion reduction and image sizing, and accelerators for histogram manipulation and matching. Toshiba’s co-occurrence histograms of oriented gradients (CoHOG), enhanced CoHOG and structure from motion (SfM) functions are also implemented in the fourth-generation processor, which delivers performance levels up to 10 times those of the previousgeneration quad-MPE device. Toshiba has also developed an enhanced CoHOG accelerator, which provides extremely high pedestrian-recognition accuracy – even when utilized at night – by analyzing color-based gradients of images from multiple, full-highdefinition cameras. The SfM accelerator enables support for driver assistance that can accurately identify unknown

obstacles that are not included in the image library, such as guardrails, curbs or small objects on the road surface. Unknown obstacle detection differs from conventional pattern recognition by using 3D reconstruction technology, taking advantage of the SfM accelerator to analyze images at high speed. The image-recognition processors have been developed using Toshiba’s ISO 26262 process flow. As a component designed for use in safety-related vehicle systems, it is designed to achieve the necessary Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL), ensuring the highest level of robustness against safety risks. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Toshiba, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


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Fuel cell power box A new device that combines the functionalities of high-power DC conversion and turbo compressor motor control is set to lower the cost and complexity of mobile fuel cell systems Brusa Elektronik, a Swiss supplier of automotive power electronics and electric propulsion systems, has enjoyed a long history developing and producing the technology required within mobile fuel cell systems (FCS) for use as range-extender power supplies. Currently, the company is developing an innovation that is set to take high-power conversion for fuel cell applications to a new level: the fuel cell power box (FCPB). According to Brusa, the FCPB will be tailored to the requirements of a competitive mobile FCS. To understand how the FCPB works, it is important to understand the different systems underpinning this innovation. One crucial technology is the DC-to-DC power converter, which converts direct current from one – potentially fluctuating – voltage level to another, to provide a stabilized output. Within a FCS, the DC converter safely connects the fuel cell or battery to the DC link. Brusa has worked closely with several car and bus manufacturers to deliver DC converter solutions for virtually all possible FCS architectures. Of Brusa’s entire converter portfolio, the BDC546 is probably the best-known product. This automotive-grade device is used in fuel cell bus fleet services all over Europe. With the industry on the brink of mass-marketing fuel cell electric vehicles, along with the constant aim of reducing the size and cost of components being realized, Brusa is currently developing the latest generation of its DC converters, the GIC246. This compact converter, suitable for FCS operating at up to 750V, is also the first converter to feature an AC-bridge between both DC sides, thus applying the principle of galvanic insulation for

A schematic of Brusa’s fuel cell power box, a product the company will implement for high-power conversion in fuel cell applications

The Brusa fuel cell power box concept

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maximum safety. Also, the fuel cell and traction sides are separated at all times. Brusa has also gained highly comprehensive experience in the development of its four-quadrant power inverters (controllers) for electric traction motors. Recently, this expertise was adapted while creating controllers for high-speed motors that propel the turbocompressors and supply air for the chemical reaction within the fuel cell. The performance of these controllers has a crucial impact on the efficiency of the FCS. The latest evolution is the DMC714, which masters sensorless motor control at rotational speeds of 180,000rpm and more, and features a full set of proven Brusa Elektronik technologies, such as the SoftSwing topology, which ensures minimal switching losses and optimal EMC features, liquidpin cooling technology and automotive-compliant molded semiconductor modules.

With the GIC246 converter and DMC714 controller being made available in early 2015, Brusa plans to present the FCPB shortly after. The FCPB will integrate both functionalities of DC conversion and turbo-compressor motor control within one device. There is obvious potential for synergy because the number of internal components, interfaces and required build space can be significantly reduced, simplifying the integration work undertaken by the vehicle system architect and ultimately reducing the cost of the entire FCS. Three decades after the company was founded, and representing the logical continuation of Brusa’s tradition of innovation, the FCPB marks an important milestone on the path to the affordable massmarket fuel cell electric vehicle. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Brusa Elektronik, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev



Performance Li-ion cells Used in the Formula E championship, lithium-ion power cells have potential applications beyond racing, and could be implemented in a wide range of industries In late 2013, the Dow Kokam joint venture came to an end, but in its wake Xalt Energy emerged – a new company with a new leadership team and a stronger focus on product and growing partner relationships. With a proven product, a world-class USA-based lithium-ion manufacturing facility providing over 700MWh capacity, and innovative, experienced engineers, the company had a great starting point. One of Xalt Energy’s most recent partnerships is with Williams Advanced Engineering – the engineering services and technology business of the Williams Group – and is focused on the development of lithium-ion batteries for the new Formula E races. Xalt Energy and Williams Advanced Engineering have worked closely together since June 2013, when Williams was awarded the contract to produce the batteries that power all 40 cars competing in Formula E, the world’s first fully electric racing series. Xalt Energy supplies the lithium-ion cells for each battery and the company’s experts have been integrated into the Williams team to ensure that the batteries meet stringent performance, reliability and safety criteria. This new partnership will also see the two companies collaborate on future projects involving lithium-ion battery technology for a range of applications beyond motorsport. The key to the success of the Xalt cells is evident as soon as you walk into the manufacturing facility. Precise and flexible cell manufacturing processes are managed with a fanatical zeal, which leads to one of the highest quality, most consistent and best performing cells in the world. From mixing to the final formation, the entire process is automated and

Xalt Energy NMC lithium-ion cells

The Xalt Energy manufacturing plant in Midland, Michigan

done almost entirely in clean room environments where temperature, humidity and air particles are closely managed. The high level of manufacturing automation drove the need to install advanced vision systems, multiple coating thickness and dimensional verification, to ensure that the cells meet Xalt’s high quality standards. This, in addition to extensive raw material acceptance testing and full product traceability, ongoing continuous improvement practices and lean manufacturing, have enabled Xalt to develop a one of a kind, large format lithium-ion cell. And due to the high level of automation used in the facility, the

A Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) pack with Xalt cells

cells can be cost competitive with any other lithium-ion cell in the world. The Xalt Energy product portfolio includes multiple-size cell capacities from as small as 8Ah, with the majority of the company’s products ranging from 25Ah up to 75Ah. Additionally, all the cells can be made in high-energy (180Wh/kg and 8C power pulse), high-power (160Wh/kg and 12C power pulse) or ultra-high-power (110Wh/kg and 40C power pulse) variations – all using NMC/graphite chemistry. In applications, Xalt Energy cells demonstrate their value with the ability to achieve high cycle life (>4,500 cycles at 1C/1C rates).

This translates into value that customers are seeing in a wide variety of applications, including multi-megawatt hour systems for powering marine propulsion systems, hybrid and electric bus and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, grid and stationary systems used for renewable integration, and, of course, in high-performance automotive applications such as the Williams Formula E packs. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Xalt Energy, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


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Lithium-sulfur batteries An alternative to more common battery chemistries, lithium-sulfur has the potential for use in electric vehicle applications, reducing range anxiety and improving safety Much has been written about lithium-sulfur (Li-S) in the last couple of years, but it can be useful to go back to basics and explain this new battery technology. At its heart, an Li-S pouch cell comprises various layers of materials, including a lithium metal anode, a sulfur-based cathode that includes carbon and a polymer binder, and an electrolyte that renders the cell safe. This chemistry has several important advantages over existing technologies such as lithium-ion (Li-ion), including addressing the two largest challenges to the mass adoption of electric vehicles: range anxiety and safety. Systems using metallic lithium are known to offer the highest specific energy and, coupled with sulfur, offer an extremely high theoretical specific energy – five times that of Li-ion. Readings in excess of 300Wh/kg have already been demonstrated within commercialsize pouch cells. So for the same energy stored, the battery will be considerably lighter than Li-ion (or indeed any battery chemistry available). This means more batteries of higher energy density can be added to a vehicle, increasing the distance it can travel. With the improvements being made to Li-S over time, vehicle journeys of 600-800km should be possible on one charge. Safety and reliability are both guaranteed by the specific choice of Li-S chemistry. Inherent in the technology are two key mechanisms that protect the cells – a ceramic lithium sulfide passivation layer and a high-flashpoint electrolyte. This means that the cell can survive a barrage of electrical and physical abuse, including puncture, without any adverse reaction. Safety is seen to be the major problem with Li-ion

Li-S cells are much lighter than competing technologies

The Navya autonomous vehicle is powered by advanced lithium-sulfur cells

battery technology – one only has to look at any of a number of high-profile incidents in the last couple of years. Li-S has a complete 100% depth of discharge, and remains safe during over-discharge compared with other technologies, which are susceptible to damage. Li-S cells also have an indefinite shelf life, with no charging

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required when left for extended periods to prevent damage. The chemistry is considered to have less environmental impact than other technologies such as Li-ion. The Li-S cell uses sulfur in place of heavy metals such as nickel and cobalt, which have a substantial environmental impact – whereas the sulfur used in Li-S

cell manufacture is a recycled by-product of the oil industry. As a new technology develops, it often splits into more than one product. This is indeed the case with Li-S, with choices in cell materials proving an important factor in a cell’s performance – to the extent that products are entering the market designed for particular applications. In some applications, such as batteries carried by individuals, weight is the absolute priority. EVs, on the other hand, must balance weight reduction with ensuring sufficient power and cycle life – therefore cells with these particular characteristics are also being designed and introduced for this market. Using these various cell formats, a range of Li-S batteries are now being developed and are expected to be in production by the middle of 2015. This includes a battery for the Navya autonomous vehicle, which is the world’s first electric vehicle powered by Li-S. Looking further ahead, Innovate UK (previously known as the UK’s Technology Strategy Board) is funding a program with Oxis Energy, Lotus Engineering, Imperial College and Cranfield University to develop an enhanced Li-S vehicle battery and energy system controller. This Revolutionary Electric Vehicle Battery (REVB) project began in November 2013, runs until late 2016, and will provide breakthrough improvements in energy density (400Wh/kg), which will result in a major increase in the performance and safety of the next-generation electric vehicle. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Oxis Energy, visit www.ukipme.com/info/ev



