Smart system telling drivers when to brake and when to change the route developed by European researchers increases electric vehicle driving range by up to 30 per cent.
Aiming to reduce one of the biggest obstacles for more widespread uptake of eco-friendly electric vehicles – the range anxiety – the system uses multiple technologies including energy recovery and route management.
Part of the EU-funded OpEneR project, the system has been developed by researchers from six European research institutions and companies including Peugeot and Robert Bosh.
The team focused on improving the electrical powertrain and regenerative braking system, as well as developing a complex fuel-efficiency oriented navigation system.
By connecting individual components and subsystems into a smart management system, the OpEneR team managed to reduce energy consumption by up to 30 per cent without compromising journey duration.
The smart navigation system takes into account specific needs of electric vehicles and calculates the most economic route. The system considers a whole range of information including speed limits, inclination of slopes and traffic information obtained through an intelligent car-to-infrastructure interface.
The driver receives information through a large display integrated into the car’s dashboard, which effectively tells him what to do next in order to burn as little energy as possible.
The team believes the project has enormous commercial potential.
"Our findings are important for the future of all electric vehicles including hybrids. They will help unlock the market", said Kosmas Knödler, coordinator of the OpEneR project, working for the Chassis Systems Control division at Robert Bosch GmbH.
"Further road testing is planned. Then we expect the system to be progressively integrated into production as from next year onwards.”
Two demonstrator vehicles, developed as part of the €4.4project funded through the 7th Framework Programme, have been tested in Spain this summer.