Thursday, August 6, 2020

Emilian Motor Valley, more and more development of electric cars

The district, stemmed from the initiative of big motor brands of Emilia-Romagna region, such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ducati and Dallara, along a radius of 100 km groups 16,000 enterprises and 66,000 employees, an enormous integrated eco-system, with world-class engineering envied worldwide.
The last news spreading in the Emilian Motor Valley concern the huge investment of over one billion dollars made by the Chinese manufacturer Faw – with almost 4 million vehicles sold in China and 90 billion dollars of turnover – and by the American Silk EV, company specialized in the car engineering and design. Target of the investment is implementing structures dedicated to the design, engineering and production of high-end electric and hybrid plug-in cars and super sports cars.

Safe driverless shuttle

(Fotograf: Martin Stollberg)

The mission of driverless shuttles is guaranteeing the travel “from the point A to the point B” safely and reliably. The possible application fields can be various: for instance, to increment public transport routes with supplementary vehicles, to transport visitors from the bus stop to exhibition centres or to move containers loaded with goods in logistic centres.
The 3F Project by Bosch was conceived with this mission: «The target – explained Steffen Knoop, project leader of advanced research and design at Robert Bosch GmbH – was developing solutions to assure that autonomous-driving shuttles could circulate safely, even in case of technical malfunction or sudden obstacles».
The partners involved in the project, which benefitted from a fund amounting to 4.3 million Euros allocated by the Ministry for economic affairs of the Federal Germany, are the leading company Bosch, StreetScooter GmbH, RA Consulting GmbH and Finepower GmbH, with the collaboration of the RWTH University in Aachen and the Research Institute FZI Research Center for Information Technology.
«Driverless shuttles – commented Thomas Schamm, coordinator of Bosch project – must satisfy different requisites compared, for instance, to highly autonomous cars “. To operate without drivers, shuttles must be able to monitor the system autonomously, then to carry out diagnostics activities and to manage eventual technical failures detected, to be able to continue the travel. At the same time, they are expected to protect the system in case of critical breakdowns, for instance stopping».
The 3F project has worked at the definition of these requisites in detail, at how systems must be designed and at how optimizing the interaction modalities of single components, like for instance redundancy, i.e. the duplication of functions for safety. Moreover, to detect obstacles with reliability they have installed various lidar sensors and radars in various points on the vehicle’s perimeter, permitting it to observe the surrounding area from different positions and to avoid blind spots.
Another solution consists in the integration of the fault-tolerance, so that the failure of a subsystem is at least partially compensated by other functions.

Audi, its flagship is electrified, too

Audi A8, flagship of the Brand, is a real technological manifesto and it is available in the mild-hybrid 48-Volt version, too. It is the first model by the four-ring company equipped with the fully-digital control management MMI touch response concept and with predictive active suspensions.
Audi A8 and Audi A8 L 3.0 (60) TFSI tiptronic have a V6 3.0 TFSI turbo engine, with direct petrol injection with anti-particulate filter, which supplies 340 HP. For the electric traction, a permanent magnet synchronous (PMSM) 136-HP integrated motor is at stake, together with the separation clutch, in the eight-speed tiptronic transmission with torque converter.
With these models, for the first time Audi dedicates the zero-emission propulsion to the high-end segment.
Audi S8 has instead a V8 4.0 TFSI 571-HP motor, with 800 Nm of torque, mild-hybrid 48-Volt technologies and cylinder on demand. Its performances equal a supercar’s, with active predictive suspensions, four-wheel traction with sports differential and dynamic all-wheel steering as standard.
As base setup, Audi A8 TFSI starts in electric modality (EV) and travels at zero emissions until when the driver presses the accelerator pedal with decision.
The driver can freely decide if and how intervening in the interaction between the thermal engine and the electric motor. Concerning this, the “EV”, “Auto” and “Hold” drive programmes are available and they respectively give priority to electric traction, automatic hybrid modality, which avails itself of the predictive traction management, or to the energy saving, to full benefit of a successive travel phase. The recovery system derives from the full-electric Audi e-tron.

SUV Volvo, the hybrid plug-in is coming

Volvo XC40 Plug-In Hybrid

Volvo’s race to zero emissions is going on. Despite the period of stop to alive presentations and to road tests owing to the Coronavirus emergency, the last novelty by the renowned Swedish automotive company is shining with confidence: the SUV in hybrid plug-in version with overall power of 262 HP and autonomy up to 45 km in electric.
Next September lands on the Italian market XC40 Recharge T5 Plug-in Hybrid, the hybrid recharge version of the compact SUV that, since its release in September 2017, has become Volvo’s best- seller in Italy, with over 21,500 units sold until now.
The Recharge T5 Plug-in Hybrid version, like all XC40, springs from Volvo CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) compact platform, conceived to host the technical elements connected with electrification.