Advanced inverter cooling Improving cooling technology within the traction inverters of electric vehicles can increase component reliability and lifespan, while reducing the cost of materials The traction inverter of an electric vehicle is the second most expensive component after the battery pack. Within this inverter, the semiconductor power modules account for up to 30% of the total cost of the unit. More efficient cooling at the semiconductor die level could help significantly reduce inverter cost and complexity, allowing for more affordable EVs. The cooling of power electronics is critical for reliability. Sustained operation at high temperatures reduces the overall lifetime of semiconductor devices, while exceeding the maximum die temperature specified by the manufacturer can quickly destroy the device. In a typical inverter module, the main power switches are Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) dies attached directly to a Direct Bonded Copper (DBC) substrate with soldered or sintered-metal connections to the bottom terminals. Connections to the topside terminals are made using wirebonds. The DBC substrate is attached to a thermal baseplate, which acts as a heat sink and may

also incorporate direct liquid cooling (DLC). Only the bottom connections are used to conduct heat from the die into the heat sink or coolant. The wirebond connections to the top side have no significant role in removing heat from the die. This single-sided cooling is inadequate to allow the device’s switching capabilities to be fully utilized. In order to carry the maximum inverter current, designers connect multiple devices in parallel, which increases the overall cost of the inverter. To improve heat transfer, and so help reduce inverter cost while also boosting reliability, International Rectifier has developed an innovative packaging concept that enables heat to be removed through both sides of the semiconductor die. The basic building block of this package is IR’s COOLiR2Die surface-mount power switch, which comprises an IGBT die and a matching diode mounted on a thermally efficient ceramic substrate. The COOLiR2Die switches are produced in die-up and flipped-die configurations. In the die-up

Figure 2: The COOLiR 2Die switches in a half-bridge module

Figure 1: The flipped-die and die-up switches simplify inter-device connections

configuration, the IGBT emitter, labeled E in Figure 1, and the diode anode, labeled A, are attached to the substrate. In the flipped-die, the IGBT collector (C) and the diode cathode (K) are attached to the substrate. This helps to simplify assembly when interconnecting devices in a half-bridge, H-bridge or custom power circuit. A half-bridge module is assembled as outlined in Figure 2, using flipped-die and die-up devices. The exposed pads of the COOLiR2Die are attached directly to the DBC substrate of the module using solder or sintered metal. A heat sink can be attached to the topside of the COOLiR2Die to maximize cooling efficiency. By allowing both topside and bottom-side cooling, COOLiR2Die significantly reduces thermal resistance from the die to coolant (RTHj-coolant) compared with a conventional module containing wirebond connections. Depending on the type and thickness of the substrate, junction-to-case thermal resistances of approximately 0.0024m k/W are easily achievable for both the bottom and the topside of the package. Further improvement is possible by using thinner

substrates, or substrates with higher thermal conductivity. Lowering the overall thermal resistance from junction to coolant allows for better utilization of the semiconductor die area. This reduces the total die area needed to achieve a given current rating, resulting in lower materials costs. In addition, the improved heat transfer increases reliability and lifetime of the power module. The dual-side cooled module also benefits from increased power-cycling ability. Alternatively, the same die area can support up to 61% higher RMS current rating, allowing for increased power-handling capability without increasing cost. COOLiR2Die switches have been produced with a voltage rating of 680V and current rating of 300A in a 29 x 13 x 1mm assembly. In addition, increased heat transfer ability enables the use of higher PWM switching frequencies, meaning smaller and lower-cost passive components can be used to complete the inverter design. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about International Rectifier, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


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Automotive EV cables Electric motorcycles have become the latest vehicle type to enjoy the benefits of shielded, reliable and highly resistant automotive power cables

Lito Green Motion electric motorcycles utilize high-performance Radox automotive cables (right) to connect the battery and motor systems in their advanced drivetrains

Automotive cables from Huber+Suhner are already used in a variety of vehicles, including cars, trucks, electric bicycles and electric boats. And now they are also being increasingly implemented in electric motorcycles. Brammo, Lito Green Motion and other manufacturers rely on Radox automotive cables for the drive systems of their electric motorcycles. The Brammo Empulse motorcycle reaches a top speed of 177km/h (110mph) and has a range of 90-200km (56-124 miles). The Brammo racing team uses this model to successfully compete in events. Apart from high-speed riding, the motorcycle is also suitable for calm and relaxing journeys. Lito Green Motion’s Sora motorcycle has the same range and reaches a top speed of 190km/h. It has an electrically controlled seat that can be adjusted while riding, converting

the vehicle from a low rider to a racing machine. As a result, the Sora is suitable for use during both relaxed cruising and high-speed journeys. Both models share common features, including zero emissions and little noise due to the electric motor. Cables from Huber+Suhner are used within the drive system to transmit power between the battery and the electric motor. The Radox insulations used in the cables offer excellent resistance to thermal, chemical, electrical and mechanical loads. At the same time, the cables have excellent mechanical (pinch, abrasion, bending radius) and electrical properties. They can also be installed in the chassis in a spacesaving way. It was these cable characteristics, coupled with Huber+Suhner’s previous successes in the electric vehicle market, that led to the company

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being selected as the supplier for these motorcycles. In addition to Brammo and Lito Green Motion, Huber+Suhner is collaborating with other electric motorcycle manufacturers. Both Brammo and Lito Green Motion are also planning to ramp up production of their vehicles, and have requested additional cables. As a result, more electric motorcycles with cables from Huber+Suhner will soon be hitting the roads. To meet the requirements of its customers in the automotive market, Huber+Suhner has recently expanded its product range of shielded Radox power and battery cables. In compliance with ISO 6722, the company now offers intermediate cross-sections of 8, 12, 20, 30, 40 and 60mm2 – in addition to the standard sizes. Shielded Radox power cables from Huber+Suhner are ideal for highvoltage applications in hybrid and

electric vehicles where particularly high currents are used. The cable shielding prevents interference with the sensors and electronics in the vehicle space. The entire product family is also available in unshielded versions. Following this product range expansion, Huber+Suhner is one of the first manufacturers to offer cross-sections across the entire range – from 1.5mm2 up to 150mm2. Previously, customers had to opt for thicker cables with larger cross-sections if the appropriate intermediate crosssection was not available. The company now offers a suitable cross-section for every application. This offers auto makers crucial space, weight and cost savings. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Huber+Suhner, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev



Multi-physics simulation High-fidelity, multi-physics engineering simulations are advancing the design and development of key hybrid components and systems The changing engineering simulation requirements brought about by electric and hybrid powertrain designs, as opposed to conventional IC engines, have provided a growth opportunity for simulation companies. One of the first to respond to such changing needs was CD-adapco, an early leader in engineering simulation methods. The company launched an ambitious extension of its computational fluid dynamicscentric tool, STAR-CCM+, to add multi-physics capability necessary for the modeling of certain hybrid system components. First to be added was an electrochemistry analysis device that enabled design engineers to understand the effect temperature can have on installed battery pack performance, as well as the effect an electrical load can have on the temperature of cells within such packs. This coupled approach has led to a flow, thermal and electrochemistry solver being developed, with notable projects along the way, including those with the Department of Energy (DoE) in the USA and a consortium of German car manufacturers. An example of the possible results was recently published at a DoE event, which showed a simulation of a Johnson Controls 12-cell model during a PHEV drive cycle. The simulation predicts temperature fields as well as battery-specific values such as cell voltage and pack state-of-charge. More recently, this technology has been used in with other simulation tools to highlight how critical cell properties can be managed by differing control strategies within an overall vehicle or powertrain. Another key component that benefits from multi-physics simulation is the traction motor.

A detailed cross-section showing temperature levels through a JCI 12-cell module during a PHEV drive cycle discharge

Here the electromagnetic system, which produces the motion, also produces heat that needs to be dealt with by the cooling system. Conversely, the temperature of the components within the electromagnetic system will affect the efficiency of the overall system. This highlights the need for easy exchange of data to converge on the correct answer for a given set of operating conditions. CD-adapco has enabled its flow and thermal simulation tool to accept electromagnetic losses for all major codes, thereby enabling such convergence. Moreover, STAR-CCM+ now has its own electromagnetic solver, which can

be used alongside the flow and thermal solver to simulate the entire electric machine in a single simulation tool. Finally, CD-adapco can read data from its own upfront electric machine design tool, automatically setting up a case and running the solution. A complete multi-physics view of the electric and hybrid powertrain system also involves investigating the cooling performance of the power electronics and control electronics. STAR-CCM+ is used to simulate in detail the heat sources (which can exceed 5kW in the IGBTs), thermal management components and even the printed circuit board with traces, giving

accurate temperature predictions throughout the full drive cycle. Multiple cooling approaches can be simulated, including air cooling, liquid cooling and even spray cooling. This ultimately enables the component and system designers to explore the design options and make well-informed choices. Having achieved such simulation fidelity, CD-adapco shows no sign of slowing down with customerfocused developments in the field of electric and hybrid engineering. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about CD-adapco, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


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Sensor self-diagnostics As the complexity of electronics in vehicles continues to increase, the ability to have sensors perform self-testing can provide a vital early warning system In today’s highly innovative and technological world, cars have been designed with features from high-tech navigational systems to mood lighting. You can easily find your location and even park effortlessly using park-assist. But what happens if you break down on the way? With so many of a vehicle’s operations being driven by electronics, manufacturers are required to adhere to more and more safety standards (ASIL and ISO 26262, for example). Meeting these criteria requires increased failure mode analysis and documentation during the design process, and the implementation of additional fault detection circuits on all safety-critical designs. The goal of this added complexity is to diagnose a given problem before it significantly affects the driver. Let’s consider the main vehicle systems of a car. Whether it’s an internal combustion engine or a hybrid powertrain, there are electronic sensors continually monitoring the system during vehicle operation. If a failure occurs and operation is affected, a sensor

reports the problem to a control unit, and mitigating action is taken. This action may be to modify the engine control for non-optimal, but sufficient operation, or just to activate an indicator light. In more extreme cases, the operator may need to seek roadside assistance. This is the calamitous ending that has driven the high-tech world of sensors to the conclusion that the industry may not be doing enough. Vehicle failures such as the one mentioned above could be attributed to a malfunction of the system. But there’s also a chance that it could have been caused by a malfunction at the component level. One common sensing technology is the magnetic sensor – these can now be equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostics to address these safety concerns. Such sensors operate on magnetic fields contiguous to the sensing elements. A change in the system, such as the distance between the applied field and the sensor, can be detected and a warning signal sent to indicate that the system has changed (as shown in Figure 1) or been damaged (Figure 2). Figure 1: A magnetic gear tooth sensor’s magnetic profile has an amplitude deviation due to signal wobble on a target

