Monday, July 30, 2012

BMW C Evolution : The first Vectrix VX1 rival ?

Vectrix launched their VX1 Electric maxi-scooter 6 years ago already and its performances have not been equalled so far; But maybe this could change ...

Last friday, BMW Motorrad unveiled their C Evolution electric scooter at the Olympic Games in London
Slick design, high performance and range promises should definetely make it a serious competitor ...

2 things:
  • I do not know what the battery pack technology is exactly (LiFePO4, or other Li-ion, I know it needs some cooling though)
  • It is has a J1772 charge port and this is great I think because can be found on many charge stations

BMW Blog:

There have been drastic changes in the requirements for individual mobility concepts, in particular for conurbations. More than ever before, individual mobility is defined today in terms of sustainability. Growing traffic volume, rising energy costs and constantly increasingly stringent CO2 restrictions on vehicles in inner cities – these are the challenges of the future.

The BMW Group has recognized these challenges and is developing serial production solutions to meet the mobility needs of today and tomorrow. As an integral part of the BMW Group, BMW Motorrad is addressing issues of individual single-track mobility and future customer needs and is developing appropriate solutions in response. In this connection, BMW Motorrad has expanded its business activities with the addition of the facet “Urban Mobility”, presenting two serial production vehicles in 2011 – the maxi scooters C 600 Sport and C 650 GT.

Following the BMW Group’s sustainability strategy, BMW Motorrad aspires to consistently pursue electromobility at this early stage, especially in the urban environment. In a similar way to BMW i in the automotive division of the BMW Group, BMW Motorrad’s accelerated development of single-track mobility likewise stands for visionary vehicle concepts and mobility services – as well as inspiring design and a new premium philosophy clearly defined by sustainability across the entire value creation chain.

BMW Motorrad will thus be launching an appropriate premium product on the market in the foreseeable future. The concept vehicle E-Scooter was presented at the BMW Motorrad Innovation Day 2011 as the first development stage in this direction. Due to their limited performance and range, purely electrically powered scooters have been suitable almost solely for inner-city use with a restricted range of operation up to now. With its sustainable technological solutions, however, the concept vehicle BMW E-Scooter already shows a significantly extended range of operation. Shortly after this, the second development stage saw its premiere at the IAA in Frankfurt: the design study of an e-scooter made by BMW Motorrad – BMW Concept e. This embodies the aesthetic vision of an electrically powered scooter.

The third development stage now follows with the “C evolution”: BMW Motorrad presents the near-production prototype of an e-scooter as it might soon go on the market. Since it was conceived as a future-oriented vehicle for commuting between the urban periphery and the city centre, there were two particular requirements for its development: performance figures comparable to those of a maxi scooter with a combustion engine and a long range in realistic conditions of use.

With its deployment of five fully ridable “C evolution” scooters, BMW Motorrad has extended its experience in the field of e-mobility with single-track vehicles and continues to expand its expertise in this segment. BMW Motorrad is also making use of a number of events in Europe to further raise the profile and promote acceptance of single-track electrically powered vehicles, thereby preparing the market for such a vehicle with a view to launching a serial production model. In this pilot phase, the vehicles are being operated in real conditions of use and within areas which reflect their intended environment. The aim here is also to explore the infrastructure, such as establishing a network of e-mobility providers which might include vehicle rental companies and car-sharing firms.

The highlights at a glance:

• Innovative electric drive via drivetrain swing arm with liquid-cooled alternator, tooth belt and planetary gear.
• 11 kW continuous output (homologation according to ECE R85) and 35 kW peak output.
• 120 km/h max. speed.
• High range of up to 100 kilometres due to large battery capacity.
• High-voltage battery with high capacity (8 kWh) and innovative air cooling.
• Intelligent recuperation in coasting mode and when braking.
• Short charging times.
• Synergy effects with BMW automobiles and electrical safety
to car standards.
• Hybrid chassis with agile handling due to low centre of gravity.
• Powerful braking system with ABS.
• Lightweight Metzeler Feelgreen tyres.
• Multifunctional TFT instrument cluster and LED daytime running light.
• Innovative colour concept and design.

