|The BLUECAR. Click to enlarge.|
Pininfarina and Bolloré, which set up a 50-50 joint venture at the beginning of 2008 with the purpose of designing, developing, manufacturing and distributing an electric car, displayed the latest version of the Pininfarina BLUECAR at the Geneva Motor Show on the Véhicules Électriques Pininfarina-Bolloré stand. (Earlier post.)
The prototype shown at Geneva is a forerunner of the vehicle which will go into production in Italy at Pininfarina starting from 2010 with the first units. Production on an industrial scale will take place between 2011 and 2017, with forecast output by 2015 being about 60,000, according to the partners.
|The BLUECAR. Click to enlarge.|
A compact MPV with automatic transmission, conceived as a four-seater five-door, the Pininfarina BLUECAR is powered by an energy storage system comprising a BatScap (a subsidiary of Bolloré) LMP (Lithium Metal Polymer) battery pack and an array of supercapacitors also produced by Bolloré.
The lithium-metal-polymer cell is a laminate of four ultra-thin materials:
- A cathode composed of vanadium oxide, carbon and polymer to form a plastic composite.
- A metallic lithium foil anode that acts as both a lithium source and a current collector.
- A solid polymeric electrolyte created by dissolving a lithium salt in a solvating co-polymer (polyoxyethylene).
- An aluminum foil current collector.
To obtain optimal conductivity, temperature of the battery must be maintained between 80 °C and 90 °C, according to BatScap.
The elementary cell element of Lithium Metal Polymer technology is completed by assembling ultra-thin films, with a thickness of a few microns. Films are layered, coiled, then compressed into a prismatic shape with a thickness in the range of 150 µm. Modifying the thickness of the film enables the optimization of performance to meet different application needs. For example, an assembly of thick films enables a high energy configuration, while thinner elements would lead to a high power configuration.
|Different components of modules. Click to enlarge.|
Elementary cells are used to build cells, which are used to build modules, which are used to build modules. The cell capacity is based on the characteristics and the number of elementary units connected in parallel. Cells are then series-connected in a special packaging to give the module its required voltage.
The 410 V BatScap battery pack has a capacity of 30 kWh, and peak power output of 45 kW. Gravimetric energy density is 100 Wh/kg, and volumetric energy density is 100 Wh/L.
The LMP battery can be recharged at a traditional mains plug and supports a range of 250 km (155 miles). The battery pack is housed below the floorpan and between the two axles. The BLUECAR uses a 50 kW traction motor.
The supercapacitors provide greater power for acceleration, a longer range thanks to the recycling of braking energy, and a longer lifespan for the battery thanks to the smoothing out of sudden power drains.
Part of the car’s hood is covered with solar panels which help power some of its equipment. The Bolloré group is also looking into the design of photovoltaic cell panels to be installed in private or public places to allow partial or total recharging of the batteries through solar energy alone.