Siemens Building 100-Unit Electric Car Fleet for Employee Use and Testing
12 October 2010
|Siemens EV. Click to enlarge.|
Siemens is building up a fleet of 100 electric vehicles for use and testing by employees. Called 4-S (4-Sustainelectromobility), the pilot project is focusing on the interplay between the electric cars and their infrastructure. Besides testing of the components, the project’s objective is to research and develop new business models.
Siemens expects there will be more than one million electric cars on the road worldwide in the foreseeable future, when they will form part of a smart grid.
The pilot project is divided into three stages and will initially be limited to the company locations in Munich and Erlangen. During the first stage, which will kick off in November, 20 vehicles will be given for testing to employees in southern Erlangen and in Munich’s Neuperlach district. The focus will initially be on testing the infrastructure.
During the second stage, which is scheduled to commence in spring 2011, 15 electric vehicles will be equipped with a drive system developed by the Siemens Corporate Technology (CT) group and subsequently tested by employees. At the same time, Siemens will set up an in-house electric car-sharing system in Berlin. In the final stage, which is to start in fall 2011, the vehicles will be fitted with drive systems from the Industry Sector.
The entire project is being managed by CT. The experience and insights gained by Siemens during this pilot project will be directly incorporated into the development of new components. The project’s aim is to find out how electric cars and the charging infrastructure can be best coordinated with one another. Siemens is also involved in a number of other pilot projects such as Harz.EE-mobility and Drive eCharged.
The latter project is taking place in the Munich model region and is run in cooperation with BMW and the Munich municipal utility company SWM. A total of 40 electric MINI E cars have so far been issued to test drivers, who will use the vehicles in the Munich area for ten months. Siemens is providing the infrastructure for the private and public charging stations, and SWM is supplying the green electricity.
Another focus of the project is to investigate the possibilities of fast charging with direct current, which would allow electric vehicles to be used for long distances of several hundred kilometers.
Yes. Depots of large lead acid batteries can supply cheap quick charging for electric cars. But stationary methane powered engines can do it cheaper and more efficiently. Stationary flywheels also can do it well and more efficiently. But there is no reason to not have a range small, 10kw or far less, range extender built in. It can run on certified organic cellulostic bioethanol, but someone in the world or more will be more hungry or cold because he could have eaten the ethanol. ..HG..
Posted by: Henry Gibson | 12 October 2010 at 01:10 PM
And less hung over.
I am with you on the range extender.
Enough to drive at 60 mph on the level would do it (and some). Might be more than 10KW, but no matter.
It may not have to be that efficient, just small and quiet and easy to top up.
Posted by: mahonj | 12 October 2010 at 04:13 PM
stay off the autobahn with these. Strictly for city driving at 35 or 40 mph. Interesting as many people already take the U-bahn or S-bahn to work.
Posted by: TM | 12 October 2010 at 05:56 PM
In cold climates such as those of northern and eastern Europe, an ICE genset is essential to supply cabin heat, defrosting heat, and battery-warming heat. Renewable fuels for these genset will be essential in order to remain CO2 neutral.
In a smaller PHEV, a 20-kW ICE will be all that'll be needed to provide unlimited driving range and for winter heat, all for much lower cost, if this ICE is in the form of a parallel hybrid. With exhaust heat recuperation for cabin heating and defrosting, thermal efficiency of this PHEV may be over 90%.
Posted by: Roger Pham | 13 October 2010 at 12:41 AM
Aside from your preconceptions, Roger, why does cold-climate operation require a parallel-hybrid drivetrain?
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 13 October 2010 at 09:23 AM
It does not. However, parallel-hybrid is cheaper and lighter, and is more efficient due to the direct coupling of engine to drive train at cruise, hence may find more market penetration. A battery-centric PHEV will not need a transmission unit, or at most, a two-speed unit for use in cruise only. A parallel-serial hybrid will have a small engine driving a small generator (20kW), and at low speed, it will run in serial mode. At cruise speed, the engine will be coupled directly to the drive train, thereby eliminating electrical loss. The electric motor will provide boost for acceleration when needed at cruise, thereby preventing downshift. Because the engine provides additional torque at cruise speed from 40-80 mph, the motor and the power inverter can be smaller, thereby saving weight and cost and internal space.
Look at the Volt's hwy mpg when on engine power alone (35-40 mpg), vs. the Prius' hwy mpg(48-50 mpg), and you can see that the 75% mechanical torque coupling of the Prius has resulted in much higher hwy mileage. There may be other factors in the Prius' higher mpg, but I think that the direct mechanical coupling is largely responsible for this gain.
