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Thomas Pedersen
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What is the maximum regen power? I suppose it is also 16 kW, limited by the 333 A running through the wires and power converter..? It may take a few years but I definitely think this technology will percolate down to the Ford Focus class vehicles. Probably as an optional extra because these features appear to increase comfort almost as much as they improve fuel efficiency. With time, this technology would ideally motivate development of much less sophisticated ICEs with higher peak efficiency and lower component count (no more cylinder de-activation, VTG, etc.) and thus reduce the premium of a fuel-saving 48V system.
I agree with E-P. I think the 48V systems are going to be a Trojan Horse and enable gradually increasing electrification as it makes sense. And along the way, the ICE will get completely new tuning and modes of operation, such as burn-and-coast. When integrated with topographic maps and intelligence (oh, it's 5:30, and we're going the same direction as usual Mon-Fri, so program the ECU to minimize gasoline consumption for that particular route, taking into account on-line traffic information). I can't wait for cars to skip 1st gear entirely, because I loathe the sound they make in that gear. They rev too fast with no load, which makes for a very straining sound. Not like an engine under full power in 3rd or 4th gear, which is a quite pleasing sound - if you're into that sort of thing. There are loads of expensive equipment to potentially shed, when there's an e-motor to take care of all the challenging load modes. Variable valve timing, cylinder cut-off, variable turbine geometry, turbo chargers, etc. The Toyota hybrid system is complicated because their battery is too small. Ideally, there would be an e-motor with sufficient power and battery capacity to handle all driving in all but the highest gear. The ICE would only kick in from 40-50 mph or more. An ICE tuned for optimum efficiency at a narrow operating window (65-75 mph). The current PHEVs are mostly overly complicated, using highly advanced (expensive) stock engines. Once customers and car makers start to 'trust' the electrical components, they should be more inclined to simplify the ICEs again. And with that, gasoline cars could easily slash their effective gas consumption by a very large percentage - enough to make it less important whether BEVs take over entirely.
9% reduction is 90% short of what is really needed. The real-life health costs of NOx are actually quite high.
Wh/kg may be important for airplanes but Wh/litre is more important for most practical applications. Cars, cell phones, laptops etc. are all volumetrically limited concerning battery capacity. For BEV's a bit of extra weight is not welcome, per se, but most of the energy required to accelerate it is recovered during braking and thus not a deal breaker. But try finding more space for it, and you will struggle.
The highly complicated and spatially challenges battery of the eGolf beautifully illustrates the need for the MEB platform, and why the eGolf should be discontinued when the I.D. arrives. That said, VW, please go as far as feasible down the 48V route with gasoline-powered vehicles, preferably using the gearbox-mounted 10-15 kW e-motor. PS. I wonder why VW finds it necessary to use an additional Li-Ion battery to power the AC and lights for the limited number of seconds of engine-off-coasting. What is the maximum number of seconds you have ever coasted in your car? 5? 10? 20?
As far as I can see, this car is nearly identical to the Audi of the previous article, only with a different logo on the front. Makes sense, of course, being the same parent company with a very high degree of sharing of technology but quite comical with release of practically identical cars at the same auto show. Naturally, the Audi i supplied with slightly higher capacity, power and handling capabilities. Wouldn't want the cheaper model cannibalizing on the high-profit models.
Good point, CasperG, As great as the Japanese society and engineering is, the natural forces at play on those islands are so great that (prolonged) power outages are things to prepare for. A full tank of gas can be very helpful. Also in the zombie apocalypse...
I suspect the low percentage of Japanese considering a BEV is partly due to 'loyalty' to Toyota, who have not backed BEVs, and partly because of low confidence in low-CO2 power generation, particularly in the wake of Fukushima. Japan would otherwise seem ideally suited to BEVs since they, to the best of my knowledge, rarely drive long distances and they have a great sense of moral responsibility to pollute as little as possible.
All of these advancements are also applicable to BEV and should eventually trickle down to more modest cars.
Fantastic! That may reduce global oil consumption by 0.00001%
Henrik, please note that the suggested uses of hydrogen, with the exeption of power-to-gas storage, are steady, round-the-clock consumers, which is hard to service with intermittent production. Thus, the electrolyzers become just another consumer of electricity, rather than a 'swing-consumer'. The effect of displacing natural gas for steam reforming is still there, though. Injecting hydrogen into natural gas is only viable up to a certain (low, single digit) percentage by volume. Above that combustion problems ensue at the consumer end. Ultimately, hydrogen could/should be combined with CO2 to generate CH4 + O2 - the so-called Sabattier reaction - however this process is quite wasteful. If ITM can get the cost of their electrolyzers down enough, we can start talking about hydrogen storage, although hydrogen is notoriously expensive to store, both in terms of energy and capital.
The longer the fuselage, the better. The thicker the fuselage, the better. Because both produce greater boundary layer Airbus designed the theoretical battery driven plane, VoltAir, with a thick fuselage and counter-rotating ducted propellers ingesting the fuselage boundary layer. A wide body also enables body-mounted landing gear and thus a very clean wing without protuberances or their ensuing drag. Bonus info about the VoltAir aircraft: It would employ theoretical, future Li-Air batteries - replaceable - with an energy density of 1000 Wh/kg, and high-temperature superconducting e-motors cooled by liquid nitrogen.
Henrik, The 200+ mile VW BEV is called I.D. It was announced about a month ago and, as you said, features a new BEV platform called MEB. I could be one of those suckers who might buy an e-Golf, but what happens to the re-sale value when a new car with more interior space comes out with 50% more range and comparable cost? (Rhetorical question...). No doubt Tesla has quite a head start over VW but the latter has decades of experience in churning out cars by the millions. As long as they can source batteries and e-motors fast enough, I think they could catch up pretty quickly. We'll see...
Kristian von Koenigsegg has a great quote where he compares conventional cam shafts to playing the piano with a piece of wood depressing all keys at the same time. FreeValve allows several degrees of freedom previously not available. Some company once displayed a chart of the losses of energy while propelling a car down the road. Surprisingly (to me, at least), wind resistance was only like 12%. Throttling losses were around 20%, with engine cooling and exhaust losses being the biggest contributors, along with general friction. Given that, I am inclined to believe that substantial savings are actually realistic using this technology. The greatest concern is of course the longevity of the electro-pneumatic-hydraulic actuators. Buyers can only hope the backers have deep pockets if there is ever a call-back after, say, 3-4 years. HarveyD, No, a small PHEV needs to have the simplest possible engine at the lowest possible cost in order to shift power train expenditure towards the electrical side. And the e-motor can compensate for whatever shortcomings a simple ICE has.
I agree with Casper. Q: What technical knowledge does Toyota lack to become a major player with BEVs? A: Nothing. Where they are perhaps slightly behind is on having a BEV platform (large, flat, rectangular battery pack beneath the seats) to accommodate a large-enough battery. OTOH, if VW can reach 300 km (theoretical, NEDC) in a current Golf, Toyota should be able to do the same in the larger, yet more aerodynamic Prius. Given the time-frame though (the same as the VW I.D.), they could be talking about a new BEV platform. The the Nikkei report is true, and they will use a Corolla or Prius platform in 2020, then they are truly behind. The battery pack(s) will simply be too complex and expensive. Moreover, the VW I.D, being shorter than a Golf but with larger wheel base than a Passat, has really highlighted how much space is wasted in a conventional platform when used as a BEV. It'll be interesting to see whether that can be competitive (new platform + cheap battery pack vs. written-off platform + expensive battery pack).
Henrik, It's pretty clear by now that you would like everybody to drive BEV within the next month or so. Sadly, this is not possible. Even with aggressive growth of manufacturing capability for all BEV components, it will take quite a while before enough BEVs can even be made to saturate the demand for new cars. In fact, most technology changes take 30 years, give or take as a function of replacement of equipment, engineers, technology acceptance, etc. 'Gearbox-oil-film-velocity-gradient-specialist' do not just become experts in vehicle electronics overnight. Therefore, it is quite warranted to improve on the technology that will still be relevant for at least one product generation. However, I predict that ICEs will get more simple with BSG/ISG e-motors will pick up the slack from gasoline engines and allow more and more electrification. The latest swath of 48V-related news seem to suggest this technology is picking up momentum.
I am aware that several gearboxes have been announced with clutch+e-motor in place of torque converter. However, I see a difference if/when 48V becomes the standard, allowing car makers to worry about nothing more than finding space for the 48V LiIon battery. Does anybody know how much power is realistic from a P2 motor? This article mentions 15 kW (peak) from an ISG, which is 300A. Curiously, the rear axle motor can have the benefit of saving on the expensive 500+ A cable by going just from below the rear seat to the rear axle. Would it be necessary to pass through a DC/DC converter - which then also has to be designed for the high currents? Or can you just pass the much lower currents to the front of the vehicle (48V and 12V)?
Granted, these are CO2-spewing gas guzzling engines for huge, heavy cars. However, performance as a V8 but with CO2 emissions 15% lower than the previous V6 sounds great. Too good of an offer to pass off for S-class buyers (although the PHEV model would offer even better fuel economy, supposedly at significant added cost). I'm excited to see this actual roll-out of 48V engines. Call me naïve but I believe the fuel economy numbers because I view the 48V technology bits to have an actual effect on fuel economy, also in real-world driving. Just a thought; with 48V systems gaining momentum, with would be pretty obvious for transmission makers to offer integrated P2 (between engine clutch and transmission, running at engine rpm) e-motors that require nothing more than a 48V battery and slightly updated engine controls to allow mild hybrid pleasures. No re-design of the engine and associated systems necessary, provided the gearbox fits within the same packaging space. I could even see 48V e-motor power as being a competitive factor among transmission OEMs.
For a P2 solution, I totally agree with SJC. An e-motor may not be able to supply as much top-end power as a turbo but still achieve better acceleration without having to allow 250 km/h top speed to achieve <7 sec 0-100 km/h performance. Having browsed through the 48V topic, it strikes me how many auto-industry sub-suppliers that are show-casing sales-ready 48V mild-hybrid parts. This would be unlikely if auto-makers were not recipient to the idea. Furthermore, the names P0 for beefed-up starter motor/generator and P2 for e-motor-between clutch and gearbox have been used by at least two component manufacturers, indicating some industry standardization; another indication of gearing up to be production ready.
Isn't a normal BMW almost twice as expensive as a similar Toyota to begin with? Even so, BMWs are selling like hot cakes and with higher profit margin. Now what they need to do is to offer this driveline in a 3-series with a slightly large battery. BR, Thomas (happy BMW owner)
The P2 system ought to be the new normal for future cars. ALL ICE cars could benefit from this. But the P0 can be retrofitted, provided space can be found for the battery. Most likely, the retrofit should be done by the car maker as part of a model update in order to be fully integrated with the engine and gearbox control software. On my 9-mile commute I pass 3-4 hills of only 100 ft height and gradients >6%, where the transmission always has to downshift. Oh, how I would love to have an e-motor to give just that little extra over the top of the hill and then coast (engine off) with recuperation going downhill to avoid overspeeding (yes, the cops figured out where to hide with their lasers). When you drive the same route day in and day out, you learn to optimize your driving style to that route (if traffic permits, and you are the type of person who cares about that). I see a tremendous potential for a mild-hybrid system on my commute to save probably 30-40% with predictive and optimized usage. Obviously, a PHEV og BEV would be even better for this particular commute but we may not be ready as a one-car family to deal with the restricted range of a BEV or the high cost of a PHEV (Golf GTE). Hopefully, the 48V mild-hybrid system could be cheap enough to become completely ubiquitous and above all, save a tremendous amount of idling in heavy traffic.
SJC, The same statement is in this GCC article... (5th paragraph from the bottom)
100 kW: insufficient. Why the same as an e-Golf (I know, sharing of components but the van weighs three times more!) 80 km/h: Outright ridiculous and possibly dangerous. 200 km range: Probably OK in some applications. But why not use the new batteries coming in the e-Golf with 50% more range. But hey, it has blue stitching in the steering wheel.