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Figure 2: A differential gear tooth sensor detects magnetic signal disturbance (a bent tooth, for example) and feeds the information back to the interface system. The interface system can then determine the appropriate action needed

Figure 3: An on-chip coil excites the magnetic signal path and then provides a code on the output pin indicating whether the chip operation has either passed or failed

Figure 3 illustrates the case where the sensor is failing, and an onboard coil (such as Allegro MicroSystems’ A1160 sensor IC) acts as the magnetic input to the sensor, narrowing the failure down to the component level. Fault detection allows time for the operator to schedule an appointment at the dealer before getting stranded. These state-of-the-art integrated circuits have built-in self-test capabilities, which allow a sensor to monitor its own function and indicate whether it is operating as expected. This check can be done at every power-on event, continually

during sensor operation, or when pinged by the control module. Controller-initiated communication can be periodic or prompted by a fault code generated by the system. The implementation of electronic systems means imperceptible failures. Implementation of diagnostics is neither simple nor free, but the benefits outweigh the cost and complexity. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Allegro MicroSystems, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev



Optimized electric drives Detailed testing, measurement and analysis are fundamental in the optimization of electric drivetrains, in turn increasing efficiency in truck and bus applications In a market that is traditionally dominated by large, inefficient direct drive motors coupled to industrial gearboxes or expensive dual electric motor systems, Kinetics’ NexDrive solutions offer a superior technical alternative. NexDrive electric drives operate in a variety of truck and bus applications, demonstrating the benefits of a light, reliable and highperformance solution. Kinetics’ flagship technology, the NexDrive EV3-850, is a 3-speed, dry dualclutch transmission designed and developed specifically for electric bus applications. To enable its customers to quickly and cost effectively bring solutions to the market place, Kinetics has been collaborating with leading motor suppliers to provide complete, fully integrated and optimized drive systems. Kinetics’ engineering team has developed extensive experience in combining a variety of engines and motors with its ultra-efficient transmission solutions. The major goals for all integration projects include maximizing combined drive system efficiency to decrease energy consumption, and extending engine and motor life. Reducing the real-world kWh/km electrical consumption decreases the required battery size, reducing cost and vehicle mass. To optimize the EV3-850 integrated drivetrain, Kinetics first identifies windage and gear mesh losses for each transmission ratio. Testing is carried out at Kinetics’ facility, using VFD motor dynamometers and high-accuracy torque sensors to test and verify efficiency, performance and reliability. Test results are combined with manufacturers’ measured motor efficiency to generate an efficiency map for each gear, based

The 3-speed, dry dual-clutch NexDrive EV3-850 transmission undergoing efficiency testing at Kinetics Drive Solution’s facility

on speed and load. Using efficiency map analysis, Kinetics engineers calibrate the Transmission Control Module’s (TCM) shift selection algorithm. The TCM continuously optimizes gear selection during normal driving, on acceleration or deceleration and during regenerative braking. The TCM also manages communications between the motor controller and the vehicle control system. To further increase efficiency, the algorithm is optimized to avoid disrupting dynamic vehicle braking and to increase energy capture during a brake event. Algorithm optimization results in greater overall efficiency in a much lighter package when compared to traditional direct drive solutions.

Although Kinetics performs a significant amount of integration and optimization in-house at its testing facility, the company also works closely with customers. Working at customer sites enables manufacturers to more easily and effectively integrate drive solutions into their platforms. Kinetics works with vehicle manufacturers and integrators to fully configure the vehicle controls (VCU) and battery management system (BMS) to operate seamlessly. The integration and calibration of powertrain control algorithms – such as drivetrain lash, shift control and regenerative braking – is coordinated between the VCU, TCM, BMS and motor controller. This is critical work, as the TCM on the EV3-850 manages

the driveline based on driving conditions, driver demand, load and speed. Finally, to empower customers and technicians, Kinetics provides a fully capable diagnostic toolset for the purpose of integration, commissioning and in-field troubleshooting. Kinetics is currently working with a Chinese manufacturer to offer its reliable and efficient drive solutions to China’s transit bus market, which is striving to reduce transportation emissions for better air quality and a healthier environment. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Kinetics Drive Solutions, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


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Sensor bearing technology Innovations in bearing and sensing technologies are helping to drive the development and widespread adoption of electric vehicles The adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles continues to be fast and widespread. EVs and HEVs could account for more than 10% of global car purchases within the next five years, according to industry analysts Frost & Sullivan. Today’s EV market is highly competitive, with the technology having considerable impact on traditional transportation systems and demand for performance and reliability driving innovation. At the forefront are those transportation companies that have worked on early-stage R&D with specialist technology providers. The Bolloré Group, for example, is using advanced engineering solutions from SKF to develop its line of EVs, including the popular Bluecar and, more recently, buses. The cars in particular have been a success, thanks largely to their performance and inventive methods of adoption. The success of EV car-sharing program Autolib in Paris has provoked interest in similar projects for major cities around the globe. The e-powertrain is a key focus for innovation in components and assemblies. Complex, compact, highly efficient and precise solutions are pushing the boundaries of performance and reliability. This is enabling the weight, size and frictional losses within components, such as bearings, to be reduced,

Paris’s Autolib EV-sharing program

Cutaway of SKF’s eDrive Ball Bearing

The SKF Rotor Positioning Sensor Bearing Unit has embedded sensor technology

while simultaneously improving their ability to perform reliably at rotational speeds in excess of 12,000rpm, and at extreme temperatures. A new generation of components is emerging with built-in sensors and onboard intelligence, which interface with increasingly sophisticated vehicle management systems. As examples, the SKF Rotor Positioning Sensor Bearing Unit and SKF Motor Encoder Sensor Bearing Unit are designed for use respectively with permanent magnet or induction traction motors in EVs and HEVs to determine accurate rotor angular position (with two sine wave output for precise sinusoidal and vector control) or real-time electric motor speed, direction and incremental position (by means of precise encoder pulses). The complete unit is compact and lightweight, with an accurate and repeatable sensor incorporated into the bearing envelope – making

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its performance independent of customer assembly process and tolerances. This device gives a zerospeed true power for absolute rotor position angle, with accuracy below 1° and repeatability below 0.1°, thanks to extremely accurate management of the sensor bearing unit air gap, enabling a reduction in electric motor torque ripple and noise. The bearing unit can withstand continuous temperatures up to 150°C, unaffected by severe magnetic field disturbances and high levels of vibration. With its exceptional levels of signal accuracy and repeatability, SKF sensor bearing technology contributes to improved e-powertrain efficiency, providing greater system control and increased battery life. A specific design methodology, based on the Six Sigma approach, is able to precisely predict and customize sensor performance according to the electric motor application

requirements, correlating the harmonics with the sensor bearing design parameters. Sensor technology is enhanced still further by the adoption of hybrid bearings, which use rings made from advanced bearing steels, with rolling elements engineered from bearing grade silicon nitride. This construction can substantially improve reliability in EVs, especially where bearings are exposed to potentially damaging abrasive particles, inadequate lubrication, vibration or stray electric currents. Hybrid bearings prevent the passage of electric current, can run at high speeds, extend bearing and grease service life and maintenance intervals, and resist false brinelling. EV manufacturers must partner with experienced suppliers in the early stages of projects to ensure the potential of new component solutions is commercialized as efficiently as possible. The expertise of companies such as SKF can deliver the advantage required to capitalize on the projected growth in this rapidly emerging sector. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about SKF, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev



Simulating thermal design Powertrain cooling simulations can provide engineers with vital data and insight, enabling optimization of electric and hybrid system components Hybrid vehicles pose additional challenges to engineers – particularly when it comes to fluid systems such as the ambient airside flow, cooling, lubrication, air-conditioning, exhaust and fuel systems. New thermal loads on the system mean new thermal management tactics have to be used. Components unique to electric and hybrid systems represent additional heat loads that need to be accounted for when examining the overall thermal behavior of a given system. Rich Hoyle, principal engineer at Aligned CAE – a company which specializes in 1D fluid-flow CFD design and consulting – uses the Mentor Graphics Flowmaster 1D system simulator software to analyze electric and hybrid vehicle thermal management systems. Major components, such as the electric compressor, battery blower, electric water pumps, coolant valves, heaters, and refrigerant shut-off valves, are all controlled by an algorithm in the vehicle. Vehicle designers have a lot of control, and a lot of different variables to play with, which is important when trying to balance energy consumption. Flowmaster can be used to run a powertrain cooling simulation, enabling the optimization of the cost and mass of each component and ensuring correct sizing of elements such as the radiator, cooling fan and pump, as well as ensuring optimum thermostat settings. Because all these controls are available for individual components in hybrid and electric vehicles, algorithm development is increasingly important. Energy consumption is a critical consideration when developing control algorithms. Passenger comfort is another area of concern.

