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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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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

Researchers to Examine Using Autonomous Vehicles to Improve Traffic Flow

With autonomous vehicles likely to one-day make their debut on the nation’s roadways—possibly as early as within the next decade—researchers are already thinking about how these vehicles might assist with traffic flow and fuel consumption.

One such research collaboration, with Temple Assistant Professor of Mathematics Benjamin Seibold as the principal investigator, has just been awarded a...

09.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

Nanocomposites toughen up

An alternative fabrication route improves the properties of aluminum-based nanocomposites with great potential for vehicles of the future

One challenge in producing strong, elastic and hard-wearing nanocomposites is obtaining an even distribution of the nanoparticles in the metal matrix. Now,...

29.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

A reactive human model increases traffic safety and helps crash test dummies do their job

Every day, nearly 75 people lose their lives on Europe’s roads. The Austrian VIRTUAL VEHICLE Research Center is developing a new human model for use in simulating accident scenarios.

Research partners in this undertaking are the Graz University of Technology and industrial partners such as Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen. This...

18.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

Demonstrating a driverless future

Carnegie Mellon researchers bring NSF-funded autonomous vehicle to D.C. to show promise of driverless cars

In the coming decades, we will likely commute to work and explore the countryside in autonomous, or driverless, cars capable of communicating with the roads...

25.06.2014 | nachricht Read more

High strength cellular aluminium foam for the automotive industry

Aluminum foam is used for applications that requires high level of energy and sound absorption characteristics. UiTM researchers have developed an innovative process to make high strength cellular aluminium foam with help from some salt.

Aluminium foam exhibits unique properties when compared to its dense form, particularly its lightweight characteristics. Generally, the foam can be divided...

11.06.2014 | nachricht Read more

Together in Stuttgart for sustainable automobile manufacture and production for the future

Start of the research campus ARENA2036

The launch event of the flexible research factory ARENA2036 for the automobile of the future on 3rd June 2014 on the university campus Vaihingen was attended...

10.06.2014 | nachricht Read more

Keeping abreast of Car2X technology developments

Fraunhofer IAO’s patent index serves as position indicator for technology companies

Car2X technologies make vehicles “intelligent” and allow them to communicate with the objects around them. Encouraged by the numerous opportunities for...

06.05.2014 | nachricht Read more

Safe driving in city traffic

UR:BAN research initiative develops assistance systems for city drivers

In future, cars with anticipatory driver assistance systems will help drivers to navigate their way through dense urban traffic without stress and above all...

06.05.2014 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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