CIDAUT at TRA

Together with its partners Cidaut has presented the results of URBAN-EV

From 16th to 19 April, Wien has become the focus of mobility solutions thanks to the celebration of TRA 2018. TRA 2018 is an arena for researchers, companies and public authorities active in the field of transport. It welcomes policy makers and stakeholders framing research and transport policy. Together they have shared and discussed new ideas, research results, technological solutions and new business models. Together they have experienced and shaped the future of transport and mobility for people and goods.

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Key focus areas have been:

  • How digitalisation is transforming transport & mobility systems
  • Decarbonisation & future growth – how to change our mobility system & remain competitive
  • Shaping the new mobility landscape – a vision for transport & mobility for Europe

In this scenario, Cidaut presented one of the three prototypes of the URBAN-EV project. The target of the project is to apply innovative manufacturing technologies and materials to produce prototypes of a two seats urban electric vehicle with enhanced range and similar occupant safety level than a standard passenger car.

In the actual moment three prototypes of the vehicle are being built, one of them for functional testing and the others for lateral and frontal crash tests. The unit shown in Wien was the frontal crash test one and it created high expectation mainly due to the complex design and join technologies used to bring together different advanced material such as magnesium, structural thermoplastic, aluminum and high strength steel.

A handful of electric vehicle and automated driving events

Cidaut has participated in EV2017, CIBIM17, 21CMH and LEVS2017

The last quarter of the year has been very active for Cidaut’s participation in events related to electromobility and automated driving. Going in chronological order, on October 5th and 6th, Cidaut was present at EV2017, Electric Vehicles International Conference & Show in Bucarest Romania. This event, technically co-sponsored by the IEEE, is a hub for electric mobility professionals with the possibility of presenting technical advances and testing the last novelties in sustainable solutions. In this scenario, and under the title “Lightweighting and passive safety for urban electric vehicle”, Cidaut presented a summary of the advanced technical solutions applied to three different solutions of urban electric vehicles structures: one of them based on CFRP, another one on multi-material and the last one on high strength steel solutions.

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Between the 23rd and 26th of October, Cidaut participated in CIBIM17, the XIII Congreso Iberoamericano de Ingeniería Mecánica, in Lisbon, Portugal. This event is a meeting with participants from most of the American countries and also from Europe with the aim of sharing the best practices in the Mechanical Engineering field. In this occasion Cidaut made a presentation entitled “Design and manufacturing of an urban, light, affordable and safe electric vehicle”. The most relevant results of the Urban-EV project were presented. Urban-EV is a European Project funded by the EC in the 7th Frame Programme that aims to reduce the weight of an urban electric vehicle using innovative solutions in materials and processes and improving at the same time the crashworthiness of the vehicle.

On the same week, between the 25th and 27th of October, Cidaut presented in San Sebastian, Spain, its vision on the future steps on automated vehicles. In the frame of The Future of Advance Manufacturing Congress, and under the title “Implementation of connected vehicles and autonomous driving in the market. Evolution or revolution”, Cidaut exposed the equilibrium needed between the evolution of the connectivity the ADAS and the infrastructure in order to cover the necessary steps to reached the automated driving in a balanced way.

And finally, by the end of November, 22nd and 23rd, Cidaut participated in LEVS 2017, the Light Electric Vehicle Summit, presenting the paper “Passive safety in different structures of light electric vehicles”. In this occasion Cidaut showed the crass test results under simulation and testing of three different European Projects all of them from the 7th Frame Programme: elight, Plus-Moby and Urban-EV. The main message of this presentation is that it is possible to design and manufacture light urban electric vehicles with high safety standards. In this event Cidaut is also part of the Scientific Committee.

ReFreeDrive, developing new electric motor technologies

ReFreeDrive is our most recently approved H2020 project. With the title “Rare earth free e-Drives featuring low cost manufacturing”, ReFreeDrive is focused on developing rare earth‐free traction technologies beyond their current state-of‐art, with a strong focus on industrial feasibility for mass production, targeting lower costs with higher specific torque and power density. The project was kicked off last 17th and 18th of October.

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ReFreeDrive joins 13 partners, 9 of them industrial partners, from 6 different European Countries. Coordinated by CIDAUT, the Consortium includes an OEM (Jaguar Land Rover), an applied research center focused on materials research (CSM), a Tier1 system integrator (Privé), motor designers for both the electric machines and the power electronics (Motor Design Limited, Univesity of L’Aquila, IFP Energies Nouvelles), manufacturers (Breuckmann, Aurubis, Tecnomatic, Mavel Powertrain, R13 Technology) and an association (European Copper Institute).