Posted by: Roger Pham | 13 October 2010 at 12:33 PM
Not that it matters. The Volt sustainer isn't even using the Atkinson cycle; that can be fixed. The bulk of driving will be done on electricity; the practical difference between 180 MPG and 230 MPG is small enough to leave to a couple model years down the line.Only if it has lower-powered electric systems. A car designed for full performance in EV mode will save nothing there, and will have extra costs due to restricted mechanical arrangements. A recent analysis found that the fuel consumption of a typical taxi could be halved by operating the engine at the optimal speed/load point instead of where the mechanical transmission's ratios dictated. When did the Volt's highway mileage get downgraded from 50 MPG? I missed the memo.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 14 October 2010 at 06:19 AM
A serial-parallel HEV or PHEV will combine the torque from both the engine and the motor when maximum power is desired, allowing a smaller motor and power inverter for a given level of performance. There is no need for "full performance in EV mode," since full performance in combined mode is more fitting of a hybrid.
In the "Power mode," the engine will be kept warm and will be restarted once every 5 minutes or so to keep the catalytic converter warm enough, in case a power boost will be needed in the battery-dominant mode.
In the "Economy mode," as selectable by the driver, the engine won't be started until the battery is sufficiently depleted. Economy-conscious drivers will not need the extra boost from the engine, and power-oriented drivers can sacrifice some efficiency.
Agree that fuel consumption of a taxi could be halved by operating the engine at the optimal speed/load point. That's why we have serial-parallel HEV with an electric-only mode at low speeds and low loads, when the ICE would be least efficient. The ICE would only be started when it can deliver optimal efficiency. The ICE is downsized enough so that it can run with optimal efficiency when coupled directly to the drive train at cruise speeds.
(testimony of a real-world driver)
Posted by: Roger Pham | 14 October 2010 at 07:52 PM
I'm not swayed by the results of a single test driver over 16.1 miles. The sort of driving you do to "put it through some rigorous paces" and conclude it “borders on sporty and is fun” is neither what the average driver does, nor what many of the remainder do every day (and the sort of driver who does would probably not have a Volt); still, the car got "a combined 100 MPG over those 59.7 miles of driving". The Volt's range extender will mostly be used on longer trips, cruising on highways. If the operation is 80/20 electric/gas, even at 27.3 MPG on gas it would average 136.5 MPG; more likely we'd see over 200 MPG. That's good enough for a while.Apparently you didn't see where I wrote "
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 15 October 2010 at 05:00 AM
Skimping in power electric is false economy?
Let's consider the $41,000 price tag of the Volt, vs. $22,500 for the Prius. The battery in the Volt costs ~$8000. The Prius' battery costs~1000 wholesale, may be ~$2000 retail. Substracting $1000 from the $8000 and adding this $7000 to the MSRP of $22,500 of the HEV Prius will give $28,500 for the cost of a hypothetical PHEV Prius with LG Chem's 16kWh Li-ion battery pack. So, $28,500 vs. $41,000, and this is false economy?
One may think that operating a serial PHEV in heat-led mode in the winter by running the ICE, efficiency does not matter much, since waste heat is utilized. However, even in the heat-led mod whereby waste heat is utilized, the waste heat from electrical losses may be too cool for defrosting or even for cabin heating in the deep freeze of Moscow or Berlin. If the motor and power electronics are to be air cooled, then, this waste heat may not be recoverable for cabin and windshield defrosting. So, minimizing electrical losses and drive train losses will still be the best approach to increase overall efficiency, even in the heat-led mode, so that coolant heat and exhaust heat can be used to the best extent.
Posted by: Roger Pham | 15 October 2010 at 01:27 PM
The Prius has trivial all-electric range and speed, so it's not a valid basis for comparison.Yes. The major expense is the battery, not the motor (and controllers are getting cheaper quite rapidly). A battery with enough energy for good range usually has far more power capability than needed, so failing to provide a way to get it to the wheels is a deliberate waste of potential.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 16 October 2010 at 10:09 AM
Would you not get a sweet spot with a ~2-5 kWh battery and ~100kW output, such a system could cover all non highway travel of a vehicle, and still provide enough power reserves for overtaking and accelerating to highway speeds.
I think its a shame the volt didn't go for a smaller atkinson cycle range extender
Posted by: 3PeaceSweet | 17 October 2010 at 10:33 AM
Thanks, Eng-Poet, for your continous interest in this topic, which also interests me tremendously.
