EVs trialled on A40 in Germany under pilot project
The "E-mobility in commuter traffic" development project for the Rhine-Ruhr region is being run by a group of research institutes and businesses. Companies participating comprise energy efficiency-related business RWE Effizienz GmbH, Renault Deutschland AG, the automotive engineering research company, Forschungsgesellschaft Kraftfahrwesen mbH Aachen (fka), and the Institut für Hochspannungstechnik (High-Voltage Engineering Institute) of RWTH Aachen University. Coordination is carried out centrally by the project control centre, EnergieAgentur.NRW.
The goal of the project is to integrate electric mobility into the everyday commuter traffic along the urban nexus of the A40 motorway. The metropolitan area is often blighted by traffic jams and concertina traffic, and the companies behind the project say that it provides the ideal environment for testing the strengths of electric vehicles.
RWE is looking to implement a comprehensive charging infrastructure by mid-2011, with the focus on the towns of Mülheim, Essen and Dortmund. The project will also seek to collect data to enable the development of marketable products such as GPS devices with a clear charging station overview and route planning.
The vehicle fleet consists of 40 Renault pre-production electric vehicles along with 110 converted electric cars that RWE is providing as lease vehicles. Renault is providing models of the Kangoo Express Z.E. utility vehicle and the Fluence Z.E. mid-range family sedan, which is already due for production launch in Europe in 2011, once the project is over.
The RWE lease vehicles, based on the Fiat 500 and baptised Karabag 500 E, are equipped with the most up-to-date lithium-ion batteries. Models based on the Fiat Fiorino are also being used, with a range of between 100km and 140km.
Commenting on the project, Dr Markus Bröckerhoff, CEO of fka, said: 'Electric mobility presupposes new concepts for mobility and road traffic. The electric vehicle can only become a reality if a holistic approach is in place from the very start, in the design and manufacture of the vehicle, the drive train, the safety concepts and the on-board electronics. Optimal coordination of the components and their interplay affects range, performance, reliability, road capability and safety, all of which are pre-requisites for customer acceptance.'