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Vehicle Electricification: April 18, 2013

Vehicle Electrification
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SAE Eye on Engineering Quick Take: Low Maintenance Electric Cars

04-Dec-2014 13:41 GMT

Electric cars offer the big benefit of almost no maintenance. In this week's SAE Eye on Engineering, Senior Editor Lindsay Brooke looks at the almost maintenance-free life of owning an electric car. SAE Eye on Engineering can be viewed at http://youtu.be/iXo_jaFhZvw. It also airs in audio-only form Monday mornings on WJR 760 AM Detroit's Paul W. Smith Show. Access archived episodes of SAE Eye on Engineering at www.sae.org/magazines/podcasts.

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Watch the video at http://youtu.be/iXo_jaFhZvw

ANSI issues progress report on standardization related to EVs

03-Dec-2014 19:56 GMT

The American National Standards Institute on Dec. 2 issued a progress report (http://publicaa.ansi.org/sites/apdl/evsp/ANSI_EVSP_Roadmap_May_2013.pdf) on an organized standardization effort to help electric vehicles thrive in the U.S. marketplace. The effort focuses on both the vehicle and the charging infrastructure. The report describes advances made, and challenges that persist, since May 2013 when ANSI published a document titled "Standardization Roadmap for Electric Vehicles – Version 2.0." Developed by about 60 private and public organizations constituting ANSI's Electric Vehicles Standards Panel (EVSP), the progress report reviews 61 specific areas. Of those, it notes that 44 still have standardization "gaps" that need to be filled. In many cases, SAE International standards are being developed and/or revised to fill gaps, including J2907 Hybrid Motor Ratings and J2908 Hybrid Electric Powertrain Power Test Methods and Definitions. "Three and half years ago, the ANSI EVSP took up the challenge of articulating a roadmap of needed areas of standardization that would help foster consumer adoption of electric vehicles in the United States," said S. Joe Bhatia, ANSI president and CEO. "The panel's latest progress report demonstrates the ongoing commitment by private- and public-sector stakeholders to keep moving this work forward."

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SAE Eye on Engineering Quick Take: LA Auto Show Report

25-Nov-2014 19:50 GMT

The auto industry has entered a strange period, as a walk through the Los Angeles Auto Show made clear. In this episode of SAE Eye on Engineering, Senior Editor Lindsay Brooke reports on trends at the 2015 LA Auto Show. SAE Eye on Engineering can be viewed at http://youtu.be/LeyxNJi0ifw. It also airs in audio-only form Monday mornings on WJR 760 AM Detroit's Paul W. Smith Show. Access archived episodes of SAE Eye on Engineering at www.sae.org/magazines/podcasts.

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SAE comes out with "green racing" protocols

29-Oct-2014 18:09 GMT

SAE International recently published the J2880 - Recommended Green Racing Protocols. The aims of J2880 are to:

• Provide sanctioning bodies with recommendations to help them align competition rules with the objectives of sustainable transportation

• Support environmentally responsible and sustainable technology that is transferable to production vehicles

• Promote environmentally friendly operations of motorsports venues, competition events, and racing team facilities

• Assist sanctioning bodies in establishing a roadmap to increase green initiatives.

The U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. EPA, and SAE, along with partners and representatives from the motorsports industry, developed the protocols to be used by those automotive racing series who seek recognition as a Green Racing Series.

The elements of J2880 identify a range of technologies, fuels, and operational procedures that support development of a sustainable future for both motorsports and personal mobility, and organize them into a matrix of five Green Racing elements and four levels of commitment within each element. These elements are: propulsion systems, fuel/energy carriers, energy recovery, improved efficiency, and emission reduction. The levels of commitment are: Core, Enhanced, Elevated, and Pinnacle.

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The Spark-Renault sRT_01E is the racecar used by all teams in the new all-electric Formula E series.

China–U.S. ZEV Policy Lab formed

09-Sep-2014 15:10 GMT

The University of California-Davis, and CATARC (China Automotive Technology and Research Center) will cooperate to speed commercialization of plug-in and fuel-cell electric cars in China and the U.S. under an agreement signed Sept. 6 in Tianjin, China. The five-year memorandum of understanding establishes the China–U.S. ZEV Policy Lab, a partnership between UC Davis and CATARC (the administrative body that oversees and regulates many activities of the auto industry in China). Primary UC Davis partners are the university's Institute of Transportation Studies and the UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy. The California Air Resources Board and the China National Development and Reform Commission have supported the agreement and will co-chair the new entity’s advisory board. Major international and Chinese automotive and energy companies will also be invited to participate. The intent behind the collaboration is to help expand the global market for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by providing intellectual support for design of ZEV policies and analysis of consumer markets, including demand for charging stations, different types of ZEV technologies, and effectiveness of incentives. The creation of the China–U.S. ZEV Policy Lab follows several recent measures announced by the Chinese government to fight the country’s hazardous smog and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In July, it mandated that electric cars make up at least 30% of government vehicle purchases by 2016. The Chinese government also recently announced new financial incentives for electric-car purchases.