The project will study and develop simultaneously two solutions for the power traction system of electrical vehicles. Both solutions are brushless AC electrical machines: induction machine with fabricated and copper die-cast rotor (IM) and synchronous reluctance (SynRel) machine. Through their configurations these machines not only are rare-earth magnet free, but also share common features that can be exploited during the design step, as well in the manufacturing process. These common features lead to a complex synergy between the two technologies, which justify the development of different topologies of electric machines in just one project.

The design of the ReFreeDrive motors will take as a premise the reduction of use of materials, as more than half of the final price is formed by raw materials cost. Also, a minimization of manufacturing costs will be ensured by an early involvement of manufacturers, from the design stage. ReFreeDrive motor topologies have good room for cost reduction by off-setting permanent magnet use.

Beyond the motor design, ReFreeDrive also consider an integrated design of the power train that allows the optimization of the electric connections, the cooling systems and the housing.

Power electronics development will be mainly focused on the introduction of innovative Wide Bandgap power switch to allow high frequency operation and reduce cost associated with passive components. That advance allow achieving a 50% increase in the power density of motor power electronics and a 50% reduction in losses

ReFreeDrive proposes a scalable design that will be tested for two power range applications (75kW and 200kW). In this case, the market that this project addresses covers all the possible option of fully electric vehicles and hybrids.

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CIDAUT participates in the round table “The future of the automotive sector” organized by Hyundai, Bosch and El Español.

Madrid, 6th July 2017. The digital newspaper El Español, together with Hyundai and Bosch, organized a round table to discuss the multiple challenges of the automotive sector. Under the title “The future of the automotive sector” the meeting gathered more than ten experts that went into deep analysis of aspects related to the innovation, connectivity and disruptive technologies in the sector. The working day was divided in two main topics: Electromobility and Connectivity and Autonomous Driving.

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From left to right: Ricardo Olalla (Bosch); Carlos de la Cruz (CDTI); Javier Arboleda (Hyundai); Felipe Jiménez (INSIA); Roberto Álvarez (University  of Nebrija); Susana Gómez (DGT); Zaira Unzue (IBIL); Javier Romo (CIDAUT); Cecilia Medina, (SERNAUTO) and Miguel Ángel Uriondo (EL ESPAÑOL).

CIDAUT participated in the Connectivity and Autonomous Driving round table where the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the automated driving were analyzed from different points of view. CIDAUT’s representative highlighted the opportunities to enhance the driving safety and the inclusion of elder population and disabled people to be included in the mobility of the future. The importance of the autonomous vehicles to reduce the time-out and to improve the exploitation of the urban space was also explained. It was indicated that the development of the autonomous vehicle has to run in parallel and in a balanced way with the development of the connectivity, but not only the long range communication based on mobile application but also the short time communication based on emerging technologies. The seamless connectivity is a must to advance in the different levels of automation defined by SAE J3016.

Also CIDAUT`s representative highlighted the importance of the infrastructure for the transition phase to the automated mobility. Vehicles of different automation levels are going to share the roads for several decades and the infrastructure is the main responsible actor to homogenize this traffic. Another aspect to be taken into account is the acceptance by the users of the different Advanced Driving Assistance Systems, they should be friendly and in some cases transparent to the users.

Cidaut, Nissan and Renault participate in the meeting “Palencia: Capital del Vehículo Eléctrico”.

On December 1st, El Norte de Castilla organized a conference to bring the electric vehicle closer to the public.

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Electromobility experts from the three companies exposed their point of view on the difficulties, opportunities and challenges for the electric vehicles promotion. The vehicle manufacturers presented their new innovations in the market and focused on the need of a continued support from the administration. The public needs a better understanding of the electromobility advantages and also a stable scenario of economic support to effectively promote the sale of this kind of vehicles. The strategy followed by different European countries was discussed, paying special attention to Norway and China. The first country has established many positive discrimination measures to promote the electric vehicle purchase and use and some provinces of China are working to facilitate the manufacturing and use of lightweight electric vehicles.

Regarding the development of electric vehicles, Cidaut presented some of the developments and innovations achieved in the last projects. Improvements on efficiency, the importance of energy harvesting to reduce the carbon footprint, the main technologies for weight optimization and the need to ensure the passive of electric vehicles were some of the targets presented.

Special attention was paid to the difficult compromise between lightweight and crashworthiness for small urban electric vehicles. The European Commission and also the users are asking for reduced size mobility solutions propelled by electricity but without renouncing to the passive safety. Cidaut is really concerned about this issue and showed the last crash simulations and real tests carried out in its facilities.