Weekly update

EWI EV Preparedness Index, ADAC, Audi, Volkswagen and much more

Post from March 22, 2024

Post from March 22, 2024

The topics at a glance

Research on the state of electric mobility in Europe, public charging stations, LH2 fueling, digital twins of battery factories, and wireless charging, recommendations for bidirectional charging, an ADAC study on regenerative braking recovery, global debuts of Audi and Volkswagen vehicles,  and an SUV concept by BMW, the world's longest aircraft, and how Mercedes-Benz conducted a crash test using X-ray for the first time - these are our headlines for the twelfth calendar week of 2024.

Research on the state of electric mobility in Europe, public charging stations, LH2 fueling, digital twins of battery factories, and wireless charging, recommendations for bidirectional charging, an ADAC study on regenerative braking recovery, global debuts of Audi and Volkswagen vehicles,  and an SUV concept by BMW, the world's longest aircraft, and how Mercedes-Benz conducted a crash test using X-ray for the first time - these are our headlines for the twelfth calendar week of 2024.

The topics at a glance

The Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne has released its second "EWI EV Preparedness Index 2022" study. The index rates how well 27 European countries are prepared for the increasing number of electric vehicles (EVs) on a scale from 1 to 10, analyzing three dimensions: available (green) power generation, charging and network infrastructure, and conditions for flexible charging. The study highlights the importance of controllable capacities to manage the rise of electric mobility and offset peak loads from uncontrolled EV charging. Scandinavian countries, therefore, rank particularly high in preparation for electric mobility. For example, Norway scored 9.4 out of 10 possible points, largely due to the use of renewable energies, particularly wind and hydro power, which are already contributing significantly to their power mix. Additionally, these countries already have a robust network and charging infrastructure. In Northern Europe, many "smart meters" are installed, facilitating the flexibility of charging processes through data exchange. They also have a high proportion of time-variable pricing components, thus providing economic incentives for flexible charging. You can read the full report here:

Read post
(c) Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne (EWI) gGmbH

The National Control Center for Charging Infrastructure presented a roadmap for bidirectional charging, offering recommendations for action to policymakers, the economy, as well as the authorities. The document was developed by 50 experts, led by the German energy provider EnBW and the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). To accelerate the energy transition, bidirectional charging is to be introduced widely and without discrimination in applications such as Vehicle-to-Home (V2H) and Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G). The roadmap recommends the following steps:

By 2028, a ramp-up of interoperable and standardized solutions for V2H and V2G could occur, provided that the necessary standards have been established and the required regulatory and technical groundwork has been laid.

The goal is to achieve Plug & Play solutions from a technical standpoint. This requires standardization in areas such as electrical safety, grid connection, digital communication, and measurement and control applications. The existing obstacles and disadvantages within the current legal framework for electricity storage and feedback must be completely removed—namely, the obligation to pay fees, levies, and surcharges. The committee recommends the creation of a comprehensive legal framework.

On the topic of "data availability from the vehicle," there is currently a lack of a uniform regulation across Europe on how users can access their data and make it available to aggregators or service providers. In parallel, the internationally valid technical standards must be progressively developed.

More information
(c) Nationale Leitstelle

The ADAC, Germany’s largest automobile club, conducted a study on how electric vehicles (EVs) can recover energy during braking. The efficiency of this energy recovery, or regeneration, depends on factors such as the vehicle's weight, the electric motor's power, and the battery's capacity. According to the ADAC, regeneration offers significant savings potential, especially in city traffic where braking is more frequent. Moreover, it reduces particulate pollution and contributes to the longer lifespan of mechanical brakes. In urban traffic conditions, both the Nio ET7 and the Hyundai Ioniq 6 were able to recover over 40% of the energy used, with an average recovery rate of about 30% in city driving. On highways, the recovery rate drops to about 10%. Among the 19 vehicles tested, the Nio ET7 led with an average recovery rate of 31%, while the Dacia Spring was at the lower end, recovering an average of only 9%.

More information
(c) ADAC

In parallel, the research project NICOLHy is dedicated to developing extremely large tanks for transporting liquid hydrogen (LH2), with the aim of enhancing energy efficiency and safety while reducing manufacturing costs. By utilizing Vacuum Insulation Panels (VIP) for thermal insulation, the researchers intend to nearly double the storage capacity and reduce costs by 80 percent, potentially accelerating the adoption of liquid hydrogen in the energy sector.

For more information (in German): https://www.bam.de/Content/DE/Pressemitteilungen/2024/Energie/2024-03-13-fluessigwasserstoff-innovative-speicher-vierzigfache-kapazitaet.html

Meanwhile, the recently launched BATTwin project (full title: "Flexible and scalable digital-twin platform for enhanced production efficiency and yield in battery cell production lines") aims to develop digital twins of battery factories to reduce scrap, energy requirements, and emissions in cell production. By combining physical models with data-driven methods, the project seeks to lower the scrap rate and make battery manufacturing more efficient and environmentally friendly, with the ultimate goal of achieving a European "zero-defect gigafactory." To reduce the current scrap rate of about ten percent, researchers plan to develop models of individual stages of cell production based on physical processes and combine them with data-driven methods to both optimize battery production lines and predict potential errors.

More information: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/101137954

Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the U.S. have developed a system that can wirelessly charge electric vehicles with a power of 100 kW and an efficiency of 96 percent. The patented system uses electromagnetic fields to transfer electricity across an air gap of nearly 5 inches to a Hyundai Kona Electric, a process similar to wireless charging of small electronic devices. According to their reports, this has achieved the highest power density for a wireless charging system in this vehicle class worldwide. The technology is said to offer an 8 to 10 times higher power density than conventional coil technology and can increase the battery's charge state by 50% in less than 20 minutes, according to the researchers.

More information: https://www.ornl.gov/news/charging-commute

(c) TransnetBW

This week, Audi celebrated the global debut of the Audi Q6 e-tron. This electric vehicle is the first to be based on the new Premium Platform Electric (PPE), developed in collaboration with Porsche within the corporate group, which also underpins the Porsche. Offering two versions, the Audi Q6 e-tron with 285 kW and the Audi SQ6 e-tron with 380 kW, Audi aims to set new benchmarks in performance and efficiency. Both models feature a 100-kWh battery and boast a DC charging capability of 270 kW. In just ten minutes, it's possible to charge enough power for 255 kilometers (about 158 miles), and a standard charge from ten to 80 percent takes about 21 minutes. The Audi Q6 e-tron accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.9 seconds, reaching a top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph) and a range of 625 km (388 miles), while the Audi SQ6 e-tron can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds, reach a top speed of 230 km/h (143 mph), and has a range of 598 km (372 miles).

(c) Audi

Volkswagen celebrated the world premiere of the ID.3 GTX, ID.7 Tourer GTX, and ID. Buzz GTX, equipping all of its European ID. models with a GTX version. The ID.3 GTX delivers the well-known performance of 210 kW from the APP550. Above that sits the ID.3 GTX Performance, which boasts 240 kW. At both power levels, the electric motor generates a maximum torque of 545 Nm, enabling acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.0 seconds (GTX) or 5.6 seconds (GTX Performance). The top speed is expected to be 180 km/h (111 mph) for the GTX and 200 km/h (124 mph) for the GTX Performance. The latest GTX initiative also includes sporty versions of the ID.7 and ID.7 Tourer. The ID.7 GTX becomes an all-wheel drive with a system output of 250 kW, making the ID.7 Tourer GTX the most powerful VW station wagon ever built. Additionally, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles introduced the ID. Buzz GTX. This electric van is equipped with the latest generation of the MEB drivetrain and sports numerous performance details.

BMW unveiled its first electric model based on the Neue Klasse vehicle architecture with the SUV concept Vision Neue Klasse X. The production version is expected to hit the market in the second half of 2025. Along with the BMW Vision Neue Klasse, the BMW Vision Neue Klasse X represents the broad spectrum of BMW's future model portfolio. With the BMW Vision Neue Klasse, the company had already presented a clear vision for the brand's future as a sedan at IAA MOBILITY 2023. This latest concept vehicle provides insights into BMW's vision for the future of its X models. The BMW Vision Neue Klasse X embodies an active lifestyle, efficient dynamics, and confident presence. The three characteristics of the Neue Klasse - electric, digital, circular - are expanded by a fourth dimension. A novel form of drive and chassis control has been developed for the Neue Klasse. It is based on a new software stack developed in-house by the BMW Group, aiming to ensure consistently appropriate driving behavior. High-performance computers will "smartly consolidate what previously operated separately." The first so-called supercomputer, developed entirely by BMW, integrates the complete drive and dynamics control with up to ten times higher computing power. The second supercomputer is expected to make "the next big leap in automated driving possible," according to BMW. In the future, four key control units will be combined into a single high-performance computer.

(c) BMW

Mercedes-Benz is the first car manufacturer in the world to use an X-ray source in a side crash test for research purposes. In collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, the Ernst-Mach-Institut (EMI) in Freiburg, Germany, a device with a crash barrier collided with an orange C-Class sedan at 60 km/h (about 37 mph), capturing up to 1000 frames per second. A key to this technological leap was the use of a linear accelerator with 1-kHz technology as the radiation source, offering more power than the X-ray flashes previously used experimentally. On the side facing the impact, two dummies modeled after female anatomy and specifically designed for side-impact tests, known as SID IIs, were placed. The numerous high-resolution images allow for detailed analysis.

(c) Mercedes Benz

The American aerospace engineer Mark Lundstrom and his team at Radia are currently developing the Windrunner, an aircraft poised to be the longest in the world and to possess the largest cargo capacity. The aircraft is expected to measure 109 meters (ca. 357 feet) in length, surpassing the length of a football field. Extra-long runways will be required for the mega-aircraft's takeoffs and landings. It plans to equip onshore wind turbines with rotor blades that reach about 91 meters higher than current models – akin to the height of Berlin's TV Tower at 368 meters. These turbines could generate twice as much energy as today's onshore models and be built in a wider variety of locations. The Windrunner is set to eclipse even the largest passenger aircraft: At 109 meters (ca. 298 feet), it would be 39 meters longer than the Boeing 747, which at 70.4 meters (ca. 231 feet) long, held the title of the world’s largest passenger aircraft for decades.

(c) Windrunner

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced during his visit to Grünheide (close to Berlin), that he plans to produce the electric semi-truck, Tesla Semi, at the Gigafactory. The Semi was first introduced in 2017 and is currently being developed and manufactured in limited quantities in Nevada. A ramp-up in production is planned for the end of 2024.

Honda and Nissan contemplate cooperation: With the signing of a memorandum of understanding, the two Japanese companies are currently considering a strategic partnership. They aim to explore potential collaboration in electrification and software in the future.

With the launch of its first sub-brand, Nio aims to compete with Tesla. The international name for the sub-brand is Onvo, while in the Chinese market, it will be known as China Ledao. An official launch is expected in the second quarter of this year.

Xiaomi begins delivering its first electric car. The sedan, Speed Ultra 7 (SU7), marks the technology company's first venture into electric vehicles, a company otherwise known primarily for manufacturing smartphones.

(c) Xiaomi

Further weekly updates at a glance