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Electric vehicles

Fuel cells and the electric motor are examples of highly-efficient, electric drive trains. Electric vehicles are expected to one day outstrip sales of combustion engines vehicles. Innovative technologies such as fuel cells, electric motors and electric vehicles will influence our future mobility. The market for electric vehicles boasts the most potential.

Fuel cells, electric motors and electric vehicles are currently experiencing a breakthrough. Fuel cells are being used in new applications such as automobiles or laptop computers. Like electric vehicles, fuel cells are still in the development phase however. The potential is far from being exploited. Because a genuine fuel cell boom is anticipated, mass production is already underway. Like fuel cells, the application potential for electric motors and electric vehicles is still in its infancy stage. The discovery of the relationship between magnetic fields and electricity laid the foundation for the electric motor, and thus the electric vehicle. The electric motor that eventually resulted from this discovery is driven by the Lorentz force, which is the force on an electric charge as it moves through a magnetic field. The development of traditional technologies such as fuel cells and the electric motor has led to a rise in environmentally-friendly electric vehicles. Hybrid vehicles are still dominating the market in the segment for environmentally-friendly automobiles however. Utilizing a combination of combustion and electric motors, hybrid vehicles are slimmed-down versions of the electric vehicle.

Fuel cells

Fuel cells are based on the principle of a galvanic process. The composition of a fuel cell is influenced by both electrodes. The fuel cell energy stems from the electrode potential, which is created by the charging of the anode and cathode. The charging results in a potential difference in the fuel cell, which is eventually transformed into electric energy. From its discovery, to today's high-technology status, the fuel cell has experienced an astounding development. Fuel cells are already being used in a variety of applications today. But its impressive career is far from over. Because of their simple operation, the use of fuel cells in electric vehicles represents the market of the future.

The electric motor

Theelectric motor began as an electromechanical transformer. As the description implies, the electric motor is capable of transforming electricity into mechanical energy. The electric motor functions by transforming its mechanical force into motion. Like fuel cell technology, the electric motor is a popular drive train alternative in electric vehicles. The development of the electric motor as a drive train for electric vehicles is still a work in progress however. The first genuine electric motor was produced as early as 1834. Today, state-of-the-art, innovative technologies are still based on discoveries made by researchers nearly 200 years ago, as illustrated by the examples of the fuel cell, electric motor and electric vehicle.

The electric vehicle

While electric motors and fuel cells were originally used in industrial machine applications, electric vehicles are the technology of the future. At the beginning of their development, electric motors were initially used in locomotives . At this point, the focus is on the development of roadworthy electric vehicles. The key drivers of modern research into the electric vehicle are the electric motor's high degree of efficiency and low CO2 output, two factors that are behind current efforts to combat energy resource and climate change issues. The major issue is energy storage , which is the why researches are focused primarily on this aspect. For this reason, hybrid model electric vehicles - the combination of electric and combustion motors - are still in their infancy stage.

Automotive Engineering

Automotive Engineering highlights issues related to automobile manufacturing - including vehicle parts and accessories - and the environmental impact and safety of automotive products, production facilities and manufacturing processes.

innovations-report offers stimulating reports and articles on a variety of topics ranging from automobile fuel cells, hybrid technologies, energy saving vehicles and carbon particle filters to engine and brake technologies, driving safety and assistance systems.

Latest News:

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Automated driving: Steering without limits

OmniSteer project to increase automobiles’ urban maneuverability begins with a € 3.4 million budget

Automobiles increase the mobility of their users. However, their maneuverability is pushed to the limit by cramped inner city conditions. Those who need to...

05.02.2016 | nachricht Read more

Pioneering joining technology for high performance hybrid automotive parts

Flexible production cell for Hybrid Joining – FlexHyJoin

Aim of the international project FlexHyJoin, funded by the European Union’s program for research and innovation “Horizon 2020”, is the novel development of a...

18.12.2015 | nachricht Read more

Direct-drive Linear Switched Reluctance Actuator for Automobile Active Suspension Systems

Researchers in Hong Kong have developed a linear switched reluctance actuator for automobile active suspension system. This system can significantly improve suspension performance and collect suspension energy.

This invention by researchers at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKPolyU) is a linear switched reluctance actuator for automobile active suspension...

27.10.2015 | nachricht Read more

ACOSAR: standardizing merged numerical simulation and real tests

The ACOSAR EU project kicks off in Graz in late September. The project consortium consists of leading European vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and research establishments, which are jointly working on the standardization necessary for modular, distributed and open system development. The goal of the project is to develop a system interface that allows real-time systems to be linked together also over relatively large distances and to be merged into functional prototypes consisting of virtual and real components. The project is managed by the VIRTUAL VEHICLE Research Center in Graz. The anticipated results are a more economical development process and opportunities for new business models.

Increasingly stringent statutory provisions such as Euro VI or zero-emission zones, larger urban populations, the booming Asian automobile market and...

06.10.2015 | nachricht Read more

The Drive for Digital Cars

A research consortium headed by Siemens plans to replace the jumble of electronic systems in cars with a kind of operating system, that will open the door to drive-by-wire steering and braking, as well as plug-and-play updates. The first vehicle based on this new architecture is now being developed and tested.

Cornel Klein, a Siemens software engineer, steers a compact yellow van through a city. After a left turn, he stops at a traffic light before proceeding...

24.09.2015 | nachricht Read more

International training concept on technical cleanliness inspection

There have been fixed standards regulating technical cleanliness inspections of component parts in the automotive industry for over a decade. These are codified in the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) vol. 19.1. So that companies can inspect components in accordance with policy, laboratory managers should be qualified “Technical Cleanliness Inspectors”.

To this end, Fraunhofer IPA has been offering the required training for over ten years now. Given that demand abroad has risen substantially on account of the...

15.09.2015 | nachricht Read more

EU-LIVE launches: European researchers and manufacturers developing smart urban light vehicles

A European consortium of leading vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and research institutions is developing a comprehensive solution for the next generation of electrified, cost- and energy-efficient light vehicles. The unrivalled modular development approach of the collaborative EU-LIVE (Efficient Urban LIght VEhicles) project will provide a complete range of different electrified powertrains and vehicle bodies with different designs that are cost-efficient and easy to produce.

Across the globe, the urban population continues to grow. While around 750 million people lived in cities in 1950, this number reached almost 4 billion in...

22.06.2015 | nachricht Read more

Cost-efficiency of plug-in hybrids calculated a thousand times faster

Plug-in hybrids have low fuel consumption, but require more costly parts than cars with a regular combustion engine. During development, the optimal cost balance must be calculated, which has been extremely time consuming to date. Now researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have developed a new method that dramatically reduces the time needed for these calculations.

Plug-in hybrids have low fuel consumption, but require more costly parts than cars with a regular combustion engine. During development, the optimal cost...

22.04.2015 | nachricht Read more

Newly developed diamond transistor expected to reduce energy consumption in automobiles

A research group led by Professor Hiroshi Kawarada of Waseda University has developed a highly efficient transistor used to reduce energy consumption in electric automobiles and trains.

A research group led by Professor Hiroshi Kawarada (Faculty of Science and Engineering) has developed a highly efficient transistor used to reduce energy...

20.02.2015 | nachricht Read more

First series production vehicle with software control

Siemens has unveiled the first electric series production vehicle with the central elec­tronics and software architecture RACE.

This technology, developed in the research project of the same name, replaces the entire control system with standard hardware and a kind of "operating system...

19.12.2014 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Production of an AIDS vaccine in algae

Today, plants and microorganisms are heavily used for the production of medicinal products. The production of biopharmaceuticals in plants, also referred to as “Molecular Pharming”, represents a continuously growing field of plant biotechnology. Preferred host organisms include yeast and crop plants, such as maize and potato – plants with high demands. With the help of a special algal strain, the research team of Prof. Ralph Bock at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam strives to develop a more efficient and resource-saving system for the production of medicines and vaccines. They tested its practicality by synthesizing a component of a potential AIDS vaccine.

The use of plants and microorganisms to produce pharmaceuticals is nothing new. In 1982, bacteria were genetically modified to produce human insulin, a drug...

Im Focus: The most accurate optical single-ion clock worldwide

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock which attains an accuracy which had only been predicted theoretically so far. Their optical ytterbium clock achieved a relative systematic measurement uncertainty of 3 E-18. The results have been published in the current issue of the scientific journal "Physical Review Letters".

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock...

Im Focus: Goodbye ground control: autonomous nanosatellites

The University of Würzburg has two new space projects in the pipeline which are concerned with the observation of planets and autonomous fault correction aboard satellites. The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy funds the projects with around 1.6 million euros.

Detecting tornadoes that sweep across Mars. Discovering meteors that fall to Earth. Investigating strange lightning that flashes from Earth's atmosphere into...

Im Focus: Flow phenomena on solid surfaces: Physicists highlight key role played by boundary layer velocity

Physicists from Saarland University and the ESPCI in Paris have shown how liquids on solid surfaces can be made to slide over the surface a bit like a bobsleigh on ice. The key is to apply a coating at the boundary between the liquid and the surface that induces the liquid to slip. This results in an increase in the average flow velocity of the liquid and its throughput. This was demonstrated by studying the behaviour of droplets on surfaces with different coatings as they evolved into the equilibrium state. The results could prove useful in optimizing industrial processes, such as the extrusion of plastics.

The study has been published in the respected academic journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).

Im Focus: New study: How stable is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?

Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels

A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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