2. Technology and design.

Electro-performance at the level of a combustion engine.

With 11 kW continuous output (homologation according to ECE R85 to determine motor outputs) and 35 kW peak output, the “C evolution” has a powerful motor and provides a high level of riding fun. The top speed is electronically limited to 120 km/h. The scooter supremely handles motorway riding and overtaking – even with a passenger. It is also capable of effortless hill starts on steep slopes with a pillion passenger. In terms of acceleration from 0 to 60 km/h, it comfortably holds its own against current maxi scooters a capacity of 600 cc or more.

Compared to conventional combustion engines, the electric drive of the “C evolution” also offers significant advantages at low speeds in particular. Thanks to elaborate power electronics settings, the alternator offers the rider an instant, spontaneous response. There are no delays in torque build-up at all as are typical in combustion engines due to the clutch engaging and disengaging.

High range of up to 100 kilometres due to large battery capacity.

At 8 kWh, the storage capacity of the battery is extremely generous and ensures a range of up to 100 kilometres. This means that realistic zero-emissions riding in the big city and in urban environments is no problem at all. As in other areas, BMW Motorrad has been able to draw on synergy effects with BMW automobiles here. For example, the “C evolution” uses the same lithium-ion storage modules as are installed in the BMW i3. Here, developers paid particular attention to the quality and service life of the storage modules so as to ensure that the range is preserved even after many years of service life and in very cold weather.

One of the main technological challenges was optimum cooling of the high-voltage battery. On the one hand it was necessary to avoid excessively low temperatures due to the fact that the interior resistance of the cells is heavily increased as a result, thereby reducing power. On the other hand, the temperatures must not be too high since this would impair the lifetime of the cells.

While in electrically powered cars a cooling agent is normally used to cool the battery, air cooling is used in the “C evolution” in order to save space and weight. The heat of the high-voltage battery is dissipated by means of an aerodynamically optimised cooling air shaft at the centre of the battery casing through which there is a constant flow of air. To ensure optimum heat dissipation, the battery base has longitudinally arranged cooling ribs.

However, the battery casing in die-cast aluminium not only holds the cells with their special architecture but also the entire electronics unit for monitoring the cells. It also acts as a load-bearing chassis element.

The power electronics for the electric drive is installed behind the battery casing. This not only takes care of controlling the alternator within a range of 100 to 150 volts but also responds to rider commands, for example by detecting the position of the throttle grip. The system also processes information from the brake system and decides whether energy should be recuperated and how much recuperation torque is to be applied to the rear wheel if required.

Innovative electric drive via drivetrain swing arm with liquid-cooled alternator, tooth belt and planetary gear.

The “C evolution” is powered via a drivetrain swing arm. The alternator is positioned behind the battery casing and integrated in the swing arm. Due to the proximity of the alternator output shaft and the swing arm axle, the moment of inertia around the swing arm centre of rotation is minimised. This also provides optimum suspension/damper settings and a sensitive response.

The secondary drive is via a tooth belt from the alternator to the rear belt pulley on the output shaft. From here, power is transferred to the rear wheel via a planetary gear. The total gear reduction is 1:8.4, while the maximum rotational speed of the alternator is 10,000 rpm.

The alternator and power electronics are liquid-cooled.

Intelligent recuperation in coasting mode and when braking.

BMW Motorrad has conducted lengthy road tests to develop a form of recuperation which is unique in single-track vehicles and very transparent for the rider. The “C evolution” is ridden in exactly the same way as a scooter with combustion engine. The rider does not have to actively initiate energy recuperation since the vehicle does this automatically whenever possible.