The Volt has a 50 kW engine, a 50 kW generator, and a 110 kW motor, with an estimated curb weight of 3520 lbs. Since the 110 kW motor is the motive force, this will be the power rating of the vehicle
To match this 110 kW power rating when designing a serial-parallel hybrid with same payload rating, we can start with a 55 kW motor#1, a 30 kW engine and a 30 kW generator/motor#2. When the engine is clutched to the drive train, the combination of engine and generator/motor#2 will add another 60 kW of power to the 55kW motor, for a combined total power rating of 115 kW. Interestingly, the sum total of installed generator/motor power is only 80 kW, vs. 160 kW for the Volt. The installed engine power is only 30 kW, vs 50 kW for the Volt. This 30 kW should be good for 80-90 mph top speed on engine power alone. However, the combined 115 kW of power should allow ~120 mph top speed until the battery is out of juice.
Now, then, ask yourself, why do we need 16 kWh of battery capacity, when 8 kWh of battery will do just fine, allowing seating capacity of 5 instead of 4 as in the Volt, and shaving ~200 lbs of weight and ~$4000-5000 USD off the retail price?
The reduction in installed motor/generator/power inverters/cooling accessories/engine capacity should shave another 300-400 lbs off the curb weight. The vehicle's tire, wheel, suspension, chassis can also be enlightened as well, shaving off another ~200 lbs of weight. I can see a total saving of ~700 lbs of weight in this lighter serial-parallel PHEV version, and at least $10,000 USD off the retail price.
Because the new vehicle will be much lighter, it will easily do 25-27 miles in all EV mode out of the 8kWh battery pack. If your commute is >20 miles each way, then all the owners of this reduced-range PHEV can use this excuse to ask for a reserved parking spot right next to the building, essentially a VIP spot, while laughing all the way to the bank depositing the ~$10,000 USD that you've just saved. Owners of the Volt, with 40 mi all EV range, will likely be denied the coveted charging lot at work if they live less than 20 miles from their work place!
What about all EV performance of our lighter serial-parallel PHEV? We will provide it with a two-speed transmission from the 55 kW motor to the drive train in order to double the motor's torque from 0 to 50 mph. This will provide it with superior acceleration over that of the Volt, up to 50 mph. Above 50 mph, the engine and the generator/motor#2 will be clutched on to give it another ~50 kW of power in high gear, thus exceeding the acceleration of the Volt, given the fact that we are ~700 lbs lighter.
Ain't bad, eh?
Posted by: Roger Pham | 17 October 2010 at 11:38 PM
Roger, you're really not getting the point.Which is not even close to the same capability. It can only provide 110 kW to the wheels when all are in flat-out motor mode (max speed), and is limited to 55 kW in all-electric mode.
Because that's what it takes to get
If you want to cut the battery bulk and cost, the obvious way is to make it a service item. If you could revive the Firefly Energy 3D^2 design, you could probably make a 10 kWh battery half the size of the Volt's pack and get it to last 3-5 years. At 1/4 the price per kWh, it would cost about 16% as much. If you're paying 8% on a car loan, the interest savings would pay for the battery replacements.
- 40 miles of AER while
- limiting the charge/discharge range to achieve the specified warranty figures of 10 years and 150,000 miles.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 18 October 2010 at 10:47 AM
EP & Roger,
It would be interesting to hear your opinion on hybrid described in US Patent 6,740,002 (by Stridsberg).
(Perhaps Roger's proposal is very similar to this, where the gearbox would have just 2 fwd gears).
I personally don't favor Volt-like series HEV because of unavoidable powerful generator that is expensive, and is likely to get even more expensive in the future as prices or perm. magnets and copper are expected to be higher, especially PMs.
Some small range-extender generator (up to 15 kW), for limp-home operation is OK.
China Says Its Medium, Heavy Rare Earth Reserves May Last Only 15-20 Years).
No wonder Renault and Continental opted for non-PM motors for e-cars, in recent announcements. Toyota too, with new e-RAV using Tesla/AC Propulsion non-PM motor. BMW also used it in e-Mini prototype.
I'd rather pay extra $500 - $1,000 for Roger's type of hybrid to have it with 4 instead of just two speeds (as proposed earlier), for economy and acceleration. And with generator of say just 15 kW.
To me it makes sense to use a small generator in PHEV whose power is just above minimum power at which ICE runs efficiently. By looking at some BSFC charts of Prius engine, it appears to be the case in Prius HSD system where MG1 is rated at about 10 kW.
