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URBAN-EV Report Summary

Project ID: 605634
Funded under: FP7-TRANSPORT
Country: Germany

Periodic Report Summary 2 - URBAN-EV (Super Light Architectures for Safe and Affordable Urban Electric Vehicles)

Project Context and Objectives:
URBAN-EV project (Super Light Architectures for Safe and Affordable Urban Electric Vehicles) aims to demonstrate the feasibility of key vehicle light weighting technologies for the manufacturing of light urban electric vehicles with new standards of mechanical performance and occupant safety. The URBAN-EV main approach is to combine innovation-driving advances in high volume affordable manufacturing of lightweight components with pioneering joining technologies as well as testing and simulation capabilities. This would be done in combination with a full vehicle design approach where all these building blocks are integrated into innovative design solutions.
In the current state of the art (SotA), the components belonging to the major structural systems of automotive vehicle are mostly wrought steel. As an alternative, European automakers are beginning to rely on multi-material technologies for vehicle architectures. These structures are characterized by combining different materials or manufacturing processes. In this way, a synergic effect is pursued: on one hand the technical or economic draw backs of the different materials or processes alone are compensated, and their benefits are mutually enhanced.
By bringing together 10 partners URBAN-EV will apply innovative manufacturing technologies and materials to produce at least one prototype of a 2-seat urban electric vehicle with considerably enhanced autonomy with respect to the SotA EV of its kind, and a similar occupant safety level like in normal passenger cars. Specifically, a minimum purely electric range (in urban conditions) of 150 Km is targeted as well as an acceleration time of 7.8 s for 0-80 kph and an energy consumption of maximum 65 Wh/km. This stringent requirement calls for a realistic minimum weight reduction of about 21.5% (without RESS) with respect to the current vehicle prototype CASPLE-EV. The platform where these innovative lightweight architectures will be introduced is the 2-seat Casple-EV, supplied by the Spanish automotive company Casple, with an overall weight of the current version CASPLE-EV of about 573 kg (without RESS) and a targeted weight of 450 kg after the project, resulting in a weight reduction of 21.5%.
In order to achieve the goals, the consortium will design, manufacture and demonstrate new lighter architectures with enhanced engineering reliability for the principal systems of the vehicle such as chassis and body in white as well as several interior parts. Main construction materials will be light alloys and low cost, high integrity polymeric composites, which will be combined using an advanced multimaterial design approach. A series of technologies have been selected on the grounds of their ability to produce high integrity components, their affordability and liability of assembly-line, with the final aim of achieving a real breakthrough in the production of light and safe electric vehicles for urban use. URBAN-EV has carried out an intensive introduction of magnesium as an optimum structural solution for light weighting. Furthermore, cost efficient, high integrity manufacturing processes will be applied, with a special focus on those able to deliver complex components, therefore being liable to execute more functions without increasing cost. An important characteristic of the manufacturing technologies of URBAN-EV is its degree of maturity, being actually “off the shelf” technologies. This enables the car manufacturer Casple, as well as the supply chain of URBAN-EV consortium, to set the feasible objective of starting the series production of the new vehicle in about two years’ time from the conclusion of the project. As a key factor to reach this goal, URBAN-EV will heavily rely on physical tests of the developed components, systems and the final prototype with respect to all its relevant requirements, including mechanical requirements, safety, acceleration and autonomy range.