For example, energy recuperation commences when the throttle grip is closed and – as in a combustion engine – the generator function of the alternator creates drag torque which depends on the degree of recuperation. The drag torque generated by the alternator is like the familiar “engine brake” that takes effect when removing the accelerator with a combustion engine.

Recuperation is also carried out during braking, converting kinetic energy to electrical energy so as to charge the battery. Here, a system of sensors is used to tap into the brake pressure on the front and rear wheel brake. When the power electronics detects that the rider is braking, the alternator builds up drag torque, thereby supporting the brake manoeuvre and recuperating energy. By regaining energy during coasting or braking, the range of the two-wheeler can be extended by 10 to 20 per cent, depending on riding style.

Short charge times and charging technology based on the car model.

The battery is charged via the integrated charging device, either at a regular household socket or a charging station. When the battery is completely flat, charging time ideally lasts less than three hours.

The car-type charging socket – currently the only one of its kind in an electrically powered two-wheel vehicle – is located behind a cover in the footwell at front left. The charge cable required is housed in a storage compartment on the right-hand side of the footwell. It is fitted with a mains plug to fit the respective national system.

The fact that the charge socket is the identical to the car standard has the advantage that the “C evolution” can be charged at charge stations throughout the USA with integrated charge cable and standardised plug, for example. This technology is not currently offered by any other electrically powered two-wheeler. Charge cables with the relevant specifications will be offered in later serial production models so that they can be charged at stations in Europe.

Synergy effects with BMW automobiles and technical safety according to car standards.

As a company of the BMW Group, BMW Motorrad is one of the very few motorcycle manufacturers to be able to draw on in-house experience and expertise in the automobile field in the development of electrically powered vehicles. The synergies available here range from the use of the same technical components through to high-voltage technology and the associated safety requirements in terms of cables, plugs, battery electronics and safety shutdown.

This also includes the insulation monitoring device, the high-voltage indicator, the high-voltage distributor and the DC-DC converter which serves to convert high voltage to low voltage so as to feed the 12-volt vehicle power system and the control units.

High-voltage safety standards established by leading automobile manufacturers (> 60 volt direct current) and functional reliability have been applied to an electrically powered two-wheel vehicle for the first time here. Development in accordance with ISO 26262 is currently unique among (electrically powered) two-wheel vehicles and ensures that all functionally relevant features are developed in accordance with standards and reflect the current state of science and technology.

Hybrid chassis with agile handling due to low centre of gravity.

Unlike existing maxi scooters with combustion engine, the “C evolution” does not have a main frame in the usual sense. The aim of chassis development for the “C evolution” was to combine the best possible directional stability at high motorway speeds with agile handling in urban traffic. Engineers also set out to make full use of the advantages provided by an extremely low centre of gravity – due to the low position of the battery. For this reason, chassis design is based on a torsionally stiff hybrid composite structure made up of a load-bearing, torsionally rigid battery case made of cast light alloy with integrated mounting for the single-sided drivetrain swing arm. Bolted onto this are the steering head support and the rear frame in steel tubing. In urban traffic in particular, the riding experience is characterised by extremely light handling and excellent slow-running properties. The weight of the vehicle is at a level comparable to maxi scooters with a combustion engine.

Wheel control as well as suspension and damping is taken care of at the front by an upside-down fork with a generous fixed fork tube diameter of 40 mm. The rear wheel suspension consists of a single-sided drivetrain swing arm. At the rear, suspension and damping are performed by a spring strut placed on the left-hand side, directly controlled and adjustable at the spring mount. The spring travel is 115 millimetres at front and rear, thereby offering a high degree of comfort.

Lightweight tyres to reduce rolling resistance.

At the front, the “C evolution” rolls on a 5-spoke light alloy die-cast wheel, size 3.5 x 15 inches, while the size of the rear wheel is 4.5 x 15 inches.