Posted by: MG | 18 October 2010 at 01:46 PM
Thanks, MG, for many interesting points and your referral to the interesting patent by Stridsberg.
Certainly, gear box can significantly augment acceleration and efficiency for electric motors, also. A 110-kW motor rated at 3000 rpm cannot generate 110 kW output at 1500 rpm at all, since hp=torque x speed. It can certainly draw in 110 kW of power, but probably almost half of it will end up as heat, when the motor's efficiency will drop from >90% @ 3000 rpm to ~50% @ 1500rpm when facing a very current draw.
In a fixed-gear BEV, the full-rated output of the motor cannot be realized at lower speeds, but only at near its rpm of maximum output.
So, EP, the Volt's 110-kW motor can't deliver this rated power at lower speeds, either, since it does not have gear shift in order to maximize output and efficiency at lower speeds.
My PHEV design, having a two-speed transmission, can better deliver the engine and motors' maximal output at lower speeds than the Volt.
Now, then, why is 16 kWh battery capacity not needed:
1) You can get ~25 mi all electric range from a 8 kWh battery, and you can plug it in at work or at shopping centers, or other places. This is a perfect excuse for obtaining a parking spot as close to the building as possible without a handicap sticker.
You're paying very little $ for getting all the perks of owning a PHEV, like HOV lanes and other perks like those given in Britain for EV's.
2) Why carrying around 200-lbs of dead weight all the time, (and draining $4000-5000 in your bank account) when you will be able to charge your PHEV at work and at business centers?
3) Batteries will lose capacity with time, even without any usage. That is known as calendar life. Why subject your $8000-10000 investment to unnecessary risk, when you can invest only 1/2 of the amount now, and then this 8 kWh pack is worn out, replace another fresh pack and enjoy fresh battery capacity again? This is especially true if you don't drive very much. With the dropping price of batteries, your second 8 kWh pack will be cheaper than the first 8 kWh pack.
4) WRT OEM's battery warranty: 8yr/100,000 mi warranty for an HEV's battery is to satisfy federal requirement for emission equipment of the vehicle. Even a very heavily-used 8-kWh pack is likely to retain a capacity of 4 kWh after 8 years, or 50% loss of capacity. This is still perfectly good to serve the vehicle as an HEV battery pack. The Prius only has a 1.3 kWh battery pack. Therefore, the OEM does not have to pay to have the battery replace, since emission-wise, the HEV will still do just fine with 4-kWh of battery capacity. The owner, however, can elect to trade in this pack for a newer pack at his/her own discretion. The vehicle's on-board computer can be programmed to stop accepting charge from the grid when the battery pack's capacity is down to 2 kWh, in order to prevent the OEM from having to replace the pack for free.
MG, I'll get to comment on the Stridberg's patent after having the chance to review it in detail.
Posted by: Roger Pham | 18 October 2010 at 03:08 PM
Quoth MG:From my read of the patent, it's a multi-speed version of the Prius scheme.
No need to worry about that. Induction generators require no rare earths, just transformer steel and conductors. They are simple, rugged and extremely cheap. Light, too; AC Propulsion's 200 HP motor weighs just 110 pounds.
You'd be paying more for less fuel savings. That looks like a bad bargain to me.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 19 October 2010 at 08:48 AM
Quoth Roger:You're assuming that torque is constant. This is not true for several types of motors, especially induction motors; torque varies with the slip frequency between rotor and stator. The motor can maintain near-constant power over a considerable RPM range (once it gets out of the torque-limited range).
You can't use 110 kW all the time anyway. At 10 mph, that's almost 25 kN of thrust (over 5500 lb). If T/W is limited to 0.5 the Volt wouldn't be able to put the full 110 kW to the ground until it hit 32 MPH. That's fine by me.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 19 October 2010 at 08:49 AM
Stridsberg has several good points in the US patent 6740002, in that:
1) An electric drive train can use a simpler version of manual transmission without the synchromess mechanism that would have created more friction. Automated manual can simulate automatic transmission, and the electric motors can match the rpm of the gears before engagement.
2) A PHEV or HEV with limited installed power level can really benefit from a real simple 5-speed automated manual transmission, that will significant increase the fuel efficiency and acceleration performance in city driving cycle, or at below 60 mph. Of course, high-speed driving requires higher installed electrical and ICE power, which will make a 4-5-speed transmission less of a requirement...but still good to have, if can be shown to run smoothly and reliably.
