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Fast Electric Car with Double the Motor Power

In cooperation with RUF Automobile, Siemens researchers have turned a Porsche 911 into a high-performance electric car. What’s special about this automobile is that it can also feed energy back into the electrical network, enabling the vehicle to be integrated into a smart grid. The project, which is funded by the German Environment Ministry, was presented at Hannover Messe 2011, and involves the testing of various drive concepts.

As part of the project, the developers at Siemens Corporate Technology are focusing on two areas: creating a modular powertrain and giving the vehicle a smart charging ability. This research is necessary because electric vehicles need to meet a wide range of requirements before they can be used on a wide scale. Upper-range vehicles, in particular, need to offer high ride comfort, great handling, and, if possible, high speed. In addition, it must be possible to easily integrate the vehicles into future smart grids.

One of the drive concepts is similar to a traditional combustion engine vehicle in that it features a centrally mounted motor. Although this is currently the most common type of electric vehicle, it is also the one with the least flexibility. All of the project’s other concepts have a double motor. In one of them, the two motors are linked and have a manual transmission with two automatically shifting gears. The result is fast acceleration and high top speeds, both of which are important requirements for a sports car. In the second double motor concept, the two motors operate separately. This variant enables torque vectoring, in which controlled individual drive torques are distributed to the rear wheels. The system opens up completely new possibilities with regard to vehicle handling.

The developers plan to use flexible high-performance electronics to hook the vehicle up effectively to a smart grid. These electronic systems will be used for driving the vehicle as well as for charging purposes. It will be possible to charge the vehicle at an output of up to 22 kilowatts and the car will also be able to feed electricity back into the grid. A total of 10 test vehicles will be built. They will be used in tests in Berlin and the greater Munich area in order to gain insights into how the entire vehicle can be further optimized.

Dr. Norbert Aschenbrenner | Siemens InnovationNews
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