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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Audi launch 2nd Generation Audi R8 e-tron @ Geneva

The second generation of the Audi R8 forms the basis for two models. Audi has made major engineering developments in its high-performance electric sports car, the R8 e-tron. The latest evolution of the vehicle takes up the multimaterial Audi Space Frame from the new series-production model.

The supporting structure was enhanced by a CFRP rear-section module comprising the luggage compartment. The walls of the CFRP luggage compartment well are corrugated. This way, in the event of a rear-end collision, more energy can be absorbed despite the reduced material weight.

Thanks to targeted modifications to the outer shell and on the wheels, the Audi R8 e tron achieves an aerodynamic drag coefficient (cd) value of 0.28. In terms of performance and range, the car enters entirely new dimensions.

The large T-shaped battery is structurally integrated into the center tunnel and behind the occupant cell – optimally positioned in the car. It supports the dynamics of the R8 e-tron with its low center of gravity. Audi produces the high-voltage battery itself, for the first time based on a newly developed lithium-ion technology which was specially conceived for a purely electric vehicle drive. In comparison to the first technology platform, the battery capacity has grown from 49 kWh to approximately 92 kWh. This progress was possible without changing the package.

The R8 e-tron achieves an electric range of 450 kilometers (279.6 mi) instead of a previous 215 kilometers (133.6 mi) with an energy density that has been increased from 84 Wh/kg to 154 Wh/kg and some other modifications to the car. The electrically powered high-performance sports car has the Combined Charging System (CCS) on board, which allows charging with direct and alternating current. Using this system, it is possible to fully charge the battery in significantly less than two hours.

The power is now twice 170 kW and the maximum torque twice 460 Nm (339.3 lb-ft). The R8 e-tron accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.9 seconds on its way to an electronically restricted top speed of 210 km/h (130.5 mph) or 250 km/h (155.3 mph). Intelligent energy management and an electromechanical brake system enable high energy recuperation rates. Targeted torque vectoring – needs-based distribution of power transmission between the rear wheels – ensures maximum stability and dynamism.

Audi uses the electrical high-performance sports car primarily as a mobile high-tech laboratory. Accordingly, the findings from the R8 e-tron help in creating a vehicle with a sedan character. Upon customer request, the R8 e-tron will be available for order in 2015 as an electrically powered sports car in supreme hand-built quality.

Heat-gathering tire charges electric cars on the move [VIDEO]

At the Geneva auto show, Goodyear shows off an intriguing concept tire that would feed an electric car's batteries while rolling down the road.

The concept – named "BHO3" – offers the possibility of charging the batteries of electric cars by transforming the heat generated by the rolling tire into electrical energy.

This tire generates electricity through the action of thermo / piezoelectric materials in the tire that capture and transform the energy created by heat when it flexes as it rolls during normal driving conditions. The materials used would optimize the tire's electricity generation capabilities as well as its rolling resistance.

As demand for electric cars grows, this technology has the potential to significantly contribute to the solution of future mobility challenges. This visionary tire technology could eliminate the vehicle-range anxiety motorists may have with electric cars.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Koenigsegg Launch 1,500 hp Plug-In Hybrid [VIDEO]

The Regera was created as a luxury Megacar alternative to Koenigsegg's traditional extreme lightweight race-like road cars. Even though the One:1 and the Agera RS have surprising levels of practicality, creature comforts and features, their primary focus is, and has always been, to be the overall fastest cars on the planet – around a racetrack or elsewhere.

Regera is Swedish for "to Reign" - a suitable name for a machine that offers a never seen before combination of power, responsiveness and luxury - creating a true Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde persona.

In spite of all its advanced technology and creature comforts, the Regera is comparatively light. Therefore it can still perform competitively around a race circuit. According to us, the only Hyper/Megacar that could be faster around a circuit, is another Koenigsegg. However, out in the open the Regera will reign as the king of the road, as the fastest accelerating, most powerful production car ever.

The Regera will be handcrafted in only 80 examples. Apart from being a suitable production run for Koenigsegg´s newly upgraded and refurbished production facility, the number 80 also symbolizes the principle of domination, control and achievement in Pythagorean Numerology.

With the introduction of the Regera, Koenigsegg will, for the first time ever, have two parallel models in production.

The interior features; added insulation, 8 way electrically adjustable memory foam seats. A Koenigsegg 9" infotainment system, 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, front, inner and rear camera system with recording capability, Apple CarPlay, supreme sound system, ambient lighting and many other great new features. The Regera also comes with front and rear parking sensors and remote diagnostic and firmware update capability.

