Issue: May 2009


The Future is electrified



For the first time AVL presents the "AVL Pure Range Extender"

by Nick Palmen

Consumption, costs, emissions, driving comfort - the future requirements for cars will increase continuously. To handle these challenges the electrification of the drive is further promoted. Within the area AVL is in a very good position and recently presented the AVL Pure Range Extender to specialists on the 30th International Vienna Engine Symposium for the first time. This new device is aimed to extend the
range of electrically powered vehicles as well as to reduce the size and
costs of the batteries. The electronic drive is also the main topic of this
year's AVL conference "Engine and Environment". 

According to Helmut List, CEO of AVL, "The future belongs to electrification". "In
the next