In order to reduce rolling friction and thus make the most efficient use of the electrical energy stored, the “C evolution” has lightweight tyres. These are special Metzeler Feelgreen tyres with optimised rolling resistance in the sizes 120/70 R15 at front and 160/60 R15 at rear. The tyres were developed with two clear aims in mind: environmental compatibility and high efficiency based on minimising rolling resistance, at the same time providing a higher mileage. Rolling resistance was reduced by 25 per cent as compared to the Metzeler Feelfree tyres. At the same time, the Metzeler Feelgreen tyres are very light, with reduced hysteresis response and a new tread with specially created tread grooves for optimised rolling resistance.

Powerful braking system with ABS.

At the front, a twin disc brake system with 270-millimetre diameter and

2-piston floating calipers ensures powerful, safe deceleration. At the rear there is a single disc system also with a diameter of 270 millimetres and 2-piston floating caliper. In order to achieve a stable pressure point and optimum controllability, all brake lines are steel-wrapped.

A high level of active safety is ensured by the BMW Motorrad ABS. Weighing just 700 grams and extremely small in size, the Bosch 9M dual channel ABS allows separate regulation of the two brake cycles for front and rear brakes. However, the ABS software has also been adapted so as to control the recuperation process in line with the specific requirements of the “C evolution”. As in the BMW Motorrad maxi scooters C 600 Sport and C 650 GT, the hold brake is activated automatically when the side stand is folded out.

Multifunctional instrument cluster and LED daytime running light.

The instrument panel of the “C evolution” has a large, easily legible TFT display which is conceptually based on that of the BMW i3. It has the obligatory speed display as well as offering a wealth of other information. This includes display of the battery charge state (SOC = State of Charge) and the energy balance. The latter is displayed by means of a progress bar, indicating to the rider whether energy is currently being converted into forward propulsion or being recuperated. This information helps the rider in his efforts to ride as efficiently as possible.

In addition to the familiar indicators, the instrument cluster of the “C evolution” naturally features all the status displays required by law in electrically powered vehicles. This includes warning lamps to indicate a potential insulation error or power limitation in the event of overload (see ECE R 100).

The front lighting unit encompasses headlamps with high and low beam. The “C evolution” also features a centrally located daytime running light. At the back there is a rear light in LED technology.

Innovative colour concept and design.

The “C evolution” draws on the innovative styling of the BMW Motorrad family, offering a thrilling, inspiring design which arouses an emotional response to the new drive technology. As in other BMW motorcycles, the so-called split face runs across the upper trim section, giving the scooter a distinctive and dynamic front view.

BMW Motorrad design style is also reflected in the styling of the twin-tipped spoiler in the front trim and in a boomerang-shaped, aerodynamically formed floating panel in the side trim. The short, sporty rear will have a helmet compartment in the serial production model and emphasises the proactive character of the “C evolution”.

The combined effect of the colour “Light white” and the highlight colour “Electric green” reflects the vehicle’s specific properties, such as maximum environmental compatibility, supreme dynamic performance and simple handling. What is more, the illuminating “e” inscription on the two battery side trim elements and motor unit bear out the technical character of an electrically powered scooter.

Source: BMW Blog

EVTV Friday Show - July 27, 2012

This week:

- Alan Kirsten's Audi TT Project
- Damien Maguire tests the CA180FI
- 2008 Cadillac Escalade EXT Electric - first roll.
   and more ...

Alan Kirsten's Audi TT Project; He does not like to pay for shipping so he came to pick up his cells :-)

Damien Maguire's crazy experiments with the CA180FI !! Don't try this at home !!

He is simply short circuiting the CA1180FI and it puts a tremendous amount of current (up to 1800 Amps if I recall)

And Jack is showing us the last steps on the Escalade

A software reading the CAN bus gives a simple read out of all the sensors

Another one reads the ECU EPROM:
Thanks to this on Jack got all the error codes that were blocking him, deactivated them, and wrote the program back to the EPROM=> problem solved :-)

And now it is time to test drive the converted Escalade around the block !

