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Thursday, July 19, 2012

DuPont and SIM-Drive Collaborate on EV Materials Technology

A recent breakthrough in electric vehicle (EV) motor technology from Japan-based SIM-Drive extends the driving range 100 percent further than today's mass-produced EV vehicles, mostly due to regenerate braking gains from the direct drive in-wheel motors but also in part due to science-powered material innovations and collaboration from DuPont.

"Innovations that help reduce dependence on fossil fuels play a critical role in the future of the automotive industry," said DuPont Kabushiki Kaisha (DKK) President Minoru Amoh. "The power is both in the technology and the collaborative business model used to develop the prototype."

DuPont is one of 34 companies to work with SIM-Drive, Kawasaki City, Japan, on the prototype SIM-WIL next generation EV vehicle that features nearly 50 new technologies. It was unveiled in March.

SIM-Drive credits a unique "in-wheel" motor system and extensive use of lightweight materials for the significant increase in kilometers per charge. Combined with low rolling resistance tires and super low aero drag body results in electrical power consumption during JC-08 tests of only 158 wh/mi (99 Wh/km) (SIM-LEI) compared to an already relatively frugal (compared to any ICE powered vehicle) Nissan LEAF which recorded 340 wh/mi (212 Wh/km) in EPA tests.

SIM-WIL also delivers a maximum speed of 180 km/h (110 mph) and achieved 351km (210 Miles) range with a 35 kWh battery installed. In acceleration performance tests the car recorded 5.4 sec 0 to 100km.

"Especially in electric vehicle (EV) applications, these high temperature, chemically resistant products and electrical insulation materials contribute to increased EV system reliability and performance under severe conditions such as wide ranging temperatures and high voltage," said Tomoyuki Shinkai, operating officer, vehicle development co-ordination division general manager, SIM-Drive Corp.

DuPont high-performance plastics such as DuPont(TM) Zytel(R) HTN PPA in the in-wheel motor and DuPont(TM) Kapton(R) polyimide film in indicator lighting helped SIM-DRIVE keep weight lower than EVs on the road today. DuPont(TM) Zytel(R) HTN used in key in-wheel motor bobbins are stronger, lighter and more cost effective than the PPS it replaces. Kapton(R), known for use in high-reliability applications from Mars Rover to mobile devices, replaces the need for a circuit board, shaving 80 percent of the weight from the lighting component.

"This project shows how light weight, high-performance materials such as Zytel(R) HTN PPA can take extremes, allowing designers to bring innovation to electric and hybrid electric vehicles without adding weight associated with metal," said James Hay, regional director, DuPont Performance Polymers, Asia Pacific.

"Clearly collaboration plays a powerful role in helping showcase new and innovative ideas and in the last few years, DuPont has stepped up to the challenge with innovation centers networked around the world to connect materials-science innovation to market needs, especially in vehicle electrification, lightweighting and renewable materials," said Hay.

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