Constellation DRL
A good design and layout of the DRL (Daylight Running Lights) gives character, as the DRL is what's first seen when a car comes driving from a distance.

We wanted the Regera to stand out and clearly be recognized also from a far, so we came up with a novel idea that we call – Constellation DRL.

To get a constellation of stars effect, we scattered the LED´s, which make up the DRL, around the lamp cluster, giving the effect of star constellations on a night sky made up of polished carbon fiber.

A side effect is that the LED´s make the whole lamp cluster glitter and shine, as if there where diamonds thrown into them. That´s what we call - Koenigsegg cool.

The heart of the matter
The heart and soul of every Koenigsegg is its Internal Combustion Engine – the ICE. The ICE of the Regera follows the path of its siblings, based on the proven and extremely reliable Koenigsegg drysumped twin turbo, DOHC, 5.0 liter V8.

As before, the Koenigsegg V8 is the most downsized homologated production ICE in the world, with 220 Hp per liter engine (using regular pump gas). The compactness of the engine makes the Regera nimble, efficient and lightweight.

The difference to the Agera engine is that, given the electric propulsion of the Direct Drive system, we did not have to go as extreme on ICE power, as the combined output is way over 1500 Hp and over 2000 Nm torque, anyway. Given this we could install even smaller, faster spooling turbos on the Regera, further enhancing the ICE drivability and response.

A new level of luxury
The Direct Drive transmission of the Regera is capable of delivering never before experienced blistering response and performance and at the same time able to deliver one of the smoothest and most soothing driving experiences. Given this high level of bi-polar characteristics, the rest of the car had to be up to the task of delivering blistering, lightweight performance at new levels of soothing luxury.

Therefore Koenigsegg developed a completely new rear sub frame and rear structure that allows the engine and transmission to rest on active soft mounts. When driving in normal conditions the mounts stay soft and isolate engine noise and vibrations. When driving spirited, the mounts firm up to solidify the car and give greater response. The shock absorbers are active in height and stiffness – again allowing for the bi-polar behavior.

Furthermore, the Regera can be driven in absolute silence, as it is possible to go into full EV mode for shorter periods of time.

The first fully robotized car
Given the latest advances in compact lightweight hydraulics, Koenigsegg has managed to robotize the entire Regera with almost no weight addition. As the Regera features functions such as; active front and rear wings, chassis control and lifting system - the pumps and accumulators were already in place to connect a few more hydraulic operators. These in turn replaced gas struts of equal weight – resulting in minimal weight impact.

Due to the above, the Regera is the first car in the world that operates all body closures completely automatically. The spectacle to open and close the entire car simultaneously from the remote or smartphone, truly turns the Regera into a transformer.

On top of this, all body closures have soft latching mechanisms, giving the Regera a sophisticated feel. The fully robotized body system, with soft latches adds a mere 5 kg, making full robotization a very desirable option.

Furthermore the wing mirrors are auto-folding while the doors open, giving added practicality and visual drama, as the Dihedral Synchro Helix Doors swing out and rotate 90 degrees to fully clear the door opening, without protruding more than the width of the door – making them highly ergonomic.

Plug-in capability
The Regera utilizes an EV plug in feature. Behind the robotized rear number plate nestles a type 2 mode 3 charging port. This means that the Direct Drive Battery can be charged either by the combustion engine or through the charging port. The plug-in solution enabled us to create a novel feature we call - Battery Drain Mode, or BDM for short. For example, when there is around 50 km range left to the destination or next charging point, a preset geo location or a push on the touchscreen will trigger the BDM. This means the car calculates the driving behavior and makes sure the battery is fully drained upon arrival and is ready for a full charge. This drastically minimize fuel consumption and lower C02 emissions as the fuel consumed has been correctly optimized for the length of the journey.

The world's first fully foldable, active, top-mounted rear wing The Koenigsegg One:1 featured the world's first top mounted active rear wing. This was an innovative solution that maximized down force compared to its size and weight.

The Regera, being more luxury oriented, has taken this solution to the next level, allowing the wing also to fully fold down into the body work enhancing the cars elegance while parking and reducing drag while cruising. The wing´s active foldable mechanism, is a lightweight work of carbon fiber art and the movement is truly mesmerizing.

Sporting a unique exhaust-note, the Regera has a custom designed, sound tuned titanium system jointly developed by Akrapovic.