No front, no hood

Jack is happy and grins (inside)

And some news from EV West, co-founded by Matt Hauber a former intern at EVTV (the live cable cutter). They converted a 1995 BMW M3 to Electric drive with two Warp 11HV motors and EVnetics Shiva controller, and the result is scary !! The Test drive video and more here

Bill Caswell Takes the BM M3 Electric Pikes Peak Race Car for a Test Drive - EV West

"OMG ! Is that the tires burning out ?! "  Big EV grin for Race car driver Bill Caswell  :-)

EV West: "Rally racing's favorite privateer and Pikes Peak veteren, Bill Caswell, stopped by the EV West shop to take the electric M3 for a test ride. Ride along with Bill as he takes his first ride in a performance oriented electric vehicle"

Matt Hauber a former intern at EVTV (the live cable cutter). They converted a 1995 BMW M3 to Electric drive with two Warp 11HV motors and EVnetics Shiva controller, and the result is scary !!

And Twizy & Citroën Saxo Electric when I came back

I am happy to see more and more EVs, some new, some older

The Citroen Saxo Electric is a factory conversion from the late 1990's or early 2000, and it is plugged in

Here again, the Twizy owner thinks it's just a free parking spot: You have to plug in 

A Mia not plugged in

Mairie de Paris, saturday afternoon:
First time I see a Mia here
I plugged in my Vectrix but this Mia is not - and supposed to be...
These spots are for charging EVs, not just parking for free

Another Twizy in Paris

This is becoming very common now to see Twizy everywhere I go

LiFePO4 ESS update - Power Supply graphs

I think we are getting there ... the power supply follows the usage curve more and more
I did simulate the automated GTIs switching based on what the Arduino & Relays state

Friday, July 27, 2012

Nissan adresses the Arizona heat related battery capacity loss issue

An open letter to Nissan LEAF owners from Carla Bailo, senior vice 
president, Research and Development, Nissan Americas:

At Nissan, we consider ourselves fortunate to have such passionate 
and engaged customers—especially within our LEAF family. Recently, 
we learned from the Nissan LEAF community—and specifically from 
some Phoenix-area LEAF owners—of a growing concern about battery 
capacity loss with their electric vehicles. In fact, the MyNissanLEAF 
online owners' forum—a resource that allows owners to share their 
experiences and discuss EVs— helped bring the concern to our 
attention for which we’re appreciative.

The forum's discussion around battery capacity loss has reached a 
point where I feel it important to personally address what is being 
debated, to provide Nissan's viewpoint and, most importantly, to 
explain the actions we are taking to work with owners.

First, it is important to stress that while battery capacity loss incidents represent only a
handful of cases, we are taking them—as well as the concerns of the larger LEAF family—
very seriously.  Battery capacity loss of the levels reported may be considered normal
depending on the method and frequency of charging, the operating environment, the
amount of electricity consumed during daily usage and a vehicle's mileage and age.  But the
only way to know for sure is to examine customer vehicles, perform a thorough diagnostic
on the vehicle and battery, and better understand the real-world driving and charging
history of the owners. We are now reaching out to individual owners to start this process to
ensure that we fully understand these events and all potential causes, and pledge to provide
an update as soon as possible.

Battery data collected from Nissan LEAFs to date currently indicates that less than 0.3
percent of Nissan LEAFs in the U.S. (including vehicles in service dating back to December,
2010) have experienced a loss of any battery capacity bars. Overall, this universe of
vehicles represents a very small fraction of the more than 13,000 Nissan LEAFs on U.S.
roads. Also, data received globally from other LEAF vehicles shows that this condition
typically occurs to high-mileage cars or those in unique operating situations.

Second, I want to explain battery capacity, how it is affected by the operating environment
and usage patterns and what is considered normal battery health. All lithium-ion batteries
lose capacity with use and age.  This is normal and expected.  In general, lithium-ion
batteries exhibit a higher loss of capacity early in life, with the rate of loss decreasing over
time.  Nissan has projected that LEAF batteries will generally have 80 percent of their
capacity under normal use after 5 years, and 70 percent after 10 years.

