11th of April, 2016 - euronews

A greener road ahead?

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Innovative Ideas

Wouldn’t it be nice if your future car is not only driven by electric power but also provides food?  European scientists have developed a prototype of a car, which includes microwaves and frying pans instead of boots designed to carry luggage like most other cars. It’s made to not only drive a car by using photovoltaic energy, but also to power a kitchen in an ecological way. The goal is to explore new innovative ways to design and produce modular urban light electric vehicles.

Modularity and manufacturing

A modular car that has always the same chassis, 4 powered wheels and two motors. Modularity to simplify assembly and reduce costs. To maintain safety to those very small cars, a special steel is used. Very elastic to absorb big quantities of energy. Instead of rare earth materials magnets are used to produce the motors. The main advantages of using two motors are flexibility and improving acceleration performance. Flexible manufacturing with containers that come by trucks.  The containers include robots ready to assemble the car. Ready for production within a few days.

Automotive research

The article introduces an automotive research center in Northern Italy, which includes an electric and hybrid vehicle testing facility and a climatic chamber, to simulate the weather conditions all around the world, from -30°C to +50°C. Germana Trentadue, a Telecommunications Engineer at the Joint Research Center states that they are measuring information on electrical data and also the ratio between emissions and energy consumption. Also they are collecting data about electromagnetic fields, which are generated by electric cars.

Electric generator trailer

A big challenge for electric vehicles is the limited range. A group of European researchers want to address this issue with a portable generator in a little two-wheeled trailer. With their newest prototype, a range extension up to 500 kilometres becomes possible. Of course it looks paradox, to produce energy for an electric car with gasoline. But the most people don´t drive more than 100 kilometres a day, so they can drive the most time only with energy from the batteries. Only if they need to drive further, like 5-10 times a year, they can use the trailer to extend the range. For the most customers, buying such a portable generator wouldn´t make too much sense, so the researchers are planning to offer a rent model. The trailer isn´t a far future vision, it is expected to be in production in less than three years.

The original article can be found here: http://www.euronews.com/2016/04/11/a-greener-road-ahead/

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