The novel exhaust system includes a fish tail outlet, envisioned by Christian, which has not been seen on a production car for the last half century, so we are excited to bring back the sound of the past!

Koenigsegg Direct Drive
As many of you have heard, Christian is not a fan of hybrids, as they are generally compromised when it comes to weight, complexity, cost, packaging and efficiency.

Given this the Regera is not what we at Koenigsegg would call a hybrid, as it does not have the traditional shortcomings of a hybrid. Instead the Regera is a new breed of Koenigsegg - and car for that matter.

Traditional, so called parallel, hybrids are compromised and heavy, as they have two independent propulsion systems. Alternatively, series hybrids are less compromised when it comes to weight, complexity and costs, but instead they are compromised when it comes to efficiency, as there is too much energy conversion going on.

This brings us to the Koenigsegg Direct Drive Transmission or KDD for short - invented by Christian von Koenigsegg and developed for the Regera by the Koenigsegg Advanced Engineering team.

The patent pending KDD system replaces the combustion engines traditional transmission and gives the added benefit of pure EV mode. What is unique is that the KDD manages to create direct drive to rear axle from the combustion engine without the need of multitude gears or other traditional types of variable transmissions, with inherently high energy losses.

During highway travel, for example, the KDD reduces drivetrain losses, compared to traditional transmission or CVT by over 50%, as there is no step up or step down gear working in series with the final drive - just direct power transmission from the engine to the wheels.

To supplement the energy from the combustion engine and to allow for torque vectoring, regenerative braking, extreme drivers response, reverse and energy conversion, there are three YASA developed electric motors. YASA´s axial flux motors are extremely power dense and allow for direct drive, making them a key-ingredient for the KDD. One YASA for each rear wheel, giving direct drive - this time electric - and one on the crankshaft, giving torque-fill, electrical generation and starter motor functionality.

The three electric motors constitute the most powerful electrical motor set-up in production car history, replacing the gears of a normal transmission while adding; power, torque, torque vectoring and yet still able to remove weight.

The battery pack and PDU for the KDD were developed and manufactured together with Electric Supercar virtuoso Mate Rimac and his engineering team. The 620 V battery pack is of the latest fully flooded type and is the most power-dense battery pack ever created for a road going car with 9,27 kWh of energy, 67 liters of volume, and 115kg of weight. Still, a full 500 kW can momentarily be drawn during acceleration and over 150 kW can be absorbed by the battery-pack during regenerative braking and ICE power generation mode.

Every cell of the pack is carefully monitored for voltage, state of charge, health and temperature. The cells are enclosed in a fully machined aluminum casing for safety and stability. The battery is located in the most protected area of the car - the carbon-aramid chassis tunnel. The whole battery pack is actively cooled by external radiators and the Regera´s all new electrical air-conditioning system, which also can pre-cool the car via the Koenigsegg app on a warm day.

The complete KDD system, including the battery, adds a mere 88kg to the Regera´s weight, compared to what the Regera would have weighed with a traditional ICE, coupled to a 7 speed DCT transmission instead of the KDD. Presently no other hybrid Hypercar even comes close to this type of weight ratio for their electrification. This is interesting, as they all have smaller battery capacity and less electric power than the Regera.

To put it into perspective, the Regera has almost triple as many electric Bhp (700 Bhp) and over 300 Bhp more than its closest hybrid rival. Still the Regera manages to be very competitive weight wise, while including unusual features such as a six way adjustable electrical seat and a fully robotized body work. This is no small feature and it is a testament to the meticulous nature of the Koenigsegg engineering team.

The combination of electrical and combustion power is just mind boggling. When you get up to speed, the system really comes into play - How about 3.2 seconds between 150 to 250 km/h and under 20 seconds from 0 to 400 hm/h?

Powertrain stats
1100 Hp of combustion engine power on 91 octane DIN or 95 octane RON (a bit more on E85)
1250 Nm of combustion engine torque
700 Hp of electric propulsion
900 Nm of electric torque
9 kWh 620 Volt, flooded liquid cooled battery pack

Combined numbers
Over 1500 BHp or 1.11 MW
Over 2000 Nm of torque
Dry weight 1420 kg
1628 kg curb weight (including all liquids and full fuel tank)

Aston Martin début all-electric all-wheel-drive DBX Concept

Aston Martin has surprise all at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show with the debut of an all electric DBX Concept.

