Canada awards C$4.5M to two electric drive research projects; part of C$53M in new funding for 17 clean tech projects from SDTC
Canada will invest C$17M (US$17.9 million) from Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s (SDTC) SD Tech Fund in 17 new clean technology projects in the areas of agriculture, transportation, mining and energy. The awards include C$3.1 million (US$3.3 million) to a consortium led by TM4 Inc. in Boucherville to develop a new electric drive system for a bus, and C$1.2 million (US$1.3 million) to a consortium led by LaCima Corp in Vancouver to develop and ultracapacitor/Li-ion battery hybrid energy storage system for electric vehicles.
TM4. The TM4-led consortium, which includes Centre National du Transport Avancé and Nova Bus, will develop a mid-sized, 200 kW drivetrain and NEURΦ control system that builds on its current technology. This new drivetrain will have almost twice the energy density of current incumbent induction-based motors, while having the potential to be cost competitive with any leading induction or permanent magnet motor alternatives.
The project will specifically demonstrate TM4’s technology in an all-electric bus being developed by a consortium of companies led by Nova Bus (Volvo). The project also aims to develop a prototype pilot production line for the automated assembly of such systems.
LaCima Corp. The LaCima consortium, which also includes Fiat Central Research (CRF), Arcotronics Industries and E-One Moli Energy, is designing a new type of Energy Storage System (ESS) which consists of a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery with an integrated ultracapacitor. By supplying short bursts of power needed for rapid acceleration, torque-assistance, hill climbing and engine starts and absorbing energy more quickly to facilitate regenerative braking, this technology has the potential to maintain or extend driving range while reducing the size of the battery.
The prismatic cells that LaCima will be using in the ultracapacitor are also more compact than the conventional cylindrical format and their manufacture can be more easily automated, leading to reduced cost for high volume production.
The SDTC project will focus on increasing the capacitance of LaCima’s prismatic cell ultracapacitor and increasing its voltage to better match the cell voltage of the Li-ion battery. The aim is to further augment the energy density and to simplify the integration of an ultracapacitor and a Li-ion battery into an ESS and in doing so, provide an efficient means to meet the performance and cost requirements for EVs. The consortium plans to field trial their ultracapacitor ESS technology in a hybrid electric Fiat 500.