Long Range Electric Drive without Compromising Comfort

Innovation project: Extending the range of electric vehicles

Electric and hybrid vehicles ensure individual mobility, while being largely independent of fossil fuels with a low carbon footprint. However, their performance – in particular their range – is still considerably lower than that of vehicles equipped with combustion engines. The main reason is the limited storage density provided by the electric vehicle batteries currently available; it is therefore essential to increase the efficiency of vehicle components, such as energy transformers or control units. Furthermore, a significant part of the energy available is used to meet user expectations with regard to comfort and handling.

The objective of this research project is to optimize the energy efficiency and significantly extend the EV range by developing intelligent transformer concepts, vehicle electrical systems and air conditioning concepts, as well as intelligent energy management.

 

In order to implement intelligent battery charging concepts, it is necessary to develop highly efficient energy transformers and power electronics. An intelligent management of the vehicle electrical system ensures that certain control units are supplied with energy only when they are in use. Moreover, innovative heating and cooling methods are developed, including new heat pumps and heat recovery processes. A demonstration vehicle will be used for validation starting in the second half of 2014. Model-based processes are employed to develop an operational strategy for intelligent energy management, coordinating the power requirements of different components and optimizing vehicle energy consumption. A generic electric vehicle simulation model is created for evaluation purposes, with validation including test drives on a roller test stand and in real traffic conditions. The project draws on results from the cross-sectional projects energy efficiency, self-optimization and intelligent networking.

The project research findings will allow to improve the energy efficiency and to increase the range of these vehicles without compromising user comfort. Ranges are expected to extend by around 20% overall, helping to boost the use of electric vehicles and making an active contribution towards climate protection. The solutions obtained are also applicable to vehicles with combustion engines and can moreover be transferred to other fields, such as energy management in production units.

Project duration
01 January 2013 - 30 April 2016