Aston Martin is calling the DBX Concept a high luxury GT that fits the description of a crossover coupe. Far from a production ready vehicle, the concept is just a design study for the time being, but Aston does admit there is a market for such a vehicle.

The DBX Concept is an all-wheel drive crossover high luxury GT that uses in-board electric wheel motors at all four corners powered by lithium sulphur cells. Steering is a drive-by-wire system and both the driver and passenger have head-up displays surrounded by auto-dimming ‘smart glass’.

The DBX Concept can accommodate four adults and all the cargo they could ever want since there is a traditional rear cargo area as well as a front trunk occupying the place usually reserved for a ICE.

Souce: Autocar

Lower cost carbon nanotube supercapacitors promise 10x higher energy density

Ultra- or supercapacitors are emerging as a key enabling energy storage technology for use in fuel-efficient transport as well as in renewable energy systems (for instance as power grid buffer). These devices combine the advantages of conventional capacitors, that can rapidly deliver high power densities on demand, and batteries, that can store a large amount of electrical energy.

"Among the various types of supercapacitors, carbon nanotube (CNT) based devices have shown an order of magnitude higher performance in terms of energy and power densities," says Ramakrishna Podila, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Clemson University. "The bottleneck for transferring this technology to the marketplace, however, is the lack of efficient and scalable manufacturing methods."

Podila's team at Clemson University have developed a new scalable method to directly spraycoat CNT-based supercapacitor electrodes. "Much like painting a car or a wall in your home, we can spray CNT solutions on flexible electrodes, porous aluminum foils in our case, to achieve high energy density supercapacitor electrodes without the need of any binder," explains Podila.

The resulting supercapacitors have a 10 times higher energy density compared to the state-of-the-art supercapacitors on the market.

Source: Nanowerk

Monday, March 2, 2015

Fullycharged - L.A. to Vegas with Chelsea Sexton [VIDEO]

Robert Llewellyn takes a drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in a Cadillac ELR plug-in-hybrid.

Co-driver for the trip is Chelsea Sexton, Californian electric car advocate who was featured in the award winning documentary 'Who Killed the Electric Car?'

Friday, February 27, 2015

Researchers Develop More Efficient 'Lithium-Air' Battery

Massachusetts researchers using a fabricated form of carbon have developed battery technology that they hope will enable electric cars to travel far longer distances.

Chemists Dunwei Wang of Boston College and Wei Fan of the University of Massachusetts used an engineered form of the element — called 3DOm carbon — to enhance reactions between lithium and oxygen in batteries.

Researchers seeking a more efficient battery — one capable of allowing cars to travel hundreds of miles without recharging — have focused on the relationship between lithium and oxygen. They believe such "lithium-air" batteries would resolve size and cost constrains faced by current lithium ion batteries.

But the presence of carbon, an essential component in all batteries, previously proved too unstable to generate longer life cycles for the lithium-oxygen reaction.

3DOm carbon, which has a far more orderly molecular structure, apparently resolved those issues. In the German journal Angewandt Chemie, Wang and Fan reported the engineered carbon, along with the addition of molecular coatings, produced substantial improvements in the lithium-oxygen discharge cycle.

"We demonstrated that a particular form of carbon can be used to support a new type of chemistry that allows for energy storage with the promise of five to 10 times more energy density than state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries we see today," Wang said.

The chemists hope the developments eventually lead to lithium-air batteries that can meet demand for energy, size and cost in the auto industry and other manufacturing sectors.

Magna to Present Plug-In Hybrid Sports Car Concept at Geneva Motor Show

Magna International Inc. is set to debut MILA Plus, an innovative two-seat hybrid sports car at Geneva Motor Show 2015. The concept vehicle, which will be displayed at Magna's booth #6261 in Hall 6, combines a sophisticated, lightweight construction with an intelligent, alternative-drive solution to produce maximum performance as well as eco-friendliness. With an all-electric range of 75km and a vehicle weight of 1,520kg, MILA Plus achieves reduced CO2 emissions of 32g/km.

"Magna's broad range of services – from engineering to diverse product capabilities to full-vehicle contract manufacturing – helps support our customers as they continue to be challenged with the changing dynamics of the automotive industry. The MILA Plus vehicle concept illustrates our value proposition and advantage within the global supply base," emphasized Günther Apfalter, President Magna Europe and Magna Steyr.

As the latest vehicle concept in the MILA innovation family, MILA Plus features advanced technologies and flexible manufacturing processes with a focus on eco-friendliness.