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Yunshi Wang, Director of the China Center for Energy and Transportation at UC Davis (left), and Zhixin Wu, Deputy Director of the China Automotive Technology and Research Center, sign a memorandum of for the partnership. The ceremony took place Sept. 6, 2014, in Tianjin, China. Behind them, from left, are Alberto Ayala, Deputy Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Board, and Gang Li, Department Chief of the Industry Coordination Bureau of the National Development and Reform Commission. (CATARC)

Analyst firm doubtful of Tesla Gigafactory value

05-Sep-2014 17:12 GMT

Days before Tesla on Sept. 4 announced it has selected Nevada as the state in which it will build a large "Gigafactory' battery plant, Lux Research opined that the savings in lithium-ion battery costs owing to high-volume efficiencies will not be as much as the automaker expects it to be. Lux predicts Tesla will sell fewer than half of the 500,000 it predicts for 2020. The Gigafactory will reduce the cost of the upcoming high-volume Model 3 by only $2800, Lux says, "not enough to sway the success of the planned lower-cost EV." Tesla had very little to say in a press release announcing the site selection decision. In an earlier release, the automaker said the Gigafactory will produce cells, modules, and packs for Tesla's electric vehicles and for the stationary storage market. Tesla projects Gigafactory output at 35 GW·h of cells and 50 GW·h of packs per year by 2020.

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Tesla rendering of its Gigafactory.

New e-motor for DCT use has no rare-earth metals

28-Aug-2014 18:39 GMT

LG Innotek on Aug. 28 announced it will begin production in early 2015 of an electric motor for use in automotive dual-clutch transmissions (DCT) that does not use rare-earth metals—a world-first for this application, the company claims. The motor also is 4% lighter than comparable motors that use precious metals such as neodymium and dysprosium—long considered essential in the manufacture of e-motors, such as those used in the hydraulic pumps of some DCTs, due to their magnetic properties. But the metals are environmentally controversial and are subject to commodity price fluctuations. LG Innotek developed its technology over more than two years, and has registered 13 related Korean and foreign patent applications for it. The auto industry has been studying alternatives to rare-earth metals in various applications. LG will build its new rare-earth-free motors at a factory in Mexico.

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An LG Innotek employee showcases the world’s first rare-earth-free DCT motor.

SAE Eye on Engineering Quick Take: Telsa Model S troubles

26-Aug-2014 13:28 GMT

Tesla Motors is learning that making trouble-free autos is no easy task. In this week's SAE Eye on Engineering, Senior Editor Lindsay Brooke looks at the American electric car maker and recent reports of problems with its Model S luxury sedan.SAE Eye on Engineering can be viewed at http://youtu.be/kgbdTHxuegw. Access archived episodes of the SAE Eye on Engineering podcast at www.sae.org/magazines/podcasts.

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Watch the video at http://youtu.be/kgbdTHxuegw.

New materials for power electronics key in lowering cost of plug-ins

13-Aug-2014 15:21 GMT

As alternatives to silicon (Si), use of wide-bandgap materials (WBGs) such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) for power electronics in electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles can have a major impact on systems and overall vehicle costs, according to a Lux Research report. “Efficient power electronics is key to a smaller battery size, which in turn has a positive cascading impact on wiring, thermal management, packaging, and weight of electric vehicles,” said Pallavi Madakasira, Lux Research Analyst and the lead author of the report titled, “Silicon vs. WBG: Demystifying Prospects of GaN and SiC in the Electrified Vehicle Market (https://portal.luxresearchinc.com/research/report_excerpt/17422). A power savings of 20% for the Tesla Model S, for example, could result in cost savings of $6000 in battery cost, or 8% of the vehicle's cost. Lux says SiC could displace Si as early as 2020, and notes that the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Power Electronics and Electric Motors initiative is spending $69 million this year to define performance and cost targets for power electronics; the Japanese government funds a joint industry and university R&D program on power electronics that includes Toyota, Honda, and Nissan.

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Lux Research says at 2% power savings, if battery costs fall below $250/kW·h, SiC diodes will be the only economic solution in EVs requiring a large battery, such as the Tesla Model S. However, for plug-in electric vehicles, the threshold power savings needs to be a higher 5%.

Tesla and Panasonic expand cooperation on battery cells

31-Jul-2014 18:57 GMT

Panasonic will handle the cell-making activity at Tesla's coming battery manufacturing facility dubbed the Gigafactory, the two companies announced July 31. Panasonic already supplies cylindrical (18650 type) battery cells for the Tesla Model S from its factories in Japan. The automaker is in the process of selecting a site in the southwestern part of the U.S. for a large-scale battery factory to meet demand for future additional Tesla vehicle models and to supply the stationary-energy-storage market. Panasonic's cylindrical cell operation at the Gigafactory will take up half the space in the building, with the remainder to be used by Tesla and suppliers to assemble the newly developed cells into modules and full battery packs. Expected capacity at the Gigafactory is 35 GW·h of cells and 50 GW·h of packs per year by 2020; to meet that pack target, Tesla will import additional Panasonic cells from Japan.

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Tesla and Panasonic earlier had agreed to co-develop a new battery cell technology. Shown is the Model S.

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