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Electric Vehicles Research
Posted on December 11, 2015 by  & 

Conference: Electric Vehicles - Everything is changing USA 2015

Below are the summary of the key information tracked during the EV conference.
Solaris Bus and Coach were represented at the EV conference. Mr Michal Pikula, Bus Development Director and Mr Michal Sierszynski, Advanced Technologies Manager gave a presentation titled "Transition into zero emission bus transportation system - Challenges and Solutions" with useful insights on the feasibility of electric buses replacing convention diesel buses for public transportation. Solaris is a bus manufacturer located in Poland with a production capacity of 1400 vehicles per year and working staff of 2300 employees. They also have a market presence in over 29 countries. Their products range from city buses, intercity buses, hybrid buses, trolley buses through to electric buses, BRT buses and trams, all having different bus lengths. They also mentioned a switch to the new Urbino base vehicle for electric buses from 2015. The stated that although the market for electric buses is small it is projected to grow over the coming decade. Their electric buses are either equipped with different energy storage- High Energy (LFP) or High Power (LTO) depending on customer requirements, with external energy supply which could be either by conductive or inductive charging. On a final note, they believe the market is currently in the phase of testing different electric bus concepts with currently no clear indication of which technology would become the preferred choice.
Solaris electric bus. Source: Solaris Bus & Coach, IDTechEx Show 2015
Ms Rashmi Rao, Director Advanced Engineering at Harman also gave a presentation on "Evolution of Electronics for Connected Car". Ms Rao talked about the future of the connected car stating that the connected car is forecasted to be the most disruptive force in the technology industry since the smart phone. She also mentioned that the connected car which depicted a change in the relationship with our vehicles is slated to be $270 billion industry by 2020. Diving the future of driving in 2025 into four quadrants- Non-autonomous, Autonomous, Utility and design, Ms Rao highlighted that there is massive innovation opportunity for the self-driven, emotive quadrant (e.g. Porsche Mission E concept) which could evoke emotional response from customers, while there are big gains for mass transportation and robotic delivery vehicles under the self-driven, utilitarian quadrant (e.g. Google self-driving car; Cody concept car) and the human driven, emotive quadrant (e.g. Ferrari 250 GT SWB). The realisation of these quadrants ultimately would depend on electrification of vehicles of the use of fuel cells. She believes there is no foreseeable disruption for human driven, utilitarian vehicles (e.g. taxi cabs, delivery vehicles) and raises question about their existence come 2025. She concluded the presentation with the fact that whilst human relationship with cars is evolving, the future of connected cars will play a much bigger part in consumer's lifestyles than cars in the past.
Quadrants showing the future of driving in 2025. Source: Harman presentation, IDTechEx Show 2015
Mr John Boodhansingh, Product Management at Qualcomm, gave a presentation on "The Future of Urban Mobility is Connected, Electric & Wireless". The talk focused on the future of the connected car and how multiple technologies such as entertainment, augmented reality, wireless charging, cloud content, health monitoring, safety and security etc. intersect into the automotive industry geared towards a safer, cleaner and connected mobility. A video on pedestrian accident avoidance technology was showed during the presentation featuring a passenger with a safety app and a connected electric car. He explained how EVs are a solution with barriers to mass adoption. Some of the benefits of EV were highlighted including better energy economy, non-polluting, less noise and clean streets, while challenges facing EV adoption such as cost, limited range, time to charge and ease of charging was mentioned. He also introduced their product the Qualcomm Halo™ WEVC which is an elegant and efficient way to charge EVs based on Resonant Magnetic Induction. Some of the advantages of the Qualcomm Halo include ability to charge any EV -anywhere -at any time, higher power which means more driving range per hour of charge, no plug-in cable which makes it simple and easy to charge and the possibility of autonomous vehicles charging autonomously.
The intersection of multiple technologies with the automotive industry. Source: Qualcomm presentation, IDTechEx Show 2015
Mr Timothy Collins, President/Founder at KleenSpeed Technologies gave a presentation on "Solar, Storage and EV are jointed at the Hip" offered suggestions on how to harness solar energy, energy storage systems as well as power generation and distribution for electric vehicles.
Mr Kevin Leary, Founder Power Hydrant, presented on "Optimize EV Infrastructure Utilization and Improve Vehicle-grid Integration with Power Hydrant". He gave a brief introduction on the company as a small, early start-up located in Boston Massachusetts. He mentioned that EVs are attached to the grid much longer than charging time which create issues for workplaces inter-metro DC fast charge, multi-unit dwellings and multi-EVs homes. He explained how their technology Power Hydrant® provides a solution for Robotic (hands-free) EV charging through automatic sharing which involves constellation of candidate EVs to be served in a park depending on arrival time and length of stay as well as commoditized smartphone elements.
Hands-free charging station. Source: Power Hydrant presentation, IDTechEx Show 2015
Mr Gregory Koskowich, Sr Director of Product at Alta Devices Inc, gave a talk on "Powering your vehicle with solar Gallium Arsenide (GaAs). He highlighted the trends of smaller, more mobile, more connected and variety of operating environments requirements across different sectors such as automotive, unmanned systems, wearable devices, mobile devices, internet of things and remote power. A benchmark comparison was given on all the outdoor technologies for capturing solar energy and emphasis was on GaAs as the best available cell material with world record efficiency of 1 W/gm. He presented the Alta Devices as the leader in thin-film GaAs technology providing the highest power of 250 W/m2 outdoor in bright sun with light weight and thin properties where cells are 110um thick and 1 W/g as well as being flexible and bendable.
Solar powered vehicles. Source: Alta Devices Inc presentation, IDTechEx Show 2015
Mr Desmond Wheatley, President and CEO at Envision Solar, presented on "Driving on sunshine". He gave a passionate talk with predictions for the younger generations which include they will only drive electric vehicles, will never suffer from range anxiety, will not own a vehicle, will drive rarely but ride often, will get around almost exclusively on renewable energy, will think it's funny that older generations pulled off the highway to fuel. He mentioned that the perception of cost and range anxiety are major impediments to the adoption of EVs whilst proving solutions to fix range anxiety such as ubiquitous charging infrastructure and providing fast charging in remote locations. He introduced their product which is based on combined solar energy capture and storage providing solar powered EV charging that works anywhere. Their charging infrastructure boosts of an islanded system which is independent of the grid and is capable of remote DC fast charge. He concluded on the note that there would be complete electrification of ground transportation where renewable energy would provide all the motive power.
Combined solar and storage. Source: Envision Solar presentation, IDTechEx Show 2015
Mr Nicholas Gill, Director at Witt Limited also gave a talk on "Harvesting Motion into Electricity - The Scalable WITT Motion Energy Harvester Providing Electricity for Autonomous Vessels and other Vehicles". He explained the WITT technology which is a device that generates power by capturing energy from all 6 degrees of motion. In general, WITTs utilize a 3D pendulum driving a unique transmission system to convert motion in any combination of the six degrees of freedom into a single unidirectional rotation, optimized through a flywheel, which through a generator, produces electrical energy. It also absorbs up to 70% to 100% more energy from motion compared to other devices.
Witt Wave tank. Source: Witt Limited presentation, IDTechEx Show 2015

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Technology Analyst

Posted on: December 11, 2015

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