Flowmaster enables network simulation and analysis that can play a vital role in answering design questions, assisting in the optimization of system components for electric and hybrid powertrains

Flowmaster can be used to simulate how the additional cooling requirements for the batteries affect passenger comfort. A network can be simulated with Flowmaster by introducing controller logic into a network. Controllers allow an engineer to alter a specified data field of a component. This can be done using a simple data table, master controllers that declare global variables, gauges that draw results from other points in the network, an output transform that takes the input of the controller and passes it through a 2D or 3D transform before outputting a value, or a customized script that can do a combination of any of these methods. Flowmaster can translate script from C#, VB.NET and Java. Simulating and analyzing with Flowmaster helps to answer other crucial design questions. For example, when the system is at idle, should fan or compressor RPM be increased in order to maintain cooling performance? Will the system have enough heat to satisfy federal de-ice requirements? Under what conditions is humidity management needed? How much energy is consumed by the thermal management system during a typical drive cycle? Simulation provides the ability to gain answers and insight, enabling engineers to come up with the best design decisions for modern hybrid

and electric vehicles. Flowmaster has the ability to meet additional demands in both cooling and airconditioning systems – whether by implementing additional components to account for additional thermal loads, modeling and analyzing interactions between networks, incorporating more

robust controller logic, or even by using co-simulation to create a larger picture of the system’s overall behavior. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Mentor Graphics, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 183


Modular energy storage Collaboration was fundamental to a project tasked with developing an energystorage system based on lithium-ion cells, for potential use in hybrid drive systems

Figure 3: An advanced battery management system with a highvoltage connection for a battery bank

MTU Friedrichshafen

Potential use in a diesel-hybrid rail system

MTU Friedrichshafen

Hybrid drives offer great potential for reducing fuel consumption and emissions in offhighway applications thanks to the recovery and storage of kinetic or potential energy. One of the key components in this is the energystorage system (ESS), which stores the resulting energy for use when it is actually needed. In the LiANA+ project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and in accordance with a decision by the German Federal Parliament, project partners MTU Friedrichshafen, Akasol and Sensor-Technik Wiedemann (STW) joined forces with the University of Rostock and the ZSW research center in the city of Ulm to develop an ESS based on lithium-ion cells. In total, Akasol tested nine different cells for prototype development, before attention was focused on a 46Ah cell, as simulations indicated the prospect of a promising solution. The modular Akasol solution is optimized to offer the best cooling properties and high continuous power with long life. Each module includes 12 lithium-ion cells and ensures their thermal and electrical connection. Fifteen modules are

Figure 2: The cell supervision circuit from one storage module

grouped together as a battery pack, creating the nominal voltage of 666V. The LiANA+ project then connected three of these packs in parallel (Figure 1) to produce a total energy content of about 92kWh and a peak output of 552kW. Lithium-ion harbors an intrinsic hazard potential that needs to be managed by a combination of design and electronic measures. The electronic measures are a key element of the battery management system (BMS). Their implementation is subject to the applicable rules and regulations for functionally safe systems, which are defined in IEC 61508 and other applicationspecific standards. The risk assessment produced in the LiANA+ asked for safety

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functions to be implemented in levels up to SIL 2, and defined the shutdown of a battery pack as a safe state. The BMS from STW realizes these functions and the company is able to provide verification in accordance with the applicable standards. Each of the modules installed in the battery includes a cell supervision circuit (Figure 2). Each pack is assigned two contactors, which enable two-pole switching of the respective battery pack. These are supplemented by a highly accurate, shunt-based current measurement and insulation monitoring, as well as a pre-charging unit that enables controlled charging of circuit capacitance. In the case of parallel operation, one BMS (as shown in Figure 3) is assigned a master function. This BMS assumes the coordination role and makes the ESS appear to be an individual battery with correspondingly higher capability. Testing and validation of the functions of the ESS in interaction

➀ Thermal insulation ➁ Module ➂ Hydraulic

➃ Power connectors ➄ Battery management incl. main contactors

Figure 1: The energy storage system devised for the LiANA+ project

with the other hybrid drive parts and components were performed on a hybrid test bench at MTU. The tests confirmed the functions of the system and were followed by an endurance run to gain long-term experience with lithium-ion energy storage systems of this size. In investigating the potential fuel saving for a diesel-hybrid rail vehicle, implementing the system, compared with conventional railcars, an optimum operating strategy was calculated at the University of Rostock. The result of the simulation was a fuel saving of 18.1% compared with the conventional diesel vehicle. It also displays a maximum charge stroke of 4%. Life simulations give reason to expect that about 125,000 of these load cycles are possible – so an operating time of more than 10 years can be expected. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Sensor-Technik Wiedemann, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev



Advanced power analysis Standardized power analysis in the EV industry has limitations. But a new approach to power measurement makes it possible to increase the quantity and quality of data captured Power analysis in electric and hybrid cars has developed in keeping with certain standardized processes. Knowing the limitations of traditional power analyzers (which were developed for white goods products, such as washing machines), electrical motor and inverter manufacturers adapted to these defined limits – low channel counts, voltage and current signals only, a lack of raw data for analysis or verification, and full static measurements. These limits no longer apply, thanks to Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik’s eDrive. This fundamentally new approach merges a scalable data acquisition system with the real-time calculation capabilities of a power analyzer. The HBM eDrive system can stream raw data with a high sample rate to hard disk. Doing so (and, in the process, potentially creating large quantities of data) is the only way to verify power calculations. The backbone of the eDrive testing system is the GEN DAQ high-end data acquisition system, a modular card, scalable device achieving the highest streaming rates – up to 350MBps – continuously to hard disk. With HBM’s T12 torque transducer, this system is the foundation of a new class of power analyzers, designed for use in variable frequency, inverter-driven electrical motors. Beyond the storage capabilities, the scalability of the modular board system allows for a nearly unlimited channel count to be acquired simultaneously – in more complex setups (such as those involving 5-, 6- or 12-phase motors, or a complete four-wheel-drive test with multiple inverters, motors and torque transducers) the user can simply add more boards to get to the channel count that is required. As these varying tests become increasingly complex (beyond the

The eDrive delivers live calculations

The eDrive allows users to analyze data in order to better understand the results Space vector or dq0 transformations of raw data enables deeper insights into inverter and motor matching

initial electrical parameters), the limitation on voltage and current channels is also removed. With more than 20 different input boards for the DAQ portion, it is simple for users to collect data on winding temperatures, motor vibration, strain or any other mechanical signal as well. And this can be done while still maintaining simultaneous sampling, and with the base voltage and current boards allowing ±1,000V signals to be connected directly. Analysis is also key. While power analyzers might provide data on

system efficiency, they can’t help users understand where this figure comes from, or how to improve it. Based on the stored raw data, and a powerful formula database, the eDrive system enables users to analyze the data and understand it. It’s possible to test the control algorithms of an inverter, and integrate the current to study the magnetic flux or air gap torque. Due to the presence of the raw data, the sky is the limit in terms of the insights that can be gained when users study their motors and inverters.

HBM´s eDrive offers far higher functionality than a power analyzer

The HBM’s eDrive solution does all of the above, on top of what a power analyzer does. But, of course, it starts with the basics. So from the inverter voltages and currents, to the motor’s torque and speed, all relevant power entities are computed and displayed in real time. True power, apparent power, efficiency, power factor, fundamental power, THD and so on. As lots of these tests are automated, the eDrive package offers various hardware and software interfaces for seamless integration into automated test stand environments. HBM’s eDrive package does the job of a power analyzer, but also enables the user to do much more – at a price comparable to a plain power analyzer. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 185


High rate discharge testing An optimal cold crank testing platform has been developed to safely assess the reliability of powerful shallow cell batteries for vehicles that operate in harsh weather conditions Powerful shallow cell batteries are the heart of a global transportation industry, and one thing unites them all: these batteries are designed to perform in the harshest of conditions. Cold cranking tests are critical to determining how a battery will behave in worst-case scenarios. A battery that cannot, for example, reliably supply the massive amounts of energy required to start a locomotive diesel engine in the depths of winter is useless to train companies, who lose money every minute a train is delayed. When batteries are poorly tested, trains aren’t just delayed. Aircraft are left stranded and diesel trucks won’t turn over. Knowledge of the maximum discharge characteristics that a battery can provide is essential information for customers who want to choose the correct battery for their applications. A well-designed testing platform for shallow cell batteries is the key to providing customers with confidence in a company’s product. Arbin has developed a new line of products called the High Rate Discharge Tester (HRDT) series to help its customers meet the demand for safe and reliable energy-dense storage solutions by providing an optimal cold crank testing platform. This series of testing equipment provides users with a cost-effective approach to simulating the all-important cold cranking and high drain loading that assesses a battery’s reliability. The HRDT series may also aid users in testing batteries with compliance to US Department of Energy technical guidelines. Using Arbin’s intuitive MITS Pro software, users can define custom discharge profiles and full test schedules such as starter, lights

Arbin Instruments’s HRDT 30V-2, 500A discharge system

and ignition simulations. While other systems may use a water-cooled testing solution that requires auxiliary facilities, the aircooled design of the HRDT allows for compact floor space and does not require a separate cooling system. Each machine is modular and customizable with current ranging up to 3,000A and power rating up to 120kW. The photo shows an example of a 2,500A discharge, 1,000A charge, 30V system. Each channel on the cold crank testing device comes with a variety of auxiliary inputs to offer the user optional features, such as monitoring cell voltages, monitoring temperature, CANbus communication and more. The HRDT products also contain multiple layers of fusing and safety parameters to protect the device under test and hardware, such as Arbin’s signature voltage clamp circuitry, which helps to prevent dangerous overcharging and discharging.

