Brussels, 18 September 2014
EU-funded driving system to boost electric cars
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While electric cars are on the rise, many drivers are still concerned about running out of juice. Six partners from Germany, France, Austria and Spain have cut the consumption of electric vehicles with a new intelligent energy management and recovery system. The OpEneR team developed new functions and connected better the components and systems, allowing the driver to receive braking tips based on traffic flows and advice on the best route to limit energy use. Up to 30% of energy can be saved without losing much time on the way. The new solutions will be progressively commercialised and integrated into production of new models, making electric cars even greener.
"Our findings are important for the future of all electric vehicles including hybrids. They will help unlock the market", explains Dr. Kosmas Knödler, the coordinator of OpEneR project, working for the Chassis Systems Control division at Robert Bosch GmbH.
After three years of intense collaboration and with €4.4 million of EU investment, the project team presented two demonstrator electric vehicles in Spain this summer.
Greener, safer and smarter routes
Engineers and researchers have worked to improve the electrical powertrain, the regenerative braking system, the navigation system and the surround sensors. They have developed a networked architecture with various functions that connect these elements with each other.
For example, the "eco-routing" function considers the specific needs of an electric vehicle when calculating the most energy efficient route. An adaptive cruise control guarantees an economical semi-automated driving style. It is based on radar and video systems supported by enhanced map data including information on inclines, declines and speed limits. Car-to-infrastructure communication provides information about traffic light status. User-friendly signals appear on the large display as part of the dashboard, so that you know when to lift the pedal as you approach traffic lights, city boundaries, speed limits or other vehicles.
© pictures: OpEneR
Into production as from next year
"Further road testing is planned. Then we expect the system to be progressively integrated into production as from next year onwards", says Dr. Kosmas Knödler.
European Commission Vice President @NeelieKroesEU, responsible for the Digital Agenda, says: "Who wouldn't want to have a better and safer driving experience, while saving money and our environment? We need smarter and greener ways to move: EU projects like OpEneR go in the right direction".
The European Union aims to have 8-9 million electric vehicles on the road by 2020.
Under the new EU research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 #H2020, €5 billion will be invested in electronic components and systems via the public-private partnership ECSEL @Electronics_EU. EU supports clean power for transport, notably through the European Green Vehicles Initiative.