Bombardier offers charge on the go e-mobility solution
DO you care for the environment and want to wear your green credentials on the sleeve? Do you want to kick your oiladdiction, but remain stuck to the gasoline- powered vehicle because you do not have a choice? The automobile industry does believe that the future is more likely to lie in hybrid gasoline-electric cars and not the all-electric cars, which still face issues like how far they can travel on one charge and how long they take to recharge.
It’s true that the battery technology is improving in terms of storage capacity and lowering the overall weight, but it is yet to reach a stage where you can dump your gasoline-driven car.
So it’s a bind. While companies do not rule out a future for electric cars, they are yet to come out with a price and quality relevant vehicle to entice the discerning customers.
And in such a scenario, Bombardier, a global leader in rail technology, has forcefully come out with a technology, which is simple (in scientific terms) but promises to reduce environmental degradation by redefining transportation and revolutionising electric mobility across the globe.
Applied to light rail vehicles and cars, the system can save up to 30 percent of energy, thus reducing cost of electricity generation as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the industry research body IDTexEx, the outlook for the electric vehicle market are extremely promising. The market for full electric buses and taxis is expected to grow from $6.24 billion in 2011 to $54.1 billion in 2021, a rise of 8.7 times in the next 10 years. Of that, the electric bus market is set to account for 235,000 buses over this 10-year period.
This analysis does not take into account the introduction of new technologies such as Bombardier’s Primove system, which minimises shortcomings in today’s electric vehicle solutions, such as range and recharging constraints.
The company, according to market buzz, is in talks with several motor makers to test and adopt the Primove technology for their vehicles of future.
With the application of this innovative technology vehicles would get charged while on move as well, said Harry Seiffert, product director of Primove technology at Bombardier Transportation.
“Based on the principle of inductive power transfer, Bombardier’s Primove technology allows trams and electric vehicles to be recharged either in motion (dynamic charging) or at rest (static charging) without affecting driving habits or journey times,” he said.
It transfers energy at very high efficiency without compromising on performance and can significantly reduce energy consumption when combined with an onboard energy storage solution.
It allows all types of electric vehicles, trams and light rail, buses, cars, trucks, taxis “to operate over distances of varying lengths” without conventional overhead wires as electric supply components are hidden under the vehicle and beneath the track.
“The power transfer is activated only when they are fully covered by the vehicle, thus guaranteeing minimum electromagnetic emission. The contact-less transfer of power also significantly reduces wear and tear of the vehicle as well as the power system,” Seiffert said.
When activated, the cables create a magnetic field that is captured by the vehicle’s pick-up coils and is turned into electric current to feed the vehicle’s traction system and charge the energy storage device.
“The Primove system is compliant with all applicable codes and standards for electromagnetic compatibility.
It meets the existing requirements for magnetic field emission in public areas – in particular the guidelines of the International Commission on Non- Ionising Radiation Protection—and does not interfere with other systems or with electrical appliances such as mobile phone or heart pacemakers,” he remarked.
As all electric devices are fully isolated, the Primove system does not present any health or safety hazard to passengers or other road users.
An additional benefit of the system is the integration of the energy storage solution, which is mounted on the vehicle roof: batteries store the energy released each time the vehicle breaks and allow it to be reused during the operation.
The technology has shown exceptional reliability under all environmental conditions including sand storms, heavy rain and snow, says Mickey Raviv, director of marketing (M-E) at the Bombardier Transportation.
By eliminating the overhead cables and other wires previously needed to power electric vehicles, mass transit networks can now blend in effortlessly with their surroundings especially for historic sites, heritage protected monuments and areas or green environments such as parks and gardens.
The Primove technology provides the optimum solution for attractive eco-friendly public transport.
Creating significant environmental advantage, it even allows the integration of the e-mobility system in areas where installation of conventional systems would be prohibited or difficult.
While the percentage of electric and hybrid buses is only 4.6 percent of the global market today, it is expected to reach 24 percent by 2021, even without the introduction of new technologies.
The technology has been successfully tested as pilot project in the German city of Augsburg. In Braunschweig, the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development has decided to fund the Primove technology project for commercial use.
Bombardier, together with other leading industrial partners and universities, is participating in the Flanders DRIVE research project for the inductive charging of electric vehicles in Belgium, which is being co-funded by the Flemish government.
Sections of public road in the city of Lommel and Van Hool buses have been equipped with Primove technology and both buses and cars are undergoing tests there.
With incentive for more bus operators to opt for electric buses instead of diesel, the e-mobility sector of the industry believes that Primove will significantly impact the market penetration of electric buses.
In this scenario, the Primove solution could easily and safely be termed a shining light on the mass transportation as well as e-mobility (electrical mobility) of the future.