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The HRDT series provides customers with the powerful circuitry needed for high rate discharge testing, without sacrificing the accuracy and precision required to capture meaningful data. The HRDT series is built on Arbin’s experience in providing, for more than 20 years, industry-leading testing equipment

in an industry that constantly demands cutting-edge innovation. Therefore, all of Arbin’s products provide a safe, reliable and powerful testing platform. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Arbin Instruments, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev



Flexible chargers A new series of energy-dense battery chargers will be able to connect to all power grids across the world, thanks to the inclusion of a universal AC input voltage converter

Since 1993, EDN has been designing power converters for a variety of industries, including the likes of military, marine, industrial, electro-medical, broadcasting, telecommunication and automotive. The experience and knowledge gained in designing customized systems in several niche areas has enabled EDN to develop a very effective design process and customer-oriented approach, as well as an aptitude for innovation. The production of battery chargers for heavy-duty and rugged electrical transportation applications, which began in 2004, has evolved to meet customers’ needs, providing increasing levels of value and quality. Today EDN has a wide range of converters and thousands of installed devices in Europe and North America. The company is

able to successfully serve the electric and hybrid vehicle sector thanks to its substantial technical expertise and experience. Based on this capability and range of products, EDN has developed a new series of battery chargers, dubbed EVO, which exceeds customer requirements and expectations. The series was developed to meet the industry’s demands to improve upon price, delivery time, power density, efficiency, reliability, compliance with international standards, communication protocols and performance. EDN wants to see EVO become a new benchmark in the market. A highly innovative conversion technology combined with new advanced engineering processes

The EVO22KL 22kW charger is fully compliant with international standards

has made it possible to double the power density of the EVO series, improving the overall performance of the chargers. The EVO series has been designed for use in off-highway, marine, mining and automotive applications and can withstand harsh environments (vibration, thermal shock and extreme temperature ranges). Many validation tests have been carried out to ensure the chargers’ compliance with environmental and safety standards for all applications, in particular those with an E/E architecture. The EVO series is characterized by 11kW and 22kW power levels and comes available air cooled (EVO11KA) or liquid cooled (EVO11KL and EVO22KL) and with a high degree of environmental protection, such as IP67 and IP6K9K (pressure wash), and with four output voltage ranges from 100VDC to 840VDC with constant power operation. The EVO’s universal AC input means the chargers can be connected to any and all single- and three-phase grids (100, 120, 208, 203, 240, 380, 400, 415, 420VAC) around the

EDN’s EVO11KA air-cooled, 11kW charger is equipped with a universal AC input

world and in complete compliance with international standards such as SAE J1772 and EN 61851. This flexibility allows for connection with every type of main power lines with a single charger. The chargers’ modular design allows for an optimized production process and extremely rapid delivery times, no matter the volume, and at very competitive prices. EDN CEO, Marco Cereda, further explains: “The EVO series’ documentation is now available for customer review and the products are going to be delivered in February 2015. The EVO series has been designed to innovate both the product and production process, producing a high-performance charger that is prepared for volume. EDN is positioned to support the growing industry with advanced and flexible products, experience and unprecedented value.” FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about EDN, visit www.ukipme.com/info/ev


Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 187


Extended battery lifetime Lift-truck batteries with a square tube plate design and an electrolyte with enhanced specific gravity provide more power over longer periods and higher voltages under load The heavy-duty Ironclad range of motive power batteries from EnerSys offers more power, extended running times and longer life than comparable designs, to support intensive lift-truck operations and other demanding materials-handling applications. The range is particularly suited to situations where longer truck run times are needed to minimize the use of spare batteries. Models rated from 276Ah to 1,380Ah are available in standard sizes for small pallet trucks, up to large reach and counterbalance trucks. The batteries were introduced into the European market during 2014 but have been extensively used in the USA, where they have proven to be reliable and rugged performers in tens of thousands of applications, for many years. Based on more than 100 years of extensive manufacturing experience at EnerSys, the Ironclad batteries have a number of features to deliver significant performance advantages over conventional lead-acid designs. The positive electrodes in the battery’s cells incorporate unique square Cladex tube technology that

The Hawker LifeTech battery charger

results in around 18% more surface area than the round tubes or flat plates used in conventional leadacid batteries. This maximizes the contact area between the electrodes’ active material and the electrolyte, which enables higher sustained voltages throughout the discharge cycle. The batteries are also used with an electrolyte with a higher than average specific gravity. These features deliver more power and increased capacity for work. The batteries have the highest ampere-hour capacity ratings, outperforming conventional designs with up to 15% more power, which is ideal for the higher discharge rates demanded by modern AC-drive lift-trucks. To maintain a lift-truck’s constant drive and lift performance levels throughout a shift, the motor must offset a battery’s normal voltage drop during discharge by drawing more and more amps. The Ironclad battery’s ability to sustain higher voltages, combined with industryleading capacity ratings, extends its run time when compared with conventional lead-acid models. Materials-handling equipment will run for up to one hour longer on each charge, reducing the need for time-consuming battery changes and maximizing productivity in even the heaviest duty applications, including busy distribution centers and other 24/7 operations such as airports and transport hubs. In addition to increased power and longer run times, the greater surface area of square tube technology and electrolytes with higher specific gravities also help the battery achieve a longer service life. This is because the batteries experience active mass stress levels around 10% lower than conventional designs. Reliability and service life is further enhanced by the use of

188 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

Ironclad batteries include an electrolyte with higher than average specific gravity

sleeved electrode separators, which prevent misalignment and shorting. Fully insulated flexible inter-cell connectors add extra protection and the dust-proof, single-point filling system reduces topping-up time and cuts down on battery maintenance. All of these features combine to ensure the Ironclad batteries have a design life of 1,800 cycles, which equates to an extra year in many applications. This is ideal for intensive long-term rental operations where customers demand longer contracts. Ironclad batteries are available in eight different configurations in a choice of two cell heights (600mm and 750mm) and eight cell sizes (with two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and ten positive plates) with

ratings from 276Ah to 1,380Ah in standard sizes to fit vehicles from small pallet trucks to large forklift trucks. When supplied with the EnerSys BFS (battery filling system) and the Hawker Wi-IQ battery charging monitor, the batteries have a two-year plus two pro-rata warranty. This can be extended to three years plus three pro-rata if the batteries are used in conjunction with a high-performance, high frequency charger such as the Hawker LifeTech Modular or Hawker Life IQ Modular models from the extensive EnerSys range. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about EnerSys, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev



Drivetrain ultracapacitors Ultracapacitors offer high power and energy density, together with low levels of resistance, and make for a very reliable and compact technology solution for electrified drivetrain systems

Skeleton Technologies’ SkelCap ultracapacitors cover a capacitance range of 250F to 3,500F, making them suitable for a variety of applications

The market for cleaner and more powerful, compact and dependable energy products is growing exponentially. Energy efficiency is also at the forefront of the automotive industry, thanks to increasing electrification of the drivetrain. Many car manufacturers have been testing different levels of electrified drivetrain systems in motorsport, and in many respects, motorsport serves as a testbed for the new technologies and innovative solutions that find their way into the cars on the street. A good example is the capture of braking energy with a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) – which then releases this energy during acceleration, instead of allowing it to dissipate as heat. In addition, KERS provides extra power during acceleration when an internal combustion engine operates at its lowest efficiency. These advanced electrified drivetrain systems have largely been powered by electrochemical batteries. Batteries are good for

energy storage, but they utilize chemical processes that have inherent limitations in power output, recharge times and discharge cycles. These limitations result in low proportions of braking energy used, costly battery replacements, and over-dimensioning of the battery pack to handle high currents during acceleration. Ultracapacitors operate entirely on an electrostatic level. Compared with batteries, the levels of power which can be drawn are greater by orders of magnitude. They can be charged and discharged in only a few seconds without compromising the integrity of the ultracapacitor, and with low heat losses, up to a million times. The characteristics of ultracapacitors make them perfect for applications that require high bursts of power – such as in a KERS. By combining batteries and ultracapacitors, one can get the best of both worlds: high power during acceleration, and high energy for extended range in hybrid and full-electric vehicles.

The key to SkelCap ultracapacitors is the nanoporous carbide-derived carbon (CDC) with compactly packed curved graphene layers used for the electrodes. Featuring finely engineered, consistent pore size, this patented material guarantees a very large accessible surface area, and a perfect match for the electrolyte ions – facilitating twice as high capacitance and up to five times higher power performance than other ultracapacitors. The high degree of purity of curved graphene also ensures up to two times higher current tolerance, and four times lower resistance, compared with other ultracapacitors. Skeleton Technologies has two SkelCap product families, with capacitance ranges from 250F to up to 3,500F. The first is the HighPower product family (250F to 2,100F, with specific power up to 60kW/kg), which is tailored for burst power needs with short application times. The second is the HighEnergy product family (320F to 3,500F, with a specific energy level

up to 10Wh/kg), which is suited for high energy density over longer application times. All Skeleton Technologies devices feature very low ESR for higher efficiency. This high efficiency results in lower heat dissipation, which translates to less heat being rejected into the environment. SkelCap is the only ultracapacitor manufactured in Europe. By controlling every step of the manufacturing process, Skeleton Technologies is able to work with customers on specialized engineering solutions as well as on customized ultracapacitors according to particular requirements. SkelCap ultracapacitors, when used in hybrid and electric drivetrain systems, offer the automotive industry improved levels of safety, increased lifetime, high efficiency and lower maintenance expenses. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Skeleton Technologies, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 189


FPGAs in EV drive systems Implementing FPGA-based power systems in electric vehicle traction controls delivers improved performance, efficiency and accuracy, and can reduce costs Analog control has given way to digital methods that have improved the performance and quality of power converters. Today, most power electronics are controlled by microcontroller units (MCUs) – mainly due to the low-cost nature of these devices and the high level of integration of peripherals such as analog-to-digital converters (ADC). MCUs, typically programmed in C or Assembly languages, are well suited to algorithms that are executed sequentially with a rate within the MCU processor’s capability. However, the need for faster sample rates and the use of more complex algorithms are challenging this traditional approach. Field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are gaining acceptance in high-performance power electronics control systems due to their speed, flexibility and integrated design tools – and are suited for EV drive systems such as variable-voltage control (VVC) and motor control due to their parallel architecture and ability to handle multiple algorithms simultaneously in hardware. FPGAs can use algorithms to accelerate and parallelize programs, greatly improving processing speed. With their flexible design interfaces, such as parallel ADC interfaces and PWM, outputs can be added as necessary to support new inverter topologies. FPGAs also offer ease of integration, enabling interfaces – for devices such as encoders, resolvers and sigma-delta ADCs – to be built into the FPGA fabric as necessary. Figure 1 shows common hybrid EV architecture, utilizing two independent motors or generators (MG) connected electrically through a DC link. The DC link is also connected to a 250V battery though a VVC or bidirectional DC/DC converter comprised of an IGBT half-bridge and boost inductor.

