ELISE soothes range anxiety

July 26, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Still, range anxiety is one of the main retarding factors for the market acceptance of electric vehicles. A research project at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) aims at developing elements that could do away with this attitude. The anti-anxiety instruments range from location based services to autonomous chargers.

Up to now, the options to recharge the empty battery of an electric car greatly depend on the availability of a public energy grid or at least a charging station in the not too distant environment. In order to enhance the range of options for e-car drivers, the KIT researchers plan to develop an "independent" charging unit. The goal of project ELISE is to provide the necessary products and functions and improve operating reliability.

The project embraces a unit integrated in the car that acquires and processes data on the vehicle's operating status and the environment and acts as an enabler for location-independent services. This telematics platform can be configured for a range of tasks and contains an interface for data communication with a smartphone. This, in turn acts as the display for the platform and to visualizes application specific information. In addition, it acts as a communication device with the outside world. Moreover, the researchers plan to design a charging and discharging unit that operates autonomously. For instance, it facilitates emergency charging of a car whose battery ran empty. Thus, the charging unit is somewhat comparable with a jumper cable.

The third element of the ELISE project is the development of new concepts based on insights on vehicle remote diagnosis, position determination and user behavior. These concepts, fed into the industrial design of electric vehicles, will be used to optimize the design of electric vehicles as well as their components from a holistic perspective. Towards this end, the KIT scientists get granular on the interplay between driver, vehicle and environment.

The project is part of the Leading-Edge Cluster Elektromobility South West germany with about 80 participating entities from industry and academic community. The project is funded in part by the German federal research ministry. Results can be expected from 2015.