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Electric Vehicle News

World Rallycross Championship all-electric in 2020
Posted on Sunday February 11, 2018

Volkswagen's efforts to push for the development of an all-electric rallycross supercar were revealed by EV News in March 2016 with plans for electric cars to be introduced into the World RX structure announced in August of last year, but a source has now indicated that electric cars will take the place of conventional internal combustion engine Supercars in the headline category after next year.

“Electric cars will be the world championship. They absolutely, categorically will be the world championship,” the source told Autosport.

“Fifteen cars are required to begin in 2020. Nine different manufacturers have been engaged in the discussions and negotiations so far, but the ability to buy the required components and build a car has to be open to privateer teams if they want to go that way too.”

It’s understood that the new electric cars will be based on a common carbon monocoque tub and safety structure that will be supplied as part of a chassis kit, expected to also include suspension and braking systems.

The FIA is expected to issue an invite to tender for the chassis kit in the coming weeks, with an additional invite to tender for batteries.

It’s believed that motors won’t be from a single supplier and neither will the composite body shells that will sit on top of the carbon chassis’, allowing for different models of cars to be used.

An open eMotor formula will spur competitive development of anything from dual, triple and quad-motor all-wheel-drive torque vectoring electric powertrains which could provide the missing link between electric motorsport and road-car technology.

Volkswagen have made clear that its electric Pikes Peak programme is designed as a learning project towards a future factory electric RX entry.

Magna To Unveil etelligent Drive Systems @ CES 2018
Posted on Sunday December 17, 2017

Magna’s etelligentDrive systems will be on display at CES 2018. The company’s e1 concept vehicle will be used to demonstrate different electric-drive (e-drive) concepts and systems, as well as demonstrate Magna’s vehicle integration capabilities. The e1 system consists of one highly integrated e-drive system on the front axle and one on the rear axle with two electric motors (e-motors).

Magna says the demo car achieves superior longitudinal and lateral dynamics combined with excellent vehicle stability for more safety. Each e-drive system in the demo vehicle uses 3x 140-kilowatt AC induction motors, adding up to an overall performance of 420-kilowatt peak (560 hp)

The Tesla Model S based e1 concept vehicle demonstrates improved stability and handling with electronic torque vectoring (eTV). The powertrain features an integrated eDrive 140 kW peak AC induction on the front axle while the rear axle has an integrated eDrive with 2 x 140 kW AC induction motors connected to a summation gearbox and axle lock clutch operated by the eTV control system to provide torque vectoring.

Triple electric motor all-wheel-drive powertrains offering dynamic yaw control via torque vectoring represent the next generation in high performance EVs with Honda, Audi, Mitsubishi and most recently Tesla's 2020 Roadster all either in production (Honda NSX, RLX SH-AWD) or soon to be. The ultimate in torque vectoring requires a quad electric motor AWD powertrain but at this time the only OEM known to be considering such a system for volume production is Honda with their next generation NSX due in 2023.

Magna is responsible for providing the e-motor, electronic control module/inverter and the transmission for the Ford Focus BEV and Magna has supplied Volvo with the electrified rear axle drive system (eRAD) featured on the Volvo V60 and S60 plug-in hybrid models. Magna’s eRAD system offers multiple hybrid driving modes while also adding electric all-wheel-drive capability.

More recently, the company announced a joint venture partnership with Hasco in China to produce a high volume e-drive system for a German automaker.

Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens team up for electric aircraft
Posted on Tuesday November 28, 2017

Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens have formed a partnership which aims at developing a near-term flight demonstrator which will be a significant step forward in hybrid-electric propulsion for commercial aircraft.

The three companies together announced the groundbreaking collaboration, bringing together some of the world’s foremost experts in electrical and propulsion technologies, at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London.

The E-Fan X hybrid-electric technology demonstrator is anticipated to fly in 2020 following a comprehensive ground test campaign, provisionally on a BAe 146 flying testbed, with one of the aircraft’s four gas turbine engines replaced by a two megawatt electric motor. Provisions will be made to replace a second gas turbine with an electric motor once system maturity has been proven.

“The E-Fan X is an important next step in our goal of making electric flight a reality in the foreseeable future. The lessons we learned from a long history of electric flight demonstrators, starting with the Cri-Cri, including the e-Genius, E-Star, and culminating most recently with the E-Fan 1.2, as well as the fruits of the E-Aircraft Systems House collaboration with Siemens, will pave the way to a hybrid single-aisle commercial aircraft that is safe, efficient, and cost-effective,” said Paul Eremenko. “We see hybrid-electric propulsion as a compelling technology for the future of aviation.”

