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EU-LIVE Report Summary

Project ID: 653203
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EU-LIVE (Efficient Urban LIght VEhicles)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Increasing urbanisation requires significant changes with respect to living and mobility. The quality of our cities is increasingly characterized by low emission zones, pedestrian areas and cycling lanes. Thus, the need for sustainable, resource-saving and environmentally compatible mobility concepts is rising.

Together with public transport, the soft modes of mobility such as walking and cycling will remain the backbone of future urban mobility systems. These modes have limits regarding individual comfort, speed and transport capacity. Nevertheless, users still demand their privacy and individuality, which public transport cannot completely fulfil.

At the same time urban transportation is becoming more and more multimodal. User behaviour is shifting from owning to using. Nowadays new mobility services such as sharing or pooling enrich European city centres. However, most of these systems are still based on conventional vehicle types, for example fossil fuel powered cars.

To tackle these future challenges of mobility in a comprehensive way, novel types of vehicles have to be developed. There is a growing demand for cost-efficient, clean, quiet, easy-to-park and easy-to-manoeuvre urban vehicles that enable a broad spectrum of users to freely, comfortably and affordably move around in highly populated areas. Electrified L-category vehicles – electric-powered two-, three- and ultra-light four wheelers – are potentially ideal solutions to fulfil this demand. Their compact size enables enhanced agility in congested areas and facilitates finding a parking space. GHG emissions of these vehicles are significantly lower or even zero for fully electric models (also concerning noise). In this way they offer a complementary solution to public transport and to the “soft” modes, in particular if equipped with electrified powertrains for minimized local noise and air pollutant emissions.

So far the European L-category vehicle industry has faced relatively high component and subsystem costs because of only low-to-medium sales volumes per vehicle model and a lack of modular (carryover) strategies, as opposed to the high-volume passenger car industry. This situation keeps customer prices high and makes L-category vehicles less attractive to end users. Furthermore, due to the lack of cooperation, development methods and tools available in the 2-wheeler industry are often limited and less advanced than in the high-volume car industry.

The vision of EU LIVE consists of

improving the efficiency in designing and developing L-category vehicles, thus reducing development times and time-to-market by 15–20%
providing a set of energy-efficient and cost-efficient electric and plug-in hybrid powertrain components suitable for L-category vehicles
demonstrating highly innovative vehicle architectures specifically designed for electrified powertrains
reducing total energy consumption (fuel and electricity) and GHG emissions by 70% for L5e PHEVs (compared to conventional three-wheelers)
demonstrating real driving emissions below Euro 5 level for L5e PHEVs
providing a clear road to market for a comprehensive range of L-category vehicles

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The following demonstration models are being developed in order to comprehensively prove the elaborated strategy of EU-LIVE and the modular platform:

Real-life demonstration of an innovative, fully-fledged three-wheeler as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (L5e PHEV), showing real driving emissions below Euro 5 level, reduced noise, greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, serving as the flagship.
Real-life demonstration of a scooter (L3e) as a purely battery electric vehicle (BEV) using technology building blocks / carryover parts transferred from the L5e PHEV.
Virtual demonstration of a radically new ultra-light four-wheeler (L6e) as a BEV concept, in order to show the full potential in the transferability of technology building blocks across different vehicle categories and developed in an open innovation contest.

In this first reporting period, based on intensive studies an analysis of user needs and the market was performed, identifying the most important features for the EU-LIVE demonstrators. In parallel, suitable business models and business cases have been derived. Based on this valuable data, technical requirements have been defined which resulted in the final design specifications for all EU-LIVE vehicles. For the powertrain (sharing important components amongst the different L-category vehicles), the design has been finalized and the development and prototyping activities are ongoing. A design contest was held for the L6e vehicle. Based on a high number of top quality submissions, the design for the L6e vehicle was selected by a renowned jury.

The idea and first results of EU-LIVE have been presented at various events, including scientific conferences, industry symposia and relevant industry events. Additionally, the general public was informed via a press conference, press releases and various articles in newspapers and magazines.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Future urban mobility calls for more space for people and less space for cars as well as for environmentally compatible vehicle concepts, saving resources and minimizing local noise and air pollutant emissions. Motor vehicles in the L-category already offer an interesting complementary solution to public transport, walking and cycling. Yet, at present, L-category vehicles are still not sufficiently attractive to end users due to their relatively high prices.

EU-LIVE, a European R&D project funded by Horizon 2020, will provide a solution covering a wide range of L-category vehicles i.e. a comprehensive platform for the next generation of electrified, cost- and energy-efficient light urban vehicles. It will enable economies of scale by providing modular powertrains as well as bodies and an integrated co-simulation platform. Thus, EU-LIVE will enhance the competitive position of the export-oriented European vehicle industry and make an important contribution to a sustainable future mobility system.

The EU-LIVE project is carried out by an international consortium with comprehensive expertise in the areas related to vehicle research and development. The know-how of this interdisciplinary think-tank ensures the sustainable market exploitation of the project results.

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