H2020 CREEV Range Extender Project
Electric vehicles are for certain the future of the automotive industry and a sound solution for positively reducing ever rising CO2 emissions. However, the world is yet to see the benefits of large-scale electric vehicle adoption as fears over range anxiety remain a key barrier for purchase.
Through funding from the biggest ever EU Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020, AIE will be developing an innovative range extender technology designed to overcome the key barrier of range anxiety; encouraging greater adoption of electric vehicles and helping to unlock significant environmental benefits.
With greater adoption of electric vehicles, Europe could significantly reduce the contribution of CO2 emissions from road transport. Unfortunately, range anxiety (the fear that an electric vehicle will fail to reach its destination) remains a major barrier for large-scale adoption despite incentives and a greater choice of vehicles.
In order to improve the adoption of electric vehicles and support the electric vehicle market to reach its full potential, issues over range anxiety must be addressed. With support from H2020 funding, AIE will present a strong solution for range concerns by developing a new and reliable range extender technology that meets the needs of the electric vehicle market.
SUPPORTING ELECTRIC VEHICLE MARKET NEEDS
With range anxiety hindering sales growth for electric vehicles, manufacturers have sought to address range concerns with the creation of hybrid-electric vehicles.
By using a traditional piston engine to drive an electric generator, hybrid-electric models can charge a battery resulting in an increased range. However, the large size of piston engines vastly restricts space requirements of electric vehicles, increases the weight of the vehicle, as well as produce poor power-to-weight ratios and vibration; not an ideal match for consumers seeking the smooth operation and efficiencies of an electric vehicle.
To meet consumer needs and support vehicle manufacturers, an alternative solution is needed for a range extender that is not just reliable and compact, but delivers better fuel efficiency, lower emissions, minimal noise and low vibrations. Using unique CREEV technology (Compound Rotary Engine Range Extender for Electric Vehicles) AIE are able to develop a compact, lightweight range extender that delivers on market needs.
SOLVING RANGE ANXIETY USING CREEV
With the inherent advantages of the rotary engine providing high power to weight ratios in a much more compact and lightweight technology, rotary engines are ideal for use as range extenders.
Until now, rotary engines have been avoided due to concerns over high internal wear, noise, poor efficiency and high emissions. However, AIE’s CREEV technology addresses these issues so that they are no longer a disadvantage when using rotary engines as range extenders.
This is made possible by innovative technologies including a Single Lobe Exhaust Expander (SLEE) that increases expansion stroke, extends combustion time and reduces exhaust gas temperature leading to improved combustion efficiency, lower emissions and reduced noise.
In addition to SLEE technology, AIE also utilise patented SPARCS (Self-Pressurised Air Rotor Cooling System) within the range extender system that works by circulating pressurised gases within the engine to lower the core temperature. As a result of this superior heat rejection, tip wear is reduced and sealing is improved for greater efficiencies and lower emissions.
Rather than operating at a variety of power ranges like the piston engine, the rotary engine will only be used to drive the generator at a fixed rpm and so will operate at its highest efficiency level. Together, with its smooth running low vibration, simplified maintenance requirements and huge space saving advantages, the CREEV range extender for electric vehicles represents the perfect power plant.
Preliminary tests already reveal the advantages that CREEV technology offers for increasing range of hybrid electric vehicles, reducing range anxiety issues and supporting Europe in addressing overall transport emissions targets.
With CREEV strongly addressing market needs, vehicle manufacturers can benefit from a completely new range extender that not only meets space-saving and weight requirements, but provides a cost effective option for extending range through an ultra-efficient, low emission rotary engine power unit.
Success of this new electric vehicle range extender will be demonstrated through rigorous analysis and testing within a light commercial vehicle; simultaneously proving the benefits of CREEV for both cars and light commercial vehicles.
Through AIE’s pioneering solutions and expertise, CREEV technology will deliver a step-change in rotary engine technology and range extender advancements not just for the electric vehicle market, but also for UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) and marine markets.
To express your interest for business opportunities with CREEV as a range extender for hybrid electric vehicles, UAVs or marine applications, please contact Alex Vaughn, Business Development at AIE on 01543 420700.