Are there factors that could negatively affect this performance curve? Yes. A customer's
method and frequency of charging, operating environment, the amount of electricity
consumed during daily usage and a vehicle's mileage and age can all affect the rate of
battery capacity loss.  Until we know more about each customer's unique situation, it would
be premature to declare what is happening with the Nissan LEAFs in Phoenix, and whether
their performance is within the range of expectations or not. Working closely with our
owners to get to the bottom of these concerns is exactly what we’re committed to do.

Nissan engineers from our Arizona Testing Center and around the world will study each
customer case, work to discover the root cause and will determine next steps to satisfy our customers.  While we do this, we pledge to provide an update to our customers as soon as

Together, we are confident that by collaborating with our LEAF community—including the
more than 400 owners in Arizona—we will ensure that owners experience many years of
enjoyable driving as EV pioneers.

Thank you for your passion for the Nissan LEAF and the electrical vehicle movement. It is
only through your dedication and willingness to innovate that we are able to bring zeroemission mobility to the mass market.

Kind regards,

Carla Bailo
Senior Vice President, Research & Development
Nissan Americas

Source: MyNissanLEAF

Unexpected Twizy in Saint Ouen

Yesterday, as I was arriving at work, I saw this Twizy stopped near a gate, inside were two girls (20 something) and they were talking to a guy (same age range)

Then they left and it looks like they were having fun driving it
I thought: this Twizy is really for the young generation ...

DBT installs a New AC DC Fast Charger in France

DBT installed a new AC & DC Quick Charger in Chaponne, France early July

Located in a brand new BP rest area / gas station on A6 freeway, halfway between Paris and Lyon, this new kind of fast charger can deliver AC (Mennekes standard, up to 43kW) and DC (CHAdeMo standard, up to 50kW), that is for example for both a Renault Zoe and a Nissan LEAF

For now, the cost aof a full charge is 5 EUR

DBT has a new line of QC Chargers

Nothing mentions this charging station on BP website, I guess it is too new ...

- Technical Brochure
- Press Release
- DBT CEV ( Charging Electric Vehicles )

Thursday, July 26, 2012

French Government raises EV incentive to 7,000 EUR

Yesterday, French government announced his will to support EVs & hybrids purchases raising their incentives to 7,000 EUR and 4,000 EUR (instead of 5,000 EUR and 2,000 EUR before), applicable now !

These incentives will be available to companies and public sector too, and this last one will have to purchase 25% of EVs for its fleets 

Also 50 Millions EUR will be dedicated to building / improving charge infrastructure

But it also says that all these efforts from the  government will be condictionned to having the cars and their components produced in France ...

Full article here:
Plan Automobile - 25 Juillet 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

EVTV Friday Show - July 20, 2012

Brian is back from California where he saw a lot of EVs

Program of this week:
- Speedster Duh, the best conversion we ever did and my favorite car - SOLD.
- Elcon charger control
- An ARDUINO CANbus device
- Ampblock tachometer and fuel gage driver

Brian is back from California with a good bottle of red wine to share with his friend :-)

Jack goes through the details of his Speedster Duh, his favorite conversion, originaly from Beck Speedster

Front battery pack

Dash instrumentation

Rear battery boxes, AC50 Motor and liquid cooled controller

Jack sold it to a group of Japanese who want to order some more from them :-)

Talking about Nissan LEAF & Tesla Roadster battery problems (just a few) and how the manufacturers address those (or not)

MACCHINA : A new Arduino based CANbus communication device from RechargeCar
A touch screen could be easily attached to it and would display Battery Voltage, Battery Ah, Charger Voltage, Charge Current, etc

This board will be a hit in EV conversions and more ...
Another usefull new device to measure current: AutoBlock AMP also from RechargeCar

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