How much of the electricity put into a rechargeable electric car battery translates into actual kilometres driven? The answer depends on optimising a whole range of parameters in the car, the charging station and the electricity grid, and investigating this area will form the basis of a three year research project at Aalborg University which will start this autumn, reports professional journal Ingeniøren (The Engineer).
John K Pedersen, head of Aalborg University's Institute for Energy Technology, told Ingeniøren: "We will investigate the whole transmission path from the motor to the drive wheels. It will involve power management, battery charging, and optimising of every component. We are facing a technological shift in society, and there is no reason why Danish companies shouldn't be capable suppliers of the new technology. We want to do our bit to make that happen."
The project is receiving a total of DKK 14m (USD 2.65m) in funding from the EU structural fund, the Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority, and other partners including the automobile manufacturer Renault, which will be supplying electric cars for the Better Place project which is set to roll out in Denmark by 2012.
Although the project will not concern itself with battery electrochemistry, the research will examine how electric car batteries can function as an energy storage element in the grid, and on the kind of management that batteries and charging stations will need in this connection.