Figure 1: The standard hybrid EV power and control architecture

Figure 2: The simplified hybrid EV power control architecture with a single FPGA

The VVC converter provides bidirectional power flow between the battery and the MG inverters. A standard design uses an IGBT halfbridge with a 200µH inductor, where the lower transistor is switched to ‘boost’ the voltage from the battery to the motor inverter. Conversely, to charge the battery, the upper transistor is switched to ‘buck’ the voltage from the motor inverter to the battery. The battery is 250V and the VVC can provide up to 650V at 50kW peak. Each function (MG and VVC) requires sophisticated control circuits that are presently implemented with separate MCUs. A trend in the power electronics industry is faster switching, which enables reduction of inductance and capacitance values to achieve equivalent voltage and current ripple. One barrier to faster switching is increased transistor switching losses. Application of IGBTs optimized for lower switching losses or MOSFETs can mitigate these

190 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

losses, but the result will usually be some increase in transistor losses. SiC MOSFETs, with dramatically reduced switching losses, are becoming available and will remove this barrier. While price is still an issue for SiC, the trend of cost reductions is expected to continue to a point where SiC devices will compete with standard silicon. Another barrier to higher frequency switching is the higher bandwidth needed for acceptable current control. This increased bandwidth is a challenge for MCUbased solutions, especially if multiple functions are to be implemented with one processor. FPGA control can easily provide the bandwidth required for this application, even if multiple control functions are implemented on one device. With,

for example, a five-fold increase in switching frequency, this results in a proportional reduction in inductance and capacitance values to get the same ripple current and voltage. Figure 2 showcases a new architecture that integrates MG and VVC (DC/DC) control functions into a single FPGA. The FPGA’s hardware-based parallel processing capability would enable five times faster switching of SiC MOSFETs, while reducing overall transistor switching losses by 50% – enabling significant reductions in system size and weight, better power efficiency and lower system cost. Using FPGA-based power control systems in EVs helps reduce overall system costs, improves performance, and increases efficiency of the power conversion process. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Altera, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


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eCarTec Munich 2015 Worlds biggest B2B Trade Fair for Electric & Hybrid Mobility October 20 - 22, 2015, Messe München

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Visitors from 56 Countries





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71% Decision Makers


Engineering Visitors


Conductive fastening in advanced EV and HEV designs In their drive to advance technology, a growing number of electric and hybrid vehicle designers are discovering ways in which a simple spring can be used to make and maintain critical mechanical and electrical connections. The Bal Seal Canted Coil Spring, offered by Bal Seal Engineering, presents the dual benefits of latching, locking or holding system components together; and efficiently managing high-current flow in tight spaces with minimal heat rise. The Canted Coil Spring’s independent coils provide multipoint contact, ensuring consistent transmission of electricity to and from the lithium-ion battery array and other vehicle systems. The spring also conducts power to the motor during low-speed operation and ensures reliable recharging through regenerative braking. Depending on its placement, the spring can also shield connectors and couplings

from the harmful effects of electromagnetic interference. In external charging, the Bal Seal Canted Coil Spring conducts electricity from a wall or base unit to the battery array. The spring automatically compensates for misalignment and surface irregularities that may otherwise compromise charging efficiency. It can also be employed to provide positive-latching feedback, which indicates proper charger connection. With over 50 years of application experience and certification to ISO/TS 16949, Bal Seal Engineering specializes in helping OEMs to develop performance breakthroughs. The company’s products employ unique Bal Seal Canted Coil Spring technology. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Bal Seal Engineering, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


Next-generation bonding and joining technology

High-powered laboratory testing system Bitrode, one of the industry’s leading battery charging and testing companies, is expanding its product line to include a new high-powered laboratory testing system: the FTF-HP. With charge or discharge cycles up to 500kW, the FTF-HP is well suited for high-power applications where precise control of current and voltage is required. Parallel functionality enables the system to operate at an impressive 2MW power level. This capability is particularly useful when testing batteries for electric buses, rail and Formula 1 cars. Discharge power recycling to the AC line makes the FTF-HP more energy-efficient to operate.

Additionally, the battery simulation function can program constant voltage, maximum current and internal impedance for motor testing applications. The unit is able to produce accurate simulations of rapidly changing power demands in electric and hybrid vehicle systems. With two separate circuits and bidirectional capability, the FTF-HP can provide unique support for large battery-based energy storage systems when battery optimization and longevity is critical. “Bitrode recognized the need for a reliable high-powered laboratory tester, so we worked tirelessly with R&D to develop a system that would raise the bar in the battery testing industry,” says David Rice, general manager of Bitrode. “It’s exciting to support customers who push our equipment to its limit! This motivates us to develop new products that can meet the most demanding needs in the market.” FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Bitrode, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


192 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

Well-reputed power module and cooling specialist Danfoss Silicon Power presents its new generation of bonding and joining technology to an audience of automotive engineers. With its extra-high melting point, the pressure-sintered die-attach of IGBTs and diodes is now able to overcome the lifetimelimiting degradation associated with traditional solder. New copper wire topside contacts attached to Danfoss’s Bond Buffer help to extend the module lifetime by a factor of 20 – with more than a year of power cycling tests, equating to hundreds of millions of cycles, providing evidence of new levels of robustness. This feature provides essential benefits to automotive traction applications, including a solid margin between real-world load-profile and robustness of the power module assembly, which is mandatory to achieve low ppm failure rates; more powercycling headroom, which can be used to tolerate higher junction temperatures and to increase power density and current capability from the same volume; and higher junction temperatures of advanced

generations of semiconductors can now be used without facing the restrictions that are typical of traditional soldering and aluminum wire bonding. This new bonding and joining technology provides customers with a previously unavailable opportunity to choose between cost-efficiency, compactness and current capability, depending on application and preferences. Danfoss Silicon Power is currently ready for volumeproduction of this next generation of power modules. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Danfoss Silicon Power, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev



Electric vehicle data measurement

Air supply for fuel cell applications Vehicles with fuel cells are become increasingly important, with a number of OEMs announcing plans to introduce them into the market, starting in 2015. Fuel cell electric vehicles are seen as a solution to combining emission-free driving with a satisfactory driving range. Similar to a combustion engine, a fuel cell needs compressed air to provide a high-power density. BorgWarner has collaborated with different OEMs and has developed the Fuel Cell Air Supply (FCAS) charging system, which is scalable to support various applications. The FCAS consists of a radial compressor; an optional turbine with variable turbine geometry; an airfoil bearing system comprising journal bearings and thrust bearings; a 10-20kW electric drive

with stator and rotor; and water cooling. A highly advanced electrical inverter is included in the FCAS, which controls the electric drive. In comparison with supercharger technology, the turbocharger (FCAS) with radial compressor and turbine achieves higher system efficiency, but not only because the turbine recovers the exhaust gas enthalpy of the fuel cell. There are other reasons to substitute the supercharger in the fuel cell system for a turbocharger, including considerably better NVH behavior, and the lower packaging space needed. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about BorgWarner, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


Thanks to onboard computers, everyone can now find out how much gasoline or diesel, on average, a car requires. Electric vehicles also provide information about their energy consumption, but these figures are only averages. Those who want to know more – about how consumption varies according to weather, route, driving style and other parameters, and in which components of the vehicle any losses occur – must conduct the measurements themselves. For that purpose, Dewetron has developed the DEWE-510-E-Mobile – a mobile measuring system that detects the necessary physical data in order to determine the energy balance. It simultaneously measures the DC power of the battery and the power of the frequency converter fed synchronous motor, so energy consumption and efficiency while driving can be immediately determined.

To obtain measurements of energy consumption under different conditions (such as varying speeds or gradients), a GPS sensor also logs the vehicle position, noting altitude, speed and acceleration of the electric car – using the same measuring system as, and recording synchronously with, the energy consumption data. In parallel, a video camera connected to the measuring system films the test. The architecture of Dewetron systems records data synchronously from many sources and stores it together. The data analysis and processing is faster and easier than other approaches, since all data is automatically correlated. This offers new possibilities for comparing results and understanding test data. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Dewetron, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


Bidirectional high dynamic test bench energy system Reliable and powerful test equipment along the whole supply chain, from R&D to end-of-line testing, is mandatory for today’s automotive industry. In particular, verification tests for EV and HEV drivetrain applications require test equipment that is safe to operate, and which offers high reproducibility over a wide range. The Heinzinger ERS is a high dynamic, bidirectional system with active energy recovery to the grid, designed for such needs. With its unique features, the Heinzinger Test Bench Energy System perfectly supports battery simulation for power electronic and electric motor tests, as well as tests for lithium-ion batteries. With a voltage range up to 1,000V DC and power stages of ±50kW, ±80kW, ±120kW, ±160kW and ±250kW, nearly every electric powertrain and fuel cell application can be supported.

The standard ERS is available in one- or two-channel versions. An upgrade from a onechannel version to a two-channel version is also possible. To increase the maximum output current, it is possible to connect the two output channels in parallel. The safe and efficient operation of the regenerative power supply is guaranteed by electrical isolation between the mains grid and the DC side, via bidirectional switch mode power stages and HF transformers. A broad range of options, in combination with Heinzinger engineering and aftersales support, completes the service. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Heinzinger, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International // January 2015 // 193


Advanced inverter design John Deere Electronic Solutions will reveal a breakthrough inverter product design at Intermat Paris in April 2015. The PD400 is a modular approach that allows drive systems engineers to build a configuration that closely matches their electrification needs. The PD400 is ideal for high-voltage, high-power applications where multiple power electronics components can be combined in a single package, utilizing an internal bus structure that eliminates cabling and connections. Optional modules include DC/DC converters, brake choppers and an integrated isolation-monitoring feature.

