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European Research Project OpEneR started

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EU funded project to increase efficiency of electric vehicles – Merging of on-board and off-board data will enable new assistance functions – Project co-funded by the European Commission
A new European Research Project has been launched. OpEneR, which stands for “Optimal Energy consumption and Recovery based on system network,” will develop new driving strategies and driver assistance systems that significantly increase the efficiency, driving range, and safety of electric vehicles. This is to be achieved by merging data from on-board and off-board sources. A particular focus will lie on an optimal cooperation between the electric drivetrain and the regenerative braking system, supported by data from radar, video, satellite navigation, car-to-infrastructure and car-to-car systems.
The project partners are the Austrian powertrain development company AVL List GmbH, the Spanish research institute Centro Tecnológico de Automoción de Galicia (CTAG), the German Forschungszentrum Informatik Karlsruhe (FZI), the French car manufacturer PSA, and the German companies Robert Bosch GmbH and Robert Bosch Car Multimedia GmbH. The project is a European research project under the Seventh Framework Program, co-funded by the European Commission – Directorate General Information Society and Media. The total budget is 7.74 million euros, 4.4 million euros of this sum in the form of subsidies. The project is planned for three years and will be led by Bosch.Vehicle electrification will contribute significantly to the further reduction of vehicle fleet CO2 emissions. However, the limited electric driving range, very high battery price, and long charging times of today’s fully electric vehicles are major impediments to their widespread market acceptance. OpEneR aims to unlock the market for electric vehicles by significantly increasing the electric driving range without increasing battery size, and thus also by limiting battery price and charging time.

OpEneR will reduce the “range anxiety” that drivers of fully electric vehicles experience, through the realization of a longer, more consistent, predictable and clearly displayed remaining electric driving range, with the use of highly innovative controller software algorithms. These algorithms will merge data from a diverse range of on-board and off-board sources (existing and new) to provide timely and effective driver guidance through enhanced vehicle dashboard displays. This advanced support system will allow the drivers to consistently adapt their route and driving style in order to achieve the best energy efficiency and thus electrical driving range, and to arrive at their chosen destination as quickly and safely as practically possible.

The OpEneR system will provide advanced and fully integrated driver support, based on a networked architecture comprising for example, vehicle, battery, e-machine, regenerative braking, adaptive cruise control, and 3D satellite navigation route data, as well as car-to-infrastructure and car-to-car communication and enhanced haptic dashboard and head-up displays. Furthermore, a sophisticated and integrated vehicle stability controller with enhanced environmental sensing will improve safety.

To assure the success of OpEneR, the new technologies will be developed in three stages, the so-called OpEneR Technology Levels. The project results will be demonstrated in two fully operational electric vehicles, which will be tested under real world conditions. OpEneR technologies are wholly complementary to other initiatives, such as enhanced battery technologies, and can also be applied to other vehicle types such as hybrids and range extenders to accelerate their market acceptance.

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