Lightweight Construction
The structure of MILA Plus is based on an extruded aluminum space frame which has a number of advantages over a steel structure, including: lower weight; modular structural flexibility; and ability to accommodate different driveline configurations. The modular body-in-white (BIW) concept also allows the use of components and systems from large series production, thus enabling improved manufacturing efficiency and flexibility for global automakers.

MILA Plus offers additional benefits aimed at structural rigidity and weight reduction. For example, the concept integrates a high-voltage battery into the space frame, which increases structural rigidity. Lightweight plastic body panels are used due to their corrosion resistance and styling flexibility. A combination of manufacturing methods, sophisticated joining technologies and a multi-material external skin further contribute to a lightweight vehicle architecture that meets global safety standards.

Sophisticated Joining Technologies
Cold mechanical joining, a hybrid process in combination with bonding is used on the BIW. This reliable technology is more cost effective versus traditional welding solutions and is a joining process Magna has used on other vehicles including the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and Aston Martin Rapide.

Alternative Drive Solutions
MILA Plus plug-in hybrid system achieves a reduced emission of 32g/km CO2. The performance of the three-cylinder gasoline engine is enhanced by the addition of two electric motors - one between the internal combustion engine and transmission to drive the rear axle, and one on the electric front axle. This arrangement results in an electric all-wheel-drive system which transmits more torque to the road and results in improvement of vehicle maneuverability and dynamics.


Vehicle Dimensions:

Length:              
4403 mm
Width:                
1925 mm
Height:                
1250 mm
Wheelbase:         
2575 mm
Baggage compartment: 
360l (145l front; golf bag possible rear)
Acceleration:                   
0 to 100 km/h in 4.9s
Electric acceleration:       
0 to 80 km/h in 3.6s
Power output (kW/PS):     
200 / 272
Torque (Nm):                      
580 peak

Thursday, February 26, 2015

2015 Audi R8 e-tron confirmed with 450 km range

The 2015 Audi R8 e-tron electric supercar will have 340 kW of power and a remarkable 920 Nm of torque, sprint from 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds and offer a range in excess of 450 km.

The second-generation of Audi’s halo product will have more than doubles the range over the original small-batch model thanks to an increase in battery capacity from 49 kWh to approximately 92 kWh. Energy density has increased from 84 Wh/kg to 154 Wh/kg apparently without the 600 kg battery affecting packaging.

The battery powered R8 has a Combined Charging System (CCS) on board, which allows charging with direct and alternating current. Using this system, it is possible to fully charge the battery in significantly less than two hours.

The rear wheels are powered by two electric motors with specs uprated from 381 HP (280 kW) and 820 Nm (605 lb-ft) to 462 HP (340 kW) and 920 Nm (679 lb-ft). It's enough electric power to provide the Audi R8 e-tron 2.0 with a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) time of 3.9 seconds before hitting an electronically-capped top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h).

Audi says targeted torque vectoring, which it describes as "needs-based distribution of power transmission between the rear wheels" ensures maximum dynamics and stability.

Audi says the new R8 e-tron serves "primarily as a mobile high-tech laboratory" that will eventually feed into technology used in a high-volume sedan — but in the meantime, if you've got the time and the money, the Germans are willing to build you one by hand. Hopefully we'll see the car on display in Geneva next week.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Samsung SDI to Acquire Magna International’s Battery Pack Business

Samsung SDI has agreed to acquire the battery pack business of Magna International, a leading global automotive supplier.

The acquisition is expected to enhance Samsung SDI’s capabilities in batteries for electric vehicles by combining the company’s established leadership in battery cells and modules with Magna's expertise in battery packs.

Magna’s advanced technology and experience in providing global automakers with battery packs will also help Samsung SDI secure customers in the fast-growing automotive battery markets in Europe, North America and China.

"The acquisition is a key strategic step for Samsung SDI to strengthen the competitiveness of our automotive battery business,” said Namseong Cho, President and CEO of Samsung SDI. "It will provide new momentum to expand our business and customer base.”

Under the agreement, Samsung SDI will acquire the entire battery pack business from Magna Steyr, an Austria-based operating unit of Magna International, including all 264 employees, production and development sites and existing contracts of the business.

Financial terms of the deal will not be disclosed. The transaction is expected to be completed during the first half of 2015, pending regulatory approvals.

The global market for electric vehicles, including hybrid and plug-in hybrid models, is forecast to reach 7.7 million vehicles by 2020, compared with 2.1 million in 2014, according to research firms B3 and IHS.