Concept of the Day: Frauenhofer IISB-ONE

July 29, 2015 § Leave a comment

IISB-ONEIt’s a rolling platform for developing EV power electronics, built by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology (IISB), Erlanger, and it has hit the road for testing. IISB-ONE is said to be a modular concept capable of integrating future technologies, and it showcases Fraunhofer IISB’s portfolio of e-drive systems, converters, chargers and battery storage systems. Interesting note: this is (I think) a second-life application for a rare Artega GT (putative Porsche Cayman rival, designed by Henrik Fisker, originally meant to be Volkswagen-engined, around 150 built before obsoletion/company collapse). Tech spec includes two individually-controlled e-motors delivering 80kW/peak torque of 2000Nm to each driven wheel, a rated 355v lithium-ion battery pack, a high-performance DC-DC converter, flexible AC or DC charging, and wireless inductive-charging capability. Its drivetrain could also accommodate additional batteries or even a fuel cell. (Found via electrive.com)

  • Some detail on BMW’s ChargeForward trial at Citylab: 100 i3 drivers in the San Francisco Bay Area are testing an app to report to the utility firm (Pacific Gas and Electric Company) when they want to use their car each day, and for it to then be charged (remotely scheduled) at times to smooth out demand peaks. An early step towards EVs as grid-balancers and in reducing fossil-dependence at peak demand-times.
  • A UK survey of 203 EV-drivers by KiWi Power, Carbon Trust and HSSMI (respondents recruited via Zap-Map and Next Green Car) found that: 81% had a dedicated home charging point; 19% had access to charging at work (but only 14% used it); 90% regularly use public charging points – 68% at least once a week, 22% around once a month and 9% less than once a month; 67% use all charger types; 31% use rapid-chargers only; 50% charge on public facilities for less than 2 hours, 37% for 4-6 hours, 5% for 6-8 hours, remainder 8 hrs+ or ‘don’t know’; most plug in with less than 60% battery charge remaining – 24% at 0-20%, 35% at 21-40%, 25% at 41-60%; 95% select a public parking location based on availability of a charger (52% always, 43% sometimes, only 5% saying it’s not a deciding factor); 67% regularly use a particular point; points regularly used are 32% in retail car parks, 25% in public car parks, 21% in local authority car parks, 10% on-street and 6% at workplace locations. Handy infographic, rundown with comments, here.
  • Qualcomm has done a deal with Swiss parts-maker Brusa for manufacturing/supply of its induction-charging tech, moving wireless charging a stage closer; its Halo system has been licensed, reports Green Car Congress.
  • Report from the Innovative Mobility Research unit at TSRC, UC Berkeley, surveying responses from 23,774 active Zipcar members incl. 523 corporate members (Zipcar for Business accounts for around a quarter of membership in the US). Of the corporate members, two in five sold a vehicle or postponed the purchase of a new one due to their joining Zipcar, equating to a claimed 33,000 fewer cars across N. America. Some interesting stats: of those who had sold/postponed purchase of a private vehicle, 41% said they took public transit or walked more often now, and 22% were more likely to cycle – but 19% were less likely to cycle, 13% were less likely to take public transit, and 7% less likely to walk – Shaheen et al point to a 13% induced-demand effect. 49% said that their likelihood of buying a new car in the future was reduced, and this was unchanged for 41%. Full report here.
  • Nice report from TransitCenter (New York), A People’s History of Recent Urban Transportation Innovation, looks at citizen activism and resident- or people-driven innovations. The examples used include introduction of bike lanes, bike-shares, public plazas, mini-parks and pedestrian spaces, but well, same principles for energy transitions or a switch to alt-fuels and installation of infrastructure? It discusses the scaling-up of local initiatives, and identifies three key prerequisites for success: an independent but persuasive citizen-led civic sector; bold mayors and transportation chiefs with a vision and mandate from top-level government; and agency adoption/new practices within city government to ‘perpetuate new norms’. Full report available to download here.
  • And (yet) more on Millennials, (via NextCity)… Survey of 3000 18-34-year-old Americans in the country’s 50 biggest cities, by Portland State University, found that they use public transport more than any other age-group, are more likely to walk or cycle, and prefer ‘attached’ housing (apartments) and living in walkable urban environments with short commutes (surprise!).  83% like walking, 71% driving (still high, but there’s a larger gap between the two figures for this age-group).
  • Yet Americans (cross-agegroups) are actually driving more and more – VMT (vehicle mileage travelled) has just risen for the 14th month in a row, the most since April 2007, and 2015’s set to be a record year for mileage, reports AutoblogGreen. Low oil/fuel prices are fingered as the culprits. So though Millennials may be driving less, we can’t assume a downward trend…
  • …which is why we need to get people into cleaner cars. A white paper from the ICCT looks at metro markets (USA) for EVs and concludes that they’re breaking through successfully in cities where there is progressive city policy, effective promotion and incentives, investment in infrastructure, and a broad range of vehicles available.
  • Criticising EVs as being only as green as the source of their electricity is not constructive (agreed), takes only a very short-term view (double agreed) and electromobility needs to be looked at as one element in a wider system (agreed again), says Tali Trigg at Scientific American.
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