The PD400 has a common control module combined with either a single- or a dual-inverter power stage. Within the power stage, multiple power levels can be chosen with a maximum peak current of 550A rms and 400A rms continuous from each inverter in a dual configuration. Optional DC/DC converters and brake choppers can be added for either configuration. The bus capacitor is modular and available in different sizes. The PD400 common control card architecture supports the full suite of Power Drives software functionality. The PD400 is designed for maximum efficiency with complete monitoring capabilities to ensure control under all conditions. The thermal management system is liquid-cooled for reliability over the life of the system. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about John Deere Electronic Solutions, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


Modular power electronics for commercial vehicles Lenze Schmidhauser, a leading manufacturer of drive solutions for mobile use, showcased its solutions for commercial vehicles and mobile working machines at the 2014 IAA Commercial Vehicles trade fair. The company’s booth focused on its Mobile product system. This system comprises double inverters specially designed for use in commercial vehicles, DC/DC converters and various combination modules. Manufacturers can quickly and easily customize a solution for the drive control of electric auxiliary equipment and the power supply of the onboard electrical system, all from one catalog. Users can then cover a wide range of applications economically and efficiently, and react flexibly to new requirements. The modular system of products allows high-volume production, as well as customized solutions. Each of the double inverters has two motor or generator outputs in the power range of 7.5-60kWp. The

inverters can be used to control synchronous and asynchronous motors. They are therefore suitable for the control and operation of auxiliary equipment, such as compressors, pumps and smaller traction drives. DC/DC converters with an output voltage of 14V DC or 28V DC, and current up to 200A, make it possible to create a highly efficient and effective onboard power supply system. All modules of the product platform will be certified to ECE R10 and housed in uniform casings (IP6K9K) with an identical structure. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Lenze Schmidhauser, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


Intelligent charging cable Leoni has developed a new charging cable concept involving a status-indicating light function. Not only does this cable make charging easier for the user, it also provides greater safety. The illuminated Electrical Vehicle charging cable (iEVC) was unveiled at eCarTec Munich 2014. The iEVC visibly tracks the progress of charging a vehicle with color change in the cable jacket. By having this illumination unit integrated along the charging cable, the driver can see the charge status of their electric car or plug-in hybrid, even from a greater distance and without the use of any additional devices. Furthermore, optical signals provide additional information, such as a trouble-free connection

or malfunction. The consistent illumination of the cable across its entire length also averts the threat of tripping over it in dark or poorly lit areas. The cable can display any color and is continuously dimmable. With its intelligent charging cable, Leoni provides both flexibility and mechanical resilience. The iEVC system can be universally deployed from home applications to supercharging, regardless of the vehicle and the charging mode. As the illuminated charging cable does not contain any electronics or active lamps (which would compromise the mechanical properties), it is just as robust as conventional charging cables. Thanks to the use of LED technology, it is especially energy efficient.

The cable weight also remains the same due to the intelligent use of materials. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Leoni visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev



High-voltage battery stack monitor

Battery diagnostic system

A single gallon of gasoline contains more than 36kWh of energy. A typical battery pack in an electric or hybrid electric automobile contains between 16kWh and 60kWh. Clearly, for a battery system to be competitive against gasoline, it must be able to extract as much energy as possible from each and every cell. This requires careful battery management – the most difficult requirement of which is the precise measurement of every cell’s voltage, as each is positioned at different points along a highvoltage string that is subject to electrical spikes and EMI. Linear Technology’s LTC6804 high-voltage battery stack monitor addresses this challenge with industry-leading measurement accuracy. An LTC6804 can measure up to 12 series connected battery cells with 16bit resolution and better than 0.04% accuracy. Each LTC6804 can be connected in a daisy chain, allowing many of them to be combined to measure all cells in a long, high-voltage battery pack. Very

Introduced in June 2014, the Midtronics DSS-7000 battery diagnostic service system offers complete battery system management – enterprise-wide battery management reporting and analysis is enabled with database-driven testing, VIN-based vehicle service records and wi-fi networking to BMIS and network printers. Wi-fi also enables easy software updates. The system also features advanced system diagnostics, and supports advanced battery and electrical system testing for conventional ICE, stop/start, hybrid and electric vehicles. The DSS can also identify batteries with low reserve capacity – a key feature given the number of accessory systems requiring battery support in today’s cars. The Midtronics DSS-7000 battery diagnostic service system also offers a dynamic service experience – connect the CVG to the OBD port, the clamps to the battery, and use the touchscreen tablet with preprogrammed service apps to launch

high measurement accuracy is guaranteed over time, temperature and operating conditions by the inclusion of a precision subsurface Zener voltage reference. Furthermore, the LTC6804 includes a built-in third-order noise filter to eliminate the electrical noise from inverters, actuators, switches and relays. As part of a battery management system, the accuracy and stability of the LTC6804 enables the maximum extraction of energy from an automobile’s battery pack. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Linear Technology, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


automated testing specific to that vehicle. Technicians can also use the removable, full-color tablet to help customers understand their test results and any associated service recommendations.

FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Midtronics, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


International environmental cooperation event The eighth edition of the Macao International Environmental Cooperation Forum & Exhibition (MIECF) will be held on March 26-28, 2015. It will continue to serve as a high-powered platform to promote solutions for a lowcarbon future and sustainable city development. Initiated and actively led by the government of the Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR), MIECF is strategically positioned to nurture business, technology and information

exchange and cooperation between the Pan-Pearl River Delta (PPRD) region in southern China and the international markets. Through a range of activities, such as an international conference, exhibition, business matching and networking activities, the event facilitates business exchange among southern China and international industry players. The event will also feature green solutions from the region, including electric, hybrid and fuel cell

vehicles, charging stations, battery, storage solutions, and more – these are hot topics in the PPRD area and many companies attend MIECF in search of these kinds of products.

FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about MIECF, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


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Conformal coatings For over 40 years, Parylene conformal coatings have provided automotive electronics and components with a level of protection that, even today, remains unmatched by most coating materials. Parylenes offer excellent moisture, chemical and dielectric barrier capabilities, superior thermal and UV stability, and a low coefficient of friction. Parylene coatings are applied in a vapor deposition polymerization process. Because there is no liquid phase in this process, there are no subsequent meniscus, pooling or bridging effects, thus dielectric properties are never compromised. The molecular growth of Parylene coatings also ensures not only an even, conformal coating at the thickness specified by the manufacturer, but because Parylene is formed

from a gas, it also penetrates into every crevice, regardless of how seemingly inaccessible. This ensures complete encapsulation of the substrate without blocking small openings. Parylenes are typically applied in thicknesses ranging from 500Å to 75μm, and thus are extremely lightweight, offering excellent barrier properties without adding perceptible dimension or mass to delicate components. Parylene coatings are RoHS and REACH compliant, and have been proven to provide metallic whisker mitigation in lead-free solder applications. Parylenes are ideal for protecting circuit boards, sensors, MEMS, LEDs, elastomers and other surfaces and components that need reliable, long-life performance in harsh automotive environments.

Li-ion in material handling

Advanced diesel electric powertrain project

Material-handling vehicles running off 24-80V lead batteries do not, unlike automotive applications, generally need to be adapted to Li-ion battery technology. However, with Li-ion power dropping in price, the situation has started to change. The capacity of a lead battery – from 25kWh up to 60kWh for larger vehicles – restricts the available power. Electric vehicles are limited in terms of power consumption, saving energy at the expense of performance. With Li-ion technology, existing vehicle types can be upgraded in power, and more powerful vehicle types can be considered, equipped with stronger electric drives that match the performance of combustion engines. As a result, peak and average power, current and voltage ratings increase for existing and new vehicle classes at the upper end of the material handling fleet. Vehicles fitted with 10-20kW motors may, in future, be upgraded to 20-40kW. This increase creates many challenges for drivetrain designers, including the voltage level of the battery. To minimize safety requirements and maintain cost constraints, staying within the established 48-80V range is preferable. But the higher currents and output power must be addressed in terms of lifetime requirements and overall system ruggedness. SKAI 2 LV inverters allow sufficient increase of the phase currents due to excellent thermal resistances and a combination of the latest power MOSFET technologies – Rdson = 0.3mΩ (typical) per switch at 48V; Rdson = 0.8mΩ (typical) per switch at 80V.

Engine downsizing through charge boosting is a well-understood means of improving ICE fuel efficiency by increasing the proportion of the drive cycle at which the powertrain operates within or close to the region of peak fuel efficiency of its operating map. The limitations of downsizing, however, include the delivery of acceptable driveability characteristics and launch performance. Full hybridization provides a means of energy management that mitigates such shortcomings, but at a considerable cost premium associated with the electrified powertrain architecture, including the high-capacity battery and electric motors. For the Advanced Diesel Electric Powertrain (ADEPT) project, Ricardo is leading a six-partner consortium – which also includes Ford Motor Company, Control Power Technologies (CPT), European Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (EALABC), Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies UK and the University of Nottingham – to reapply the intelligent electrification concept theme to a diesel vehicle (a Ford Focus estate) for the first time. The project will evaluate benefits derived

FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Semikron, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


196 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International

FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Specialty Coating Systems, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev

from the use of a 48V architecture incorporating high carbon advanced leadacid battery technology, 48V electrical ancillaries, advanced thermal systems and waste heat recovery technologies. Vehicle driveability and performance attributes will be optimized through effective application of a belt starter generator capable of providing torque assist to augment engine performance. The overall aim of this project is to demonstrate emissions of 75g/km (NEDC) in a demonstration vehicle, along with technology studies to achieve 70g/km, without compromising performance or driveability. Crucially, the ADEPT project will address


the issues of high production costs associated with hybridization by using lower cost components, particularly the application of advanced lead-acid battery technology, instead of the lithium-based technologies utilized in today’s hybrids. An ADEPT system has been built and is being installed in a demonstration vehicle ready for vehicle test activities starting in January 2015. Ricardo will publish further test results and achievements over the coming months. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Ricardo, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


Batteries for electric buses The concept of carrying a huge, heavy battery around all day doesn’t always make sense. For vehicles with predictable routes – a city bus, for example – the option of rapid charging can leverage small, high-power batteries to optimize performance, life, weight, size, safety and system cost. Trineuron, a Belgiumbased battery manufacturer, uses lithium-titanate-oxide (LTO) technology to make this possible. A smaller battery means less capacity – thus less range per battery cycle. But the main advantage of this technology is

the possibility to recharge the battery in less than nine minutes. This creates a virtually unlimited range for a city bus with a fixed route. Trineuron’s LTO batteries usually have the same lifetime as the bus, so replacing the battery is not necessary. LTO technology is also a safe technology. Another advantage is the additional available space and weight capacity for passengers due to the compact and light battery. These advantages result in a strong total cost of ownership proposition that even beats conventional diesel on cost per kilometer.

