06. October 2011

FEV GmbH cooperates with KSPG in development of new range extender

Compact range extender with optimized NVH properties has potential to be universally mounted in electric vehicles

Aachen, Germany, October 10, 2011 – FEV GmbH, (FEV) a leading developer of advanced powertrain and vehicle technologies based in Aachen, Germany, announced today that in cooperation with world-wide automotive supplier KSPG, Neckarsulm, Germany, it has developed a compact range extender that has the potential to be universally mounted in electric vehicles (EV). The system includes FEV’s Full Engine Vibration Compensator (FEVcom), which has been designed into the range extender to maintain valued EV properties such as reduced Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) when the range extender is in operation. The concept, already presented by KSPG at the recent IAA in Frankfurt, will also be exhibited in FEV’s stand, stand 3, at the Aachener Kolloquium, 10 – 12 Oct., 2011 at the Eurogress in Aachen.

“In our first E-vehicle prototype, which was presented 3 years ago at the Aachen Colloquium, FEV had integrated a range extender solution for functional demonstration purposes. This new KSPG design solution defines a new benchmark in terms of packaging, NVH performance and production feasibility. It includes many smart innovations, which result from our continuous engineering activities in this growing field of powertrain technology“, said Prof. Stefan Pischinger, CEO of FEV GmbH.

Range extenders overcome one of the major challenges faced by potential owners of electric vehicles, that of range anxiety, or a fear that a vehicle’s charge will run out before accessing a charging station. While range extenders are not new technology, those that do exist are designed specifically for the vehicle in which they are installed. The 30 kW range extender developed in cooperation with KSPG overcomes that obstacle through its compact design and simple vehicle interface, allowing for possible installation in a space underneath the rear of the vehicle.

The other major benefit of the KSPG range extender is its near-electric vehicle quietness, achieved through the FEVcom system. By using FEVcom, a reduction in the engine vibration of more than 95 percent at the engine mount could be measured in various engine applications.

At the IAA, KSPG showed a two-cylinder, V-type gasoline engine with a vertically positioned crankshaft and two generators with gear wheel drive. The demonstrator showed the compact size of the unit, which weighs just over 60 kg, and is easily integrated into an existing vehicle because the vehicle interfaces are reduced to a minimum. The advantage this provides is that the range extender can be added as an accessory, or optional piece of equipment, providing a “bridge” between fully-electric vehicles and those with a supplemental source of power, should the battery energy be depleted before the driver is able to recharge. The bridge will alleviate the range anxiety that is a major obstacle in the acceptance of electric vehicles by consumers.

The range extender developed in cooperation with KSPG shows several additional advantages. Car manufacturers can, for instance, design a propulsion system using smaller batteries, thus reducing the cost and overall weight of the vehicle.

KSPG selected FEV to support the concept development due to FEV’s extensive experience in small displacement / high power output engine development for use as range extenders. FEV has independently created and integrated range extender systems that have been demonstrated at other venues. As an independent developer, FEV is able to apply its extensive benchmarking database to support customer projects with optimized concepts that can be quickly brought into production.