Electromobility has numerous advantages: Besides being quiet and environmentally friendly, electric vehicles are also less dependent on oil imports. Climatic changes and a growing world population are further reasons for advancing this trend. To counter this, many industrial nations want to bring more electric vehicles onto the roads. Germany is aiming at having one million electric cars on the road by 2020. The business unit “Automotive” at Fraunhofer IPA develops the necessary technologies and ensures their suitability for implementation in mass production processes. .
One of the things the researchers from the group “Dispersion” have developed is a novel heating system for heating electric cars that is based on CNT. Its proximity to passengers saves up to 20 % battery power. A film coated with conductive carbon nano tubes (CNT) is bonded to the inner door panel. This is where Joule’s Law comes into play: As electricity flows through the film, it encounters a natural resistance between the various nanoparticles. This causes heat to be generated. The new system heats up and cools down much faster than common resistance heaters and also heats more uniformly. It also takes up less space and can be mounted to a range of surfaces inside the electric car.
In the car-sharing field, service robot specialists are researching into safe and autonomous navigation solutions. For example, they have developed a concept for electric vehicles to drive autonomously to charging stations in appropriately-equipped car parks when their batteries are low. If the rechargeable battery is empty and a charging station is not occupied, the car maneuvers into the parking bay and is charged via a wireless technology. It then makes room for the next vehicle and parks on a free park space.