Posted by: Roger Pham | 22 October 2010 at 11:15 PM
As a Scientist, Engineer and former Physics Teacher it totally astounds me that everybody here is either blind to or not being trampled by the Elephant in the room. Hey did you guys ever Hear about the CONSERVATION OF ENERGY LAW (It's taught in 9th grade General Science i think. Just to Refresh:
Energy in a system may take on various forms (e.g. kinetic, potential, heat, light). The law of conservation of energy states that energy may neither be created nor destroyed. Therefore the sum of all the energies in the system is a constant.
No matter how you cut it ELECTRIC CARS are no "Greener" than Cars that run directly on Fossil Fuels in fact if you crunch the numbers they are far LESS Efficient and in the End THEY ARE STILL RUNNING ON FOSSIL FUEL as over 85% of the Electrical Grid (modest estimation) is produced by FOSSIL FUEL. The only thing here that is somewhat differnet is simply that you use a 3 pronged wall plug to fuel rather than a GAS Pump Hnadle but you are STILL RUNNING YOUR TOTALLY INFERIOR, IMPRACTICAL, (WAY) OVERPRICED, UNDERPOWERED, UNCOMFORTABLE,SMALLER, LESS SAFE, MUCH HIGHER MAINTENANCE, WEATHER (temperture) SENSATIVE AUTOMOBILE, MUCH THE SAME FOR 100 OR SO YEARS ON FOSSIL FUEL!!!!!
The only difference is that the Power Comes from BLACK Coal or Crude Oil probably produced in parts of the Country where lower income families live who can't afford Electric Cars or Hybrids (which also run on Fossil Fuel Directly)so they are gagging on the Toxic "Horrors" produced by Creating Watts, Creating the "Green House Gasses" and theoretically causing the Earth to Suffer a Heat Stroke just far enough away from your ELectric Toy Cars and your Lower Upper Class Neighboorhoods and don't get a Federal Tax Rebate that will compensate them for their Myraid of Medical Problems and the Huge Bills that go along with them etc (squared)
IN FACT if you factor in simple OHMS LAW (I=E/R) or In H.S. Physics E =I/R It becomes fairly clear than SHIPPING ELECTRICITY TO AREAS FAR AWAY FROM "GREENSVILLE" ADDS UP TO A MUCH HIGHER AMOUNT OF FOSSIL FUEL IN THE LONG RUN THAN THE CURRENT MUCH MORE EFFICIENT SYSTEM OF SHIPPING PROCESSED FOSSIL FUEL
BY SEA OR PIPELINE ETC BECAUSE OF THAT PESKY "R" FACTOR THAT RAPES THE "I" FACTOR AND DOESN'T EVEN SEEM TO BE CONVICTED OF THE COST OF A PARKING TICKET!
Think of it this way. In order for you to get your
220 VAC or 120 etc in your GREEN Socket Cover say MANUFACTURED say 1000 miles away so you cant see the BLACK smoke from the eww so filthy Fossilized Dinasaur Dung trees, and perhaps a few Ancient Aliens who dropped dead here millions of years ago from the fowl O2 and Pristiene crystal clear H20 in Virgin Springs untouched by CO, Acid Rain and the like, is ASTRONIMICAL difficult to sum up as it varies extensively but according to a National Geographic Definitive study in 2010
There are three power grids in the United States: the Eastern, Western and Texas grids. The amount of power lost along these transmission lines, by moving it along long distances, could power "14 cities the size of New York," according to a 2010 National Geographic report:
"There are three power grids in the United States: the Eastern, Western and Texas grids. The amount of power lost along these transmission lines, by moving it along long distances, could power "14 cities the size of New York,"
br />Shurg...Go Figure!
And that is NOT counting the Myraid of Step Down Transformers wasting it in the(energy form) of HEAT needed to reduce the 120,000 Volds to 120 inefficient old home wiring etc etc, Lack of storage Capacity so it's running like Niagra Falls all the time (but not providing the relatively CHEAP and CLEAN hydro-dynamic source of ENERGY, about 5% of the National Grid (in the FORM of Water power simply put i.e same energy, different form but =). So 10x MORE Watts (kilowatt hours or however you want to think of it) has to be generated to Power your little Toy Elecric Car or Golf Carts literally which Senior Citizens are buying FLEETS of in Retirement Communities in FLorida and now using to line up at the "Drive Up" Bank teller or more appropriately "Golf Cart Up" a bit lower windows to deposit their $6,000 FED TAX REBATE CHECKS used to pay for at least 3/4ths the price of the new improved cheaper vehicles (that qualify for that "Rube Goldburgish" type grant).
Posted by: Dr Ted Warren | 17 January 2011 at 05:16 AM