New project looks at mass production of electric vehicles

May 8, 2012

A new €10.8 million project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and lead by BMW AG, is aiming to develop concepts to produce electric cars that are efficient, safe, and inexpensive.

The joint research project, Visio.M, will include scientists from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) working in cooperation with engineers from the automotive industry.

eletro_car

MUTE serves as test carrier for the

Visio.M-Project (Photo: Florian Lehmann

/ TUM)

Electric vehicles powered by electricity from renewable energy sources are an attractive option for mobility within the urban area and beyond, state the project organisers. But on the way to mass production of electric vehicles, there are still significant technological hurdles to overcome. Previous small electric vehicles offer only a minimum level of vehicle safety and therefore are not mass-marketable. Electric cars that were derived from gasoline-powered models are usually too heavy and require large and expensive batteries.

Within the joint research project Visio.M well known companies from the German automotive industry, together with scientists from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen, explore how the price and safety of small, efficient electric vehicles can be brought to a level enabling them to achieve a significant share of the mass market. The mobility concept will be a vehicle with a power of 15 kilowatts and a maximum curb weight of 400 kg (without battery), meeting the requirements of the European regulatory category L7e.

The consortium partners will use the electric vehicle prototype MUTE developed by the TU Muenchen as their test carrier to explore innovations and new technologies for vehicle safety, propulsion, energy storage, and operational concepts for implementation under the framework requirements of large-scale production. Special attention is given to safety-related design issues. Despite minimal weight, Visio.M is expected to achieve a level of protection equal to that offered by conventional cars with combustion engines.

Participants in the Visio.M consortium are, in addition to the automotive companies BMW AG (lead manager) and Daimler AG, the Technische Universitaet Muenchen as a scientific partner, and Autoliv BV & Co. KG, the Federal Highway Research Institute (BAST), Continental Automotive GmbH, E.ON AG, Finepower GmbH, Hyve AG, IAV GmbH, InnoZ GmbH, Intermap Technologies GmbH, LION Smart GmbH, Neumayer Tekfor Holding GmbH, Siemens AG, Texas Instruments Germany GmbH and TÜV SÜD AG as industrial partners. The project is funded under the priority program “Key Technologies for Electric Mobility – STROM” of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).

Contact: [email protected] 

Posted by: Paul Whittaker, Editor ipmd.net, [email protected]   

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