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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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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

WSU innovation improves drowsy driver detection

Researchers at Washington State University Spokane have developed a new way to detect when drivers are about to nod off behind the wheel.

Their recently patented technology is based on steering wheel movements—which are more variable in drowsy drivers—and offers an affordable and more reliable...

24.04.2014 | nachricht Read more

Will Plug-in Cars Crash the Electric Grid?

Vermont engineers invent new method for managing growing fleet

Selecting a Chevy Volt, Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf — or one of many other new models — shoppers in the United States bought more than 96,000 plug-in electric...

26.02.2014 | nachricht Read more

Virginia Tech to Design Framework for Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication

Reseaarch proceeds to integrate vehicles into a communications network
Following a U.S. Department of Transportation call to require vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology for all cars and light trucks on the nation’s... 17.02.2014 | nachricht Read more

Making "Frozen Smoke" the Fast Way

Aerogels could improve some of our favorite machines, such as cars
One day, Union College’s Aerogel Team’s novel way of making “frozen smoke” could improve some of our favorite machines, including cars.

“When you hold aerogel... 04.02.2014 | nachricht Read more

New Technology Targets Slick Winter Highways

In the annual battle to keep roads clear of snow and ice, snowplows are about to get much more intelligent.
Officials in four states this winter are deploying hundreds of plows with custom-designed sensors that continually measure road and weather conditions. The new... 20.12.2013 | nachricht Read more

Industry and research join forces to improve bonding processes in the automotive industry

In power electronics systems bonded connections create the central electrical connections between adjoining surfaces.
The quality of these bonded connections is one of the main factors that determines the reliability and availability of drive systems in electric vehicles, and... 09.12.2013 | nachricht Read more

Lightweight Construction for the Automobile Generation of the Future

One of the main challenges of our times is to use limited resources efficiently.
And the decisive factor for automobile construction of the future is to reduce the weight of the car. The Volkswagen AG is working together with the Laser... 14.10.2013 | nachricht Read more

Innovative Auto Steering Device Could Save Lives

It can take up to two and a half turns to steer a modern vehicle. While turning, the driver must release the wheel in the necessary hand-over-hand movement, which is unsafe.
In his upcoming HFES 2013 Annual Meeting paper, Rene Guerster, who has been concerned with steering improvement since he was a child, proposes an alternative... 18.09.2013 | nachricht Read more

Adaptive software architecture for E-vehicles rectifies problems on its own

To have the flexibility to compensate for errors in electric vehicles, researchers are working as part of the EU-sponsored SafeAdapt project to develop a new automotive software architecture.
The aim is to allow developers to design software so that the system will autonomously compensate when problems arise during operation. This adaptive system is... 05.09.2013 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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