Project Results:
In the second reporting period the focus was still on WP1 on finalizing the design of the BiW and to the complete vehicle in the virtual stage. After a series of optimization loops, a design freeze (ready to manufacture design) is now achieved considering crashworthiness criteria, stiffness, dynamic and weight targets. All components were designed in detail and the vehicle is fully designed and available as complete CAD-model ready for manufacturing (D1.10). Also a good crashworthiness was obtained for M1 protocol, considering 64 kph, 40% ODB. Highly loaded designs elements have been assessed by Finite Element calculations regarding their load characteristics and front module crash behavior was assessed.
An additional assessment of the applied joining technology by EMPT crimping was performed by a coupon test program defined during the review meeting after the first reporting period. The results of the coupon tests confirmed the applicability of this joining technique with a reliable behaviour under service loading for URBAN-EV. The EMPT-joints were successfully qualified for the application of URBAN-EV vehicle (D1.8). Finally, the drive train components were fixed achieving the targets of acceleration, energy consumption and maximum speed of the vehicle. The motor, motor electronics and batteries have been purchased and a test bench was build up in order to test and tune all the elements of the power train before mounting them to the vehicle.
Besides the further improvement of the dynamic and crash characteristics, also further weight savings by optimization of the aluminium parts will be investigated. Here, the roof joints can be mentioned as an example for additional weight savings by applying possibly hollow casting.
In parallel to the design, the weight management has been performed. The weight target is 450kg, excluding the batteries, in order to be classified as an L7e. The CAD model includes the weight and centre of gravity of each of the elements included in the vehicle. For this reason the weight of the vehicle has been continuously monitored.
A weight reduction of more than 20% compared to the prototype CASPLE-EV was achieved resulting in a total weight of URBAN-EV of presently about 415 kg without RESS. This means that there is some margin for small deviations and also that the weight target is being successfully conducted. The weight of the energy storage is 130.17kg. The detail of the weight of each of the components included in the vehicle is reported in D1.10.
At the beginning of the project, the pricing target was established in 10,000€ for the vehicle and 6.000€ for the energy storage system. Therefore, a cost assessment has been made for the whole vehicle. The concepts taken into account for this analysis have been material cost, energy coast, labour cost, production volume, margins of suppliers, shipping cost, learning curves, maturity of technology, productivity/efficiency, margins of the retailers, taxes and sales policies. Two different scenarios have been considered and the estimated cost of the vehicle has been 9,025.59 € for the conservative scenario and 8,367.54 € for the realistic one. In the case of the battery, the values obtained have been: 6,050.00 € and 5,608.83 €. In both cases the numbers are in accordance to the targets fixed.
The work organization within WP2 has been made according to the different technologies and covers the application of wrought (forming) processes for light alloys (mainly forging, hydroforming and extrusion), the application of advanced casting processes for light alloys and is focused on thermoplastic composites. In order to finish WP1 with the complete vehicle design also studies on the application of the manufacturing technologies from URBAN-EV partners have been started for the particular components and first moulds or prototypes have been realized, which is already work to be implemented in WP2.

Potential Impact:
URBAN-EV has set ambitious targets in terms of manufacturing, joining, as well as detailed (multi-material) lightweight concepts. The URBAN-EV consortium members are firmly committed to achieve a final impact and to translate the success of the project into real, tangible impact in the European society.
More in particular, the topic specifies four expected impacts. These impacts are concretely addressed following:
• Overall weight of maximum 450 kg without RESS,
• maximum speed of 100 kph,
• acceleration 0-50kph: 3.8 seconds,
• acceleration 0-80kph: 7.8 seconds,
• minimum purely electric urban range of 150 km,
• Consumption: 65 kwh/km.

While URBAN-EV expects to produce the aforementioned expected impacts, it is worth mentioning that the project will address the following additional areas, which are key focus points of the European Union and the European Commission as well.
Environmental impact: CO2 emission reduction
In 2009 the world’s CO2 emissions reached close to 30 billion tons. This global problem merits a far-reaching global solution. While the URBAN-EV project by no means solves this problem, its impact will reach far beyond the European EV industry. URBAN-EV could contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions very substantially. More in particular, it is estimated, that URBAN-EV can impact European Society and economy by reducing the amount of CO2 in 107000 Tons/year.
URBAN-EV impact on urban quality of life and health
The world’s population continues to move from the countryside to city centres. It is expected that by 2030, 70 % of Europe’s population will be living in urban areas. This will lead to ever-more congested city streets. Urban road traffic has a negative impact on city dwellers, plaguing them with unhappiness and health problems. URBAN-EV has the potential to save countless healthy life years for urban dwellers by
- Noise pollution reduction
- Urban pollution reduction
URBAN-EV impact on EU Competitiveness
URBAN-EV aims to boost the European car industry capacities and know-how on light weighting in automotive. This is expected to have an impact not only on EVs manufacturing, but also in conventional ICE-powered cars, which can be safely considered to account for, at least, 80% of total car sells by about 2025.
URBAN-EV’s impact on lightweight EV safety
The URBAN-EV project intends to maintain comparable safety levels to those of conventional ICE vehicles and attempts to improve upon them ensuring that the total number of injuries (inside and outside of the vehicle) will be minimized.
The goal and challenge in URBAN-EV concerning passive safety is to maintain safety levels that are equivalent to those of current vehicles while also taking significant lightweighting measures.

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