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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.

Comments

Engineer-Poet

The integrated ultracapacitor is a sign of progress through specialization, like the distinct jobs performed by fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers.

HarveyD

Two very interesting development projects that could eventually fit in the same end products, i.e improved e-vehicles (cars-trucks-buses)

TM4/Nova Bus-Volvo have already gone a fair distance with effective ways to improve future e-city buses. Many cities and provinces have shown interest for Hybrid and fully electrified city buses. Many hybrid version are in effective use already and their number will grow month by month. The electric version should hit the streets for extended tests in about 24 months and may have most of the technologies cited above.

JRP3

I don't think you can extend range by using a poor specific energy dense product such as an ultra cap, which takes up volume and weight that a battery could fill with much higher density at lower cost. There is a persistent myth that current batteries can't handle regen currents when they most certainly can, other than a high speed panic stop. Regen can only supply a moderate range boost to begin with. Skip the ultra caps and just add more batteries, better bang for the buck.

HarveyD

Ultra quick charge batteries (when they become available by 2020?) may not need companion super-caps for ultra quick charges and discharges. The use of super-caps are an interim solution much the same as PHEVs are, until low cost 1000+ Wh/Kg batteries are available.

HarveyD

Future wireless chargers installed under selected streets and highway segments may make both super-caps and large batteries obsolete. The latest wireless units are 90+% efficient at 10 to 18 inches. Three coils systems can even do better.

Engineer-Poet
I don't think you can extend range by using a poor specific energy dense product such as an ultra cap, which takes up volume and weight that a battery could fill with much higher density at lower cost.
The battery has a lousy energy density compared to the fuel tank, but it extends range regardless. Re-examine your premises.
HarveyD

Batteries or super-caps energy density would not be so important if future BEVs pick-up or refill with enough energy while moving. E-range could become almost unlimited.

ToppaTom

The battery has a lousy energy density compared to the fuel tank, but it extends range by adding regeneration.

The ultra cap has a lousy energy density compared to batteries and brings no advantages. As JRP3 says, current batteries CAN handle regen currents and this capability increases as range and/or performance is increase by the addition of more batteries which bring more energy AND more power.

HarveyD

It's all a question of battery-super caps evolution and wireless (on the move) charging systems. Within 10 or 20 years, with many streets-roads equipped with 'on the move' wireless charging systems, electrified vehicles performance will match and exceed today's best ICE units.

Engineer-Poet

The superior energy density of the battery doesn't matter if it doesn't have the power density to handle braking. An ultracap can recover more energy than the typical small battery.

Henry Gibson

The need for long range battery electric vehicles never existed, and there was no large market for them. Germany is burning a lot of coal to generate electricity, but it could be used for making cheap methanol or ethanol or diesel for use in small plug in hybrid automobiles instead. Instead of much capital being tied up in large batteries that are not fully used, this capital can be used for factories to make liquid fuels from coal.

Most of the operation of such vehicles can be on mains power from wind, water or nuclear, but operation on coal derived fuel can actually save CO2 release because of the much higher efficiency of a small engine computer operated at highest efficiency most of the time but also a highest power when needed and not at all most of the time.

It may cost much less and be effective earlier in reducing CO2 release to use liquid fuels formed with the use of hydrogen produced by electrolysis than it would if large expensive batteries were used. ..HG..

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