The E-Fan X demonstrator will explore the challenges of high-power propulsion systems, such as thermal effects, electric thrust management, altitude and dynamic effects on electric systems and electromagnetic compatibility issues. The objective is to push and mature the technology, performance, safety and reliability enabling quick progress on the hybrid electric technology. The programme also aims at establishing the requirements for future certification of electrically powered aircraft while training a new generation of designers and engineers to bring hybrid-electric commercial aircraft one step closer to reality.

Paul Stein, Rolls-Royce, Chief Technology Officer, said: “The E-Fan X enables us to build on our wealth of electrical expertise to revolutionise flight and welcome in the third generation of aviation. This is an exciting time for us as this technological advancement will result in Rolls-Royce creating the world’s most powerful flying generator.

“Siemens has been driving innovation in core technology fields at full speed,” said Roland Busch, Chief Technology Officer of Siemens. “In April 2016 we opened a new chapter in electric-mobility with the collaboration with Airbus. Building up electric propulsion for aircraft, we are creating new perspectives for our company and also for our customers and society. With the E-Fan X partnership, we now take the next step to demonstrate the technology in the air.”

Among the top challenges for today’s aviation sector is to move towards a means of transport with improved environmental performance, that is more efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels. The partners are committed to meeting the EU technical environmental goals of the European Commission’s Flightpath 2050 Vision for Aviation (reduction of CO2 by 60%, reduction of NOx by 90% and noise reduction by 75%). These cannot be achieved with the technologies existing today. Therefore, Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens are investing in and focusing research work in different technology areas including electrification. Electric and hybrid-electric propulsion are seen today as among the most promising technologies for addressing these challenges.

Renault Samsung unveil new SM3 Z.E with 36 kWh battery
Posted on Sunday November 26, 2017

Renault Samsung Motors have unveiled the new SM3 Z.E. at the Daegu International Future Auto Expo in South Korea. Determined to upgrade its electric vehicle range to meet customer demand, and buoyed by the EV expertise it has gained over the past eight years, Groupe Renault is continuing to renew its line-up, the latest example being the new version of the SM3 Z.E. which first appeared in 2013.

The autonomy of the Renault Samsung Motors SM3 Z.E. – the market’s only three-box saloon – has been increased by 57 percent to 213 kilometres based on the Korean type approval cycle.

Battery power has been upped to 36kWh with no increase in weight and, with the average daily trip in South Korea standing at 40 kilometres in 2016 according to a Korean Transportation Safety Authority (KOTSA) report, the new SM3 Z.E. is capable of running for approximately five days on a single charge.

This increase in autonomy and the model’s spacious cabin will permit the SM3 Z.E. to address the strong demand expressed not only by retail customers, but also by state-run fleets and taxi operators. Indeed, 1,200 cars were purchased by South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare last April, while the model is also popular as an EV taxi in Seoul, Daegu and Jeju Island.

Honda to halve electric cars' charging time to 15 minutes
Posted on Wednesday November 22, 2017

Honda Motor plans to release in 2022 a selection of fully electric cars that can run 240km on a single 15-minute charge. Most electric vehicles now available take at least twice that long to reach an 80% charge even using a high-speed charger.

Key to this plan is developing a new type of high-capacity battery that can handle the ultra-quick charging. The carmaker sources batteries for its electric-gas hybrid vehicles from Panasonic and others, but plans to create the new batteries in collaboration with a partner to be chosen later. A lighter vehicle body and more efficient power control system will ensure the new cars can go farther on a single charge.

Before then, Honda plans to release mass-market electric vehicles in Europe in 2019 and in Japan the following year.

Fast chargers in Japan now provide a maximum output of 150kW, but industry plans call for raising that to 350kW starting in 2020. Europe is expected to have a network of several thousand 350kW charging stations by that year. Honda's next-generation electric vehicles will take advantage of this faster charging infrastructure.

Nissan Motor's new 2018 Leaf will also offer quicker charging times than the current model and range 30% longer -- more than 500km on a single charge. The automaker has a head start on Japanese rivals Honda and Toyota Motor in mass-market electric vehicles.

There were 470,000 electric vehicles on the world's roads in 2016, according to Tokyo-based research firm Fuji Keizai, making up 0.5% of the total. That share is expected to climb to only 4.6% by 2035. By offering faster charging and longer range, Honda hopes to give its electric cars an edge with everyday drivers.