Trineuron is a fast-growing division of Emrol, a well-known Belgian battery specialist that was founded in 1981. The company supports applications requiring electric energy storage, energy conversion and energy management, working with a range of customers on projects around the world. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Trineuron, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


Electrification innovation in China In 2009, the Chinese government announced a drastic expansion of its EV, e-motor and HEV industry in an effort to take a global leadership position. To support this, companies such as Sierra-CP have gained a reputation for working with Chinese clients to develop custom products, as well as complete turnkey solutions. Beijing-based Foton was seeking a partner to help build its new e-motor development facility. After an exhaustive search, Sierra-CP (which has facilities in Shanghai) was selected. The challenge was to assure high quality and flexibility in the construction of one of the most advanced facilities of

its kind in China. Foton’s new facility includes test stands within climatic chambers, and is able to simulate and test battery packs, battery management systems and motor control systems. Shanghai-based Protean Electric, a leading global clean technology company, is another example. After considering the client’s requirements, Sierra-CP proposed a system that could accept full vehicle installation by connecting to the test vehicle’s wheel hubs. Four fully independent AC dynamometers were incorporated to provide individual control of each wheel hub, accommodating two- and four-wheel-drive vehicles, from compact to light-duty trucks.

The overall system is controlled by Sierra-CP’s CADET V14 test-automation software, which provides the platform for system control, test scheduling, safety protection and data acquisition. This system is capable of steadystate operation for durability and key life evaluation. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Sierra-CP, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev


Customizable electrification distribution platform The quest for better energy management within hybrid buses has received a significant boost with Vanner’s Increased Accessory Power (IAP II) platform. Working in collaboration with Allison Transmission in Indiana, Vanner’s IAP II is a customizable electric distribution platform that delivers hybrid-generated power to accessory components, such as electric air conditioning, electric air compressors and power steering systems, enabling accessories to operate more efficiently and reduce parasitic loads. Faster air brake pressure and faster cabin cooling is possible with an IAP II-enabled

bus, reducing engine strain and high idle time. IAP II includes a water-cooled Vanner Exportable Power Inverter, which produces 230V AC threephase for full bus electrification. IAP II utilizes Vanner’s Hybrid Beltless Alternator (HBA) in single or dual HBA configuration, providing up to 600A at idle, 24V DC charging. A High Voltage Distribution Module acts as a smart electrical grid on an Allison H 40/50 EP hybrid bus working at 99.9% energy efficiency. Vanner’s 80-Series Equalizer with Model Based Battery Monitoring is integrated into the IAP II for dynamic charging.

All components will be delivered on a pre-assembled and pre-wired rack. The racked solution enables OEMs to specify only components they need, and offers better troubleshooting and easier maintenance than a boxed or individually sourced solution. FREE READER INQUIRY SERVICE To learn more about Vanner, visit: www.ukipme.com/info/ev



Innovation n°0033



This embedded smart sensor is based on Eddy curent technology

ACTIA ................................................ 169

Huber & Suhner .............................. 143

Advanced Automotive Batteries . 126

Infineon ..................................................2

Allegro MicroSystems.................... 113

International Rectifier .................... 139

Altera ................................................ 123

Intertek..................... inside front cover

Arbin Instruments..............................15

Isabellenhütte ................................. 136

AVL ........................................................ 5

John Deere ....................................... 110

Bal Seal Engineering ...................... 191

Kinetics Drive Solutions..................85

Bergquist ............................................65

Kolektor ..............................................40

Bitrode ................................................ 24

Lear Corporation...............................43

BorgWarner .......................................33

Lenze / Schmidhauser ....................62

Brüel & Kjær ......................................56

Leoni .................................................. 191

Brusa Elektronik ............................. 144

Linear Technology.. inside back cover

Cars 21 .............................................. 148

Lithium Balance ...............................28

CD-adapco ........................................157

Maccor ................................................49

Controlled Power

Maxwell Technologies ....................93

Technologies ................................... 129 Curtiss-Wright Industrial Division ...............................................90 D&V Electronics ................................46 D2T ....................................................... 17 Dana .......................outside back cover Danfoss Silicon Power .................. 132 GREEN DESIGNED

Dewetron.......................................... 163


DRS Technologies .......................... 105

This EMPOS embedded smart sensor optimizes the efficiency of electric motors and GREEN hybrid engine management. DESIGNED


EMPOS is not affected by the harsh magnetic environment of hybrid drives and electric vehicles.

eCarTec .............................................. 191 EDN Group ........................................ 161 Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo............................ 199 Electric & Hybrid Vehicle

McLaren Applied Technologies .....151 Mentor Graphics ............................. 167 Midtronics ........................................ 100 MIECF ............................................... 140 Momentum Dynamics .....................62 Mouser ................................................171 Netzsch ...............................................13 Newtons4th (N4L) ........................... 27 OXiS Energy .................................... 135 Power & Signal ............................... 102 Ricardo ............................................. 144 SAE Hybrid & EV Technologies Symposium ............ 100

EMPOS measures angular positions at very high speed with a high degree of accuracy.

Technology International.................31

SAE World Congress ..................... 102

EFi Automotive ............................... 198

Schaeffler........................................... 97

EMPOS sensor benefits

EnerSys .............................................. 73

Semikron .......................................... 159

Engine Expo Europe ............19, 21, 22

Sensor-Technik .................................40

EV-Info.com ..................................... 195

Skeleton Technologies .................. 140

EVS28 .............................................. 165

SKF .................................................... 132

EV Taiwan ........................................ 155

Specialty Coating Systems ............ 24

EVWorld.com.................................. 194

The Battery Show ............................79

FAVI ................................................... 148

TM4 ......................................................10

EFI Automotive


Toshiba ...............................................29

77, allée des Grandes Combes ZI Ouest Beynost 01708 Miribel Cedex France T. +33 472 0134 34 [email protected]

GKN Driveline ...................................117

Trineuron ............................................55

GKN Land Systems ........................147

UQM Technologies........................... 70

HBM .................................................. 136

Vanner ............................................... 110


XALT Energy ..................................... 70

+ + + + + + +

Small size / High compactness Insensitive to harsh magnetic  environments Improved immunity to magnetic stray fields Flexible design Cost-efficient Higher accuracy Analog or digital signal








[email protected]


“Tesla is doing so well because people like new. They like the idea of being the first, the ones who changed the world – even the ones who saved it”


he rise of Tesla seems to be taking the automotive industry by surprise. Yet from my point of view, it’s great to see a company selling EVs so successfully. My conversations with people in the industry also strengthens my opinion that most incumbents don’t like change, and only embrace it when forced to by an outside influence. Those in the automotive industry are worried about Tesla – not because it’s likely to hurt their sales, but because it may force them to change faster than they want to. Most automotive R&D is necessarily focused on incremental improvements that grant an advantage over competitors, but stops short of fundamentally changing the business model. After all, why change a model that works, when doing so can cost millions? Truly paradigm-changing research tends to be looked upon, in most cases, as insurance against a competitor making a move before everyone else. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule – look at Toyota and the Prius, which in 1997 was a halo project with little economic rationale – but one that has paid off big time. Other more recent examples include Nissan’s all-electric Leaf, GM’s Volt and BMW’s i series. And Toyota is going to do it with fuel cells next year. It will be interesting to see which of these gambles pays off. Tesla, however, is new in town, and that’s what has really put the cat among the pigeons. It doesn’t have the baggage of having to do things a certain way – it can be faster and more agile, and the automotive industry seems a little scared of the change that it might trigger. The Californian company has been so successful thus far because, primarily, it’s not selling a technology but a product. Few people want to be sold a technology – they are normally referred to as early adopters, and sales saturate quickly. The average customer will buy a product based on key features or unique selling points. Tesla cars are heavily marketed as electric vehicles, but that is backed up by reasons why EVs are better: cheaper running costs (although Tesla prices are

200 // January 2015 // Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International


The rapid rise of Tesla may force equally rapid changes within the automotive industry

Dr Gregory Offer is a research fellow at Imperial College London, based in the department of earth science and engineering. His pioneering research focuses on sustainable transportation aspects such as fuel cell, battery and supercapacitor technologies

clearly for customers who don’t need to worry too much about money – evidently even rich people don’t like waste!), and the vehicle’s environmental impact are important selling points. Tesla vehicles are silent, but then you’d expect quiet inside any premium car, and for some this silence is actually a negative. Tesla has also mitigated the disadvantages of the technology with large battery packs, fast charging and battery swapping – silencing electric vehicle critics. And by anticipating inevitable incidents, Tesla has also handled battery fires adroitly, if anything strengthening its reputation. Tesla is doing so well because people like new. They like the idea of being the first, the ones who changed the world – even the ones who saved it. Flatscreen televisions came along and within five years cathode ray tubes were dead, even though they were cheaper. Within five years of the launch of the iPhone, smartphones had become the norm, despite costing considerably more. This is why the automotive industry should be scared. Most people are economically irrational, and change has value – and if that’s not enough, a Tesla is cooler than just about any other car on the road.

1.2mV Accurate, Noise Immune Battery Stack Monitor

Maximize Battery Pack Safety, Life, Capacity & Driving Range ®

Safely extract the potential of large battery packs via precise monitoring of every cell. The LTC 6804 Battery Monitor measures cell voltage with less than 0.04% error, guaranteed. Measurement stability over time, temperature and operating conditions is achieved with a buried Zener voltage reference, similar to those in precision instrumentation. A programmable 3rd order noise filter keeps TM noise from corrupting cell measurements, and a 2-wire isoSPI interface provides a cost-effective, noise immune, 100 meter interconnection for multiple LTC6804s. Measurement Error (mV) when Measuring a 3.3V Cell

Features • Total Measurement Error
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