Munich University e-car concept brings down TCO
The concept provides for a 2-seat subcompact vehicle primarily used in urban mobility. The driving range has been specified with 100 km plus range extender. In contrast to existing concepts, the MUTE range extender will not be based on an internal combustion engine. Instead, it will make use of the normal electric motor – with an additional emergency zinc-air battery as power supply.
A holistic energy management system provides for optimal energy distribution across the vehicle. Unlike existing e-cars, the MUTE does not use electric energy for heating. Since the electric energy is too valuable for such an unintelligent purpose, the vehicle instead, it is equipped with a small tank for bio ethanol. In order to achieve the best utilization of the electric power, the main motor is implemented as a highly efficient torque-vectoring unit of 15kW.
Zinc-air battery as range extender: The MUTE e-car concept. ©: Munich Technical University
In order to provide a comparable safety level as conventional vehicles without compromising the requirement for very low weight, the body will be implemented with carbon fiber material (CFRP). The use of this sturdy but extremely lightweight material seems to become a trend in e-car design: Recently automotive manufacturer BMW has presented an e-car concept that also uses CFRP for the body.
Another trend-setting feature could be connectivity. Via mobile radio, the MUTE will be connected to a central server which forms the hardware basis to offer personalized value added services such as traffic situation information, energy-optimized navigation services, or adaptive driving range prediction. These services can also be integrated into the vehicle in an after-sales context. Since electric vehicles depend much more on timely traffic information than conventional cars, this type of connectivity services is likely to find acceptance in e-cars faster than in conventional ones.
Currently an interdisciplinary research project, the MUTE concept serves as platform for a broad range of research topics ranging from urban mobility concepts to design techniques and from automatic drive technologies to the development of safe and secure connectivity services, energy management and efficient electric drives. In a cooperation with the Singapore National Research Foundation, the vehicle will be tested in a fleet trial under tropical conditions.
The MUTE is scheduled to reach prototype status within one year, the university said. It is intended to further develop it along with industrial partners and turn it into a marketable product over the years ahead.
For more information, visit http://www.mute-automobile.de
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