Reading Time: 4 mins

dSpace

Moderator: Frank Mertens
Panelists:
Prof. Jakob Andert, RWTH Aachen
Prof. Markus Henke, TU Braunschweig
Jan Hergesell, INTILION
Ketan Doshi, KPIT
Markus Plöger, dSPACE

Statistics say that by 2025, 25% of new cars sold in Germany will be electric or partly electric. This reveals much about how eMobility is becoming a hot topic of discussion, today. Despite the innovations and research driving it, what does the road ahead look like?

dSPACE’s webinar on eMobility brings to the fore some crucial pointers ranging from the experience of driving an electric car to the innovations, trends and possibilities in future. Like all else, however, eMobility is not without its challenges.

Challenges

Influencing customer preferences: Persuading customers to try out and purchase eVehicles needs more concerted efforts especially in highlighting the advantages of ownership.

Quality of the battery: The low range and energy intensity of the battery is a problem and the most negative feature, at present.

Role of the charging stations: The lack of charging infrastructure is a big problem and third only to the price and range anxieties. Infrastructure that’s easily accessible, relatively inexpensive and easy to use will be required. While the chargers at home offer the convenience of residential charging but on the highway, the 350 kW charging stations may prove expensive — deployment and operating costs will be high and these will be passed to the users. A possible solution lies in the many collaborations happening across industry, for example, Ionity, which is rolling out 400 chargers of 350 kW capacity across Europe is a shining instance of collaborative effort that will mitigate these hurdles.

Underdeveloped interoperability: While wireless charging may be effected for vehicles on-the-go but that depends on interoperability as much as whether it can charge all kinds of vehicles. This mandates the standardisation of a lot of the technology because it will be needed in the future.

The Combustion Engine: Survive or Perish?

The combustion engine has been around for a long time and is currently the sphere of cutting edge work — to enhance performance and reduce fuel consumption. Research is on to leverage hybrid tech, synthetic fuels, the hydrogen. Studies are equally focused on where this may be used and whether its viable on vehicles such as, container ships.

The fight against climate change, global warming and the whole shift toward renewable energy, this is possibly the greatest challenge human has ever faced. In including technology and evaluating it from the point of the same objective standards, it’s imperative to focus on the decarbonisation of global energy supply but with a significant chemical storage such as, Hydrogen as the first step. Sorting the fluctuating energy supplies, the spatial distribution and the energy density that’s needed in certain applications as another area of research.

A big mix of propulsion technologies and electromobility will play a major role in individual mobility and will pose significant advantages for energy efficiency if electricity can be used directly when its produced. eVehicles bring together the best of both worlds, replace conventional vehicles in many applications depending on the use cases but liquid and gas energy carriers can be generated based completely on renewables. This means leveraging existing infrastructure to a great extent.

Key differentiators between suppliers in the market:

Software: This is a differentiating aspect will drive critical innovations. The electric powertrain (ePT) for instance enables consolidation of some ECUs but will challenge existing hardware and software frameworks. However, it will be game-changing. The ePT is time critical, with hard and low latency requirements, so, while AUTOSAR will be around, this will be flexible.

Charging units: These units talk to an external entity mandating the separation of power electronics and auxiliary features. A lot of new applications may come up incorporating predictive analysis of the charging cycles, data being sent to the cloud and that being analysed.

Batteries: These will be expensive and low energy density is a bottleneck so its imperative to design solutions to increase this density by leveraging synergies and knowledge from all applications.

Focus on the entire product: While machines look simple from the outside, there’s considerable development effort driving scale and costs. Focus must be on the whole product, the safety of materials used, its energy storage abilities, the shaft etc. for understanding optimisation and how financial viable it is.

The impact of eMobility on development tools:

For each hardware in loop (HIL) simulation, its necessary to have real-time models to calculate the simulated part, the plant model, the IO channels including, bus communication to read inputs and outputs, electrical signals and signal conditioning hardware to adapt signals to the ECU level. This is always the same whether for standard powertrain or eMobility components.

The difference is in, how eMobility, controlling eMotors, power electronics, are validated. Seamless integration of tools is important to understand the complex, simulated environment especially since the connected scenarios may not exist on the street, currently.

The next big thing:
  • eAviation: Electric aircrafts design and development can benefit from eMobility.
  • Sectoral coupling: This can help couple energy and electricity production, drive the use of bio-energy in different domains, enable a decarbonised future.
  • Batteries: Solid state batteries, lithium batteries with long time-range may be the way to go.

To know more about eMobility – The Road Ahead, watch the panel discussion at

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