Electric vehicles

  • Directly-cooled Electric Motor Made from Polymer Materials

    Sectional view of the electric motor. © Fraunhofer ICT

    Making electric cars lighter also involves reducing the weight of the motor. One way to do that is by constructing it from fiber-reinforced polymer materials. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT are working together with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT to develop a new cooling concept that will enable polymers to be used as motor housing materials. And that’s not the only advantage of the new cooling concept: it also significantly increases the power density and efficiency of the motor compared to the state of the art.

  • Electric mobility: Opportunities for climate protection in Europe

    Several Smart electric drive cars charging at the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin.

    Getting more electric vehicles on the roads in Europe can significantly reduce CO2 emissions and air pollutants within the European Union. If the share of electric mobility in passenger road transport increases to 80 percent by 2050, the CO2 emissions of the passenger road transport sector in Europe can be reduced by up to 84 percent compared to 2010.

  • Energy hybrid: Battery meets super capacitor

    After stations in Zurich, Kanada and Scotland ERC Starting Grant awardee Stefan Freunberger researches on new energy storage systems at TU Graz. © Lunghammer - TU Graz

    Researcher at TU Graz demonstrates in Nature Materials that it is possible to combine the high-energy density of batteries with the high-power output of super capacitors in a single system – thanks to liquid energy storage materials. Batteries and super capacitors are electrochemical energy storage media, but they are as different as night and day. Both are capable of energy storage and targeted energy release – and yet there are major differences between the two. Batteries store very large amounts of energy that is released slowly but constantly. By contrast, super capacitors can only store small amounts of energy, but they release this energy much faster and more powerfully with large short-term peak currents.

  • Investing in the Energy Supply of Tomorrow

    Fraunhofer ISE's TestLab Power Electronics. ©Fraunhofer ISE

    Fraunhofer ISE’s New Research Lab for Power Electronics and Grid Technologies in the Multi-Megawatt Range. With the grid expansion and modernization process for the German energy transformation, a growing number of applications for advanced power electronics and grid technologies arise. Power electronic devices, or converters, are key for connecting power supplies, consumers and storage systems and are playing an ever more important role in our energy supply. Further, these devices must be tailored to meet the increasingly complex requirements that ensure the flexible and reliable operation of our future energy system.

  • Launch of project ECO COM'BAT: Sustainable energy storage with high-voltage batteries

    Efficient lithium-ion pouch cell with the base materials. © K. Selsam-Geißler, Fraunhofer ISC

    Cruising range is one of the greatest challenges for the rapid implementation of electromobility in Europe. Ten partners from industry and research organizations now join forces in the EU funded project ECO COM'BAT, coordinated by the Fraunhofer Project Group Materials Recycling and Resource Strategies, part of the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC, to develop the next generation of lithium-ion batteries – the high-voltage battery. Better performance is not the only goal for the new battery. Compared to conventional batteries the new type should be more powerful and even more sustainable due to the substitution of conventional, often expensive, rare or even critical materials.

  • Making progress with electricity

    The new BINE-Themeninfo brochure, “Electromobility”  © BINE Informationsdienst

    In the car industry, combustion engines are no longer the yardstick against which all values are measured. Electric drives have begun to become established on the market. The new BINE-Themeninfo brochure, “Electromobility” presents current research results on technology and economic efficiency. Here, the focus is on battery and fuel cell technology, the materials used and the impact of increasing electromobility on the power grid.

    FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure is a not-for-profit organization with the public mission to make sci-tech information from all over the world publicly available and to provide related services in order to support the national and international transfer of knowledge and the promotion of innovation.

  • Microtechnology industry does not back German automotive industry unconditionally

    The majority of microtechnology experts thinks that no concessions should be made to climate protection in the interest of the automotive industry. IVAM

    Being part of the automotive supplier industry, the microtechnology industry has a great interest in a strong automotive industry. Representatives of these suppliers, represented in the IVAM Executive Panel, however, believe that the interests of the German automotive industry should not be protected under all conditions: no concessions should be made to climate protection in the interest of the industry and the economy; fraud attempts such as exhaust gas manipulation should not be tolerated; and it is necessary to work more intensively on alternative drive technologies.

  • Research at Fraunhofer ISE Investigates Integrated Photovoltaic Modules for Commercial Vehicles

    Principle of the vehicle-integrated PV modules for refrigerated semitrailers developped by Fraunhofer ISE. ©Fraunhofer ISE

    Thanks to considerable cost reductions in photovoltaic modules, solar energy holds increasing appeal for use in the mobility sector. Depending on the type of application, even diesel fuel for trucks can be replaced by photovoltaics to some extent. Fraunhofer ISE has carried out and evaluated yield analyses of PV power supply for commercial vehicles, such as refrigerated transport vehicles, using real-life solar irradiance data. Based on its findings, the institute sees great potential in this field and is working together with partners from the logistics and automotive sectors to conduct research into special PV modules for use in commercial vehicles.