Skip to main content

Electric Vehicle Components for 1000 km daily trips (EVC1000).

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EVC1000 (Electric Vehicle Components for 1000 km daily trips (EVC1000).)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2020-06-30

Smart transportation is a key industrial sector for Europe by securing 13.8 million jobs, producing 20% of the vehicle worldwide (out of 98.1 million vehicles produced yearly worldwide), and generating a yearly trade balance over €134 billion. The automotive domain is currently facing two revolutions at a time: the shift towards electrification and towards autonomous driving. Both revolutions are tightly linked to societal challenges such as clean transportation , zero fatalities , mobility for an ageing population, as well as to customer needs towards more personalized mobility. Both revolutions are strongly supported or even enabled by information and communication technologies and consequently result to a shift in the value creation as well as required skills in the automotive domain. New regulations and incentives for e-mobility are published to support this trend; parallel to this, new business models such as car sharing are emerging ; connected car is a further important driver in this context. Summarizing, the automotive market is currently being revolutionized and reorganized, electrification and autonomous driving supported by key digital technologies playing a central role.

The EVC1000 project addresses these challenges by developing brand-independent components and systems and demonstrates them through an integrated wheel-centric propulsion architecture and EV management approach implemented on two second generation EVs – from JAC and AUDI respectively. The goals of the EVC1000 components are to match/exceed the ERTRAC efficiency targets for EV2030+; to reduce cost by at least 20%; and to increase convenience and comfort of long-range travel.
At the core of EVC1000 is the in-wheel electric motor architecture because of its advantages in terms of active safety and drivability; and because of its unique benefits of packaging and modularity that will significantly enhance flexibility and adaptability of future EV architectures. For example, “design-for-purpose” vehicles built for dedicated usage models6 can become reality more easily. At the same time, the EVC1000 participants acknowledge the perceived drawbacks of in-wheel motors – but the recent documented progress in terms of efficiency, durability, scalability and cost-reduction makes in-wheels motors a promising alternative to on-board motors. Also, the fact that two major car makers, AUDI and JAC, are investing resources here is a clear sign of the innovation potential of this technology.

To complement the in-wheel motor technology and exploit their full potential, EVC1000 provides new chassis components and integrated controllers. In particular, an efficient brake-by-wire system and electro-magnetic suspension paired with predictive controllers will be implemented to extend the driving range by up to 10%. What is more, the systems are selected to ensure relaxed, comfortable and safe driving on long journeys.
Despite the high level of integration within EVC1000, full flexibility in the commercialisation of the individual components will be retained. This will facilitate the widespread introduction of the EVC1000 outputs on the automotive market in short term and overcome the limitations of some of the previous integrated electric corner solutions. In summary, the main components/systems developed in EVC1000 are:
* New components for in-wheel powertrains: i) Efficient, scalable, reliable, low-cost and production-ready in-wheel motors suitable for a wide range of torque and power levels; and ii) Compact centralised drive for in-wheel motor axles, based on Silicon Carbide technology, targeting superior levels of functional integration and failsafe operation – so called, eWD2. The designs consider electro-magnetic compatibility aspects and include prognostics and health monitoring techniques of the electronic components.
* New components for electrified chassis control with in-wheel motors: i) Brake-by-wire system, consisting of front electro-hydraulic brakes and rear electro-mechanical brakes for seamless brake blending, high regeneration capability and enhanced anti-lock braking system performance; and ii) Electro-magnetic and electro-pneumatic suspension actuators, targeting increased comfort and EV efficiency, e.g. through the optimal control of the ride height depending on the driving conditions.
* Controllers for the novel EVC1000 components and new functionalities, exploiting the benefits of functional integration, vehicle connectivity and driving automation for advanced energy management, based on the results of previous projects and initiatives.
EVC1000 will assess the energy efficiency benefits of the new technologies compared to existing EVs. This will include demonstration of long-distance daily trips of up to 1000 km across different Member States with no more than 90 minutes additional travel time due to charging, and without additional degradation of the components.
Target of the first project half was the completion of the concept validated by simulation and first release of components and control strategy. The related activities for the achievement of these two milestones have been successfully performed and submitted mostly on time.
Relevant technical achievements during the M01-M18 period include
* Simulation environment with models validated by vehicle measurement available; expected efficiency improvements from EVC1000 solution by 12%
* Component and vehicle level control strategy taking advantage of in-wheel motor (torque vectoring) and brake-by-wire (brake blending)
* Design of components (inverter, in-wheel motor, brake by wire, suspension) finalized; most of the components being tested at the testbed
* Innovative approach for reliability of power electronics (“canary structure”) successfully introduced
* Preparation and starting of homologation activities, by accurate planning and documentation of planned changes, and by starting discussion with homologation third-party.
Further, significant efforts have been allocated for dissemination and communication of the project, including e.g. LinkedIn profile with regular inputs, participation to the EVOLVE cluster and creation of common publications with parallel GV projects (ICCVE), organization of special sessions to relevant conferences (e.g. ICCVE, FISITA, SAE World Congress).
Focus of the second half of the project will be on component validation, integration into vehicle demonstrator and evaluation. The project organization and exploitation of expected outcomes is very well in line with the core business and interests of the involved partners. As a result of this, the project is advancing well (from a technical point of view), and the exploitation plan is clearly identified. Therefore, the likeliness for successful exploitation from both business and academia point of view is high.
The electrification trend is now being accelerated through Covid-19, and thanks to initiatives toward sustainability such as the Green Deal . These external factors play a positive role to increase the impact of EVC1000 and the relevance of the targeted project outcomes.