The characteristics of XC40 Recharge T5 Plug-in Hybrid
– 180 HP 3-cylinder 1.5 litre petrol engine
– 82 HP electric motor
– Maximum cumulative power: 262 HP
– Maximum torque: 425 Nm (265+160 Nm)
– Maximum speed: 180 km/h (self-limited)
– Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 7”3
– Tank capacity: 48 litres
– Consumption (WLTP): 2.0-2.4 l/100 Km
– CO2 emissions (WLTP): 45-55 g/Km
– Battery capacity: 10.7 (8.5) KW nominal (usable)
– Maximum autonomy in electric: 45 Km
The plug-in hybrid version guarantees the ecologic performances of the hybrid recharge technology by Volvo and it is the first car of the brand with serial hybrid: both propulsive elements intervene in fact on the front axle.
A XC40 Recharge T5 Plug-in Hybrid is entrusted with the important task of impressing the decisive boost to the diffusion of the plug-in hybrid Volvo technology in Italy. The target is to make plug-in hybrid variants represent 16% of total sales of XC40 for 2020, an important driving element to allow plug-in hybrid models to totalize 15% of Volvo global sales in Italy.
On a global scale, the target of Volvo Cars for 2020 is that plug-in hybrid cars achieve 20% of total sales.

The iconic Hummer becomes and electric pickup

GMC HUMMER EV brings bold design and remarkable capability to the electrified vehicle space.

General Motors’ vision of an all-electric future is coming into clearer focus and gaining momentum with a $2.2 billion investment at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to produce a variety of all-electric trucks and SUVs. GM’s first all-electric truck will be a pickup with production scheduled to begin in late 2021.The first advertising spot lasting 30 seconds and regarding the new GMC Hummer EV appeared for the first time during last Super Bowl. Currently General Motors has diffused the front image of the new electric Hummer. The predominant element that catches the attention? When the vehicle starts, the front of the car lights up, highlighting a design of great visual impact. Concerning technical specifications, at present we know the vehicle features 1,000 HP power and maximum torque exceeding 15,500 Nm. Performances? In 3 seconds, the electric pickup accelerates from 0 to 60 hourly miles, corresponding to 96 Km/h; values that seem to belong to a super sports car.

A sports electric car in “base version”

The new entry version of the sports electric Porsche-branded car is called Taycan 4S and it is the third version of this model.
Already orderable and incoming in concessionaries since January 2020, this version is available with two batteries: performance that supplies a power up to 530 HP and the Performance Plus, whose power rises up to 571 HP. In both cases, the Porsche Taycan 4S accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds and reaches a maximum speed of 250 km/h. The autonomy the vehicle can reach is equal to 407 kilometres with the Performance option and as many as 463 kilometres with the Performance Plus, the highest value of the current Taycan range.
Like Turbo models, Taycan 4S has the all-wheel drive due to two synchronous motors, one for each axis. There is also the two-speed transmission on the rear axle and the standard Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with pneumatic suspensions.

Sustainable and field-proven drives for agricultural machines

Baumüller is making use of its many decades of experience in developing motors and producing electric engines, supplying energy-efficient components and comprehensive solutions for hybrid and fully electric drive systems, to develop individual drive concepts for agricultural technology.
Electric agricultural machines are a real alternative to diesel-powered vehicles. With their dynamic and powerful driving behavior, electric vehicles master the usual tasks with flying colors and they do this with long operating durations, flexible charging options and minimum noise pollution.
The powerMELA® drive concept, which Baumüller developed especially for mobile use in collaboration with Sensor-Technik Wiedemann GmbH, meets all the requirements for e-mobility thanks to its high power density, its compact and robust construction and its recovery capabilities. It consists of a combination of a permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motor, assisted by embedded magnets and an integrated four-quadrant converter. The compact design is firstly due to the integration of the converter, and secondly the compact construction of the electric motor.
The drive’s innovative cooling concept enables an extremely high-power density. The drive system thus requires minimum installation space and only weighs around 300 kg for the highest power category, including the motor, converter and transmission.
The power density is thereby double that for motors using standard water cooling. With a degree of protection up to IP6k9k and a permissible temperature range from – 40 °C to 85 °C, the drive is especially robust. The motor design is also characterized by a broad speed control range, due to its excellent field weakening capacity.
The motor is available in the 50 kW to 140 kW nominal power classes. Alongside direct use in vehicles, the powerMELA® is also ideal for other applications, such as for trailers.

Marine and industrial segments. Volvo Penta accelerates towards electrified power

Volvo Penta

With the aim of becoming a driving force in sustainable power solutions, Volvo Penta is going full charge into hybrid and all-electric drivelines, offering electrified solutions in both its marine and industrial segments by 2021.
Volvo Penta has issued a clear statement of intent with the news that by 2021 it will provide electrified power solutions for both its land and sea-based business segments.
“Volvo Penta is embracing the electric transformation and will be at the forefront in delivering compelling business cases to customers using this new technology,” says Björn Ingemanson, president of Volvo Penta. “We will take a full systems supplier approach helping our customers in the transition to the new technology. This will happen application-by-application, on the basis that the business case for switching to electric will differ across our many customer segments.
As part of this increased commitment, Volvo Penta has restructured its organization to accelerate the switch towards electrified power and has committed to an ambitious ramping up of its electrification investment program. An electromobility development-and-test laboratory has also been established at its Swedish headquarters.
As a Tier 1 partner to many leading equipment manufacturers in the marine and industrial segments, Volvo Penta is to further develop the proven electric platforms from the Volvo Group.
While the power outputs and applications of the initial electric systems are being kept confidential for the time being, the company has announced that both hybrid and all-electric solutions will be offered at the outset. Volvo Penta is already field testing early prototypes and system validation is under way.

It looks like a standard car, consumes as a hair dryer

Onda Solare

After 2700 kilometres through the Rocky Mountains region, from Nebraska to Oregon, the Solar Wave team – the only European team in the race – ended the course winning the first place and two special prizes with the “Emilia 4” vehicle: the award for the best mechanics and use of composites and the award for the best battery project. It is a success of Bologna University in the Automotive sector on a global scale, paving the way for possible important reverberations in industrial field.
Onda SolareThe vehicle, developed by Solar Wave team, looks like a conventional car but with a big difference in the consumption aspect: to move, Emilia 4 uses an amount of energy similar to what is needed to power a hairdryer. With two electric motors positioned behind the wheels, it is fuelled by five square metres of high-efficiency solar panels connected with state-of-the-art lithium batteries.
Emilia 4 crossed the finish line exclusively exploiting the solar energy, without ever being connected to the electric grid to recharge its batteries, and travelling autonomously the entire course, whereas all other racing vehicles needed to be towed on a cart for at least one section of the track.

Born from an industrial research project funded by Emilia-Romagna Region through European financing – Por Fesr 2014-2020, Emilia 4 was fully developed and built in Emilia-Romagna by Bologna University and by the Solar Wave team, with the involvement of Interdepartmental Centre for Industrial Research in Building and Construction, the Interdepartmental Centre for Industrial Aeronautical Research and the support of various companies and research centres, including Cineca Supercomputing Centre and Scm Group. The engineering activity, which involved around sixty people, lasted two years whereas the construction phase was accomplished in less than one year.

Electric motors and their impact on mechanics

Electric Motor

In the past, when motors were the conversation subject, it was almost unavoidable to think of a standard explosion engine, maybe of some old frames of some black and white movies. Today instead, speaking of motors from the industrial point of view certainly means referring to a constant process of technological innovation as well as to an increasingly green production and consumption methodology of goods. We take care of our health and of the one of our planet and we more and more tend to design and build a healthy environment. The atmospheric pollution is one of the main causes of mortality and this phenomenon can be more surveyed in cities because in narrow spaces a higher concentration of CO2 persists.

Therefore, we design fully “green” houses and entire cities; an ecologic culture grows and, obviously, the entire automotive industry cannot get away from this phenomenon. As a matter of fact, Toyota, Nissan, Citroen, BMW, Mercedes, Kia, Opel, Fiat, Hyundai and Volkswagen, all of them have a selection of electric models in their portfolio. Volvo, for instance, has announced it is going to modify, starting from 2019, the entire production of electric cars. A phenomenon – the implementation of electric motors in the various industrial fields – that no longer concerns just cars. Today it is possible to drive electric bikes with more and more professional characteristics; motorbikes with exceptional performances, such as CRP or Harley Davidson; to navigate with Riva boats; to compete with an electric single-seater. But not only, the industrial world is gradually getting in touch with it, packaging, food processing machines, machine tools, all those fields where there is the need of doing actions through a motion inside the machine itself. Rising matter, then, and with noteworthy numbers. Let us consider, for instance, once more the car world. Today 2 millions of electric cars are circulating whereas about 600 millions are expected in 2014, against, however, 1 billion of cars that will circulate still using the green petrol and diesel. We will witness a cohabitation among the various propulsion modalities – thermal, electric and hybrid – and an adaptation by the industrial system to what nowadays still seems a not mature system, however already steeply rising. What about small and medium engineering companies that produce mechanical components for the big production field of motors and of motion in general? What will be the repercussions on this manufacturing area? Certainly, we will no longer need certain components in the same quantities as today. Companies and subcontractors must and will have to seize the signs that will increasingly come from the market and from their customers, modify the supplied sectors and sometimes give up activities that have stopped being remunerative and demanded by the various manufacturing fields. New competence and specialization areas, specific training and new figures to be employed in companies will be necessary. Some entrepreneurial realities will look at electric motors with a critical attitude because they will have probably failed their own transformation but any novelty or change always generates new opportunities and it up to us reaping them. The future will be greener than today, complex, competitive and even more variegated, issuing new challenges for our engineering companies.
Stefano Colletta, Technical Director of Subfornitura News-Tecniche Nuove