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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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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

Worldwide unique standards for automobile development

Ceremonious opening of the modernised vehicle wind tunnel at the University of Stuttgart

The largest vehicle wind tunnel at the University of Stuttgart has been put back into operation after undergoing several months of modernisation work by the...

04.11.2014 | nachricht Read more

Drive System Saves Space and Weight in Electric Cars

Siemens has developed a solution for integrating an electric car's motor and inverter in a single housing. Until now, the motor and the inverter, which converts the battery's direct current into alternating current for the motor, were two separate components.

The new integrated drive unit saves space, reduces weight, and cuts costs. The solution's key feature is the use of a common cooling system for both...

20.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

New ORNL Electric Vehicle Technology Packs More Punch in Smaller Package

Using 3-D printing and novel semiconductors, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have created a power inverter that could...

16.10.2014 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Kick-off for a new era of precision astronomy

The MICADO camera, a first light instrument for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), has entered a new phase in the project: by agreeing to a Memorandum of Understanding, the partners in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, and Italy, have all confirmed their participation. Following this milestone, the project's transition into its preliminary design phase was approved at a kick-off meeting held in Vienna. Two weeks earlier, on September 18, the consortium and the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which is building the telescope, have signed the corresponding collaboration agreement.

As the first dedicated camera for the E-ELT, MICADO will equip the giant telescope with a capability for diffraction-limited imaging at near-infrared...

Im Focus: Locusts at the wheel: University of Graz investigates collision detector inspired by insect eyes

Self-driving cars will be on our streets in the foreseeable future. In Graz, research is currently dedicated to an innovative driver assistance system that takes over control if there is a danger of collision. It was nature that inspired Dr Manfred Hartbauer from the Institute of Zoology at the University of Graz: in dangerous traffic situations, migratory locusts react around ten times faster than humans. Working together with an interdisciplinary team, Hartbauer is investigating an affordable collision detector that is equipped with artificial locust eyes and can recognise potential crashes in time, during both day and night.

Inspired by insects

Im Focus: Physicists shrink particle accelerator

Prototype demonstrates feasibility of building terahertz accelerators

An interdisciplinary team of researchers has built the first prototype of a miniature particle accelerator that uses terahertz radiation instead of radio...

Im Focus: Simple detection of magnetic skyrmions

New physical effect: researchers discover a change of electrical resistance in magnetic whirls

At present, tiny magnetic whirls – so called skyrmions – are discussed as promising candidates for bits in future robust and compact data storage devices. At...

Im Focus: High-speed march through a layer of graphene

In cooperation with the Center for Nano-Optics of Georgia State University in Atlanta (USA), scientists of the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität have made simulations of the processes that happen when a layer of carbon atoms is irradiated with strong laser light.

Electrons hit by strong laser pulses change their location on ultrashort timescales, i.e. within a couple of attoseconds (1 as = 10 to the minus 18 sec). In...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



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