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Thomas Pedersen
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Very positive to see this kind of stream-lining and standardization of diesel-electric power trains and systems after a quite slow take-up in large parts of the bus industry. Should be a very short time now before the last diesel-only bus is sold for anything other than long-distance coaches.
Curious, 47% improvement is pretty darn close to exactly the improvement of both e-Golf and BMW i3 with the the same battery pack size...
When I'm pumping diesel, I have to stand there waiting in the 45° rain, because too many people were stupid enough to disconnect the nozzle before they drove off. With electrical 'fueling', I expect I can get back in the car and play games on my phone for 5-10 minutes, or go to the store, while leaving the car unattended, so I can drive 100-230 minutes more. Huge improvement!
There are some very, very good safety reasons to limit e-motor power to 250 W and cut-off speed to 15 mph/ 25 km/h. Mainly the safety of the other thousands of bike riders riding along side you: Having the gear integrated into the drive unit is genious because it avoids the weight and complexity of rear wheel gears, whether an derailleur system (central motor) or planetary gear (usually with front wheel motor). This way both wheels become clean and easy to take on and off when you get a flat tyre. It also reduces the 'un-sprung' weight, in case of wheel dampers. 3.8:1 gear ratio is very respectable and should be plenty for everyone with up to 250 W assist.
400 mAh/g at 1 V is 400 Wh/kg, which is quite high. The voltage is really not a concern, unless you go to very low voltage, where several hundreds of batteries need to be connected serially to achieve proper voltage. Anyway, the voltage in the battery and motor supply is handled by a DC/DC converter. Too low voltage results in too high current, which necessitates heavy and expensive cables.
What are you smoking, mahonj? ;-) What customers do you think would like to have A4 120+60 TFSI stenciled on their boot?
Fewer places other than airports are better suited to BEV operation. They only drive <10% of the time and stay parked by the terminals plenty of time to charge the relatively small battery required for driving to a plane. Sorry, I'm not impressed by this news. Of course, Neste being a Finnish company, makes them more likely to choose this route...
I have always claimed this option would be economical, despite possible low utility ratio, because installation and power management costs drop to near zero when installed in a factory into a car that already has those components. I imagine the cost to the factory is counted in tens of dollars, if that when fully implemented.
FastEddie, 5 years is how long it normally takes one of the major German auto makers to set up a new platform and prepare everything for mass production, to churn out hundreds or thousands of fault-free units per day. Another reason for the delay is that they are concentrating their efforts, including the staff with the necessary BEV-skills, on the Golf-sized I.D. - the right move by VW, in my opinion.
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.