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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.

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The car of the future – sleeper cars and travelling offices too?

As part of a survey involving 2500 motorists in five major markets, management consultants Horváth & Partners worked together with the Fraunhofer IAO to determine respondents’ willingness to pay and desired interior configurations for self-driving vehicles. The results are summarized in the “Enabling the Value of Time” study.

Almost half of the motorists surveyed are looking forward to a completely new driving sensation: With the space normally occupied by the driver’s seat being...

18.06.2018 | nachricht Read more

Self-driving cars for country roads

Most autonomous vehicles require intricate hand-labeled maps, but MIT CSAIL's MapLite enables navigation with just GPS and sensors

Uber's recent self-driving car fatality underscores the fact that the technology is still not ready for widespread adoption. One reason is that there aren't...

07.05.2018 | nachricht Read more

When your car knows how you feel

FZI from January 9 to 12 at trade show CES / In Las Vegas, Karlsruhe researchers show system for camera-based recognition of vital parameters in vehicles

From January 9 to 12, the FZI Research Center for Information Technology will present a system for camera-based vital parameter recognition at the...

20.12.2017 | nachricht Read more

Did you know how many parts of your car require infrared heat?

A car should drive and look good. The car paint should shine, the windows must fit perfectly and especially the airbag has to function reliably. Infrared heat is responsible for a significant amount of these processes.

At least 200 parts of a car will benefit from infrared heat technology during its manufacturing process.

Drivers need a quiet cabin, a well-functioning heater for the winter or air-conditioning during the hot summer months, and - in case of an emergency - the...

23.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

Two intelligent vehicles are better than one

When EPFL researchers fused the data from two intelligent vehicles, the result was a wider field of view, extended situational awareness and greater safety

Intelligent vehicles get their intelligence from cameras, Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) sensors, and navigation and mapping systems. But there are ways...

04.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

The Future of Mobility: tomorrow’s ways of getting from A to B

Together, TÜV Rheinland, the Fraunhofer FIT and the start-up company MotionWerk are presenting a concept paper on the future of the mobility sector’s digital infrastructure. By way of their Open Mobility System (OMOS), they are offering a step by step solution to the challenges of our future mobility. The intention is to involve as many companies as possible in a mobility foundation that guarantees and promotes creative competition. At the heart of this process is an open, decentralized blockchain infrastructure.

The demands we place on unlimited individual mobility are already in transition. New mobility concepts such as Peer-2-Peer car sharing are indicative of a...

07.09.2017 | nachricht Read more

ShAPEing the future of magnesium car parts

New approach makes lightest automotive metal more economic, useful

Magnesium -- the lightest of all structural metals -- has a lot going for it in the quest to make ever lighter cars and trucks that go farther on a tank of...

23.08.2017 | nachricht Read more

Improved Performance thanks to Reduced Weight

Scientists of the Federal Cluster of Excellence MERGE in Chemnitz develop a Lightweight Wheel for more Safety and Comfort on the Road

Researchers of the Federal Cluster of Excellence “MERGE: Technologies for Multifunctional Lightweight Structures” at Chemnitz University of Technology and...

24.07.2017 | nachricht Read more

New Headlamp Dimension: Fully Adaptive Light Distribution in Real Time

• Integration of a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) in an LED headlamp opens up new paths for automotive lighting technology

• So-called LCD headlamps adjust light distribution to different traffic situations in an intelligent and continuous manner in real time

• 30,000 pixels allow image projections in addition to fully adaptive light distribution

In the context of the research project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) regarding the fully adaptive light distribution for...

29.06.2017 | nachricht Read more

3D scans for the automotive industry

How does an automotive assembly line have to be retrofitted for a change of model? 3D scanners are an elegant way to find this out. Professor of computer science, Andreas Nüchter, is a specialist for the job.

The variety of car models has increased significantly over the past decades. Take Volkswagen: In 1950, the automaker produced just two model ranges – the...

16.01.2017 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Hygiene at your fingertips with the new CleanHand Network

The Fraunhofer FEP has been involved in developing processes and equipment for cleaning, sterilization, and surface modification for decades. The CleanHand Network for development of systems and technologies to clean surfaces, materials, and objects was established in May 2018 to bundle the expertise of many partnering organizations. As a partner in the CleanHand Network, Fraunhofer FEP will present the Network and current research topics of the Institute in the field of hygiene and cleaning at the parts2clean trade fair, October 23-25, 2018 in Stuttgart, at the booth of the Fraunhofer Cleaning Technology Alliance (Hall 5, Booth C31).

Test reports and studies on the cleanliness of European motorway rest areas, hotel beds, and outdoor pools increasingly appear in the press, especially during...

Im Focus: Scientists present new observations to understand the phase transition in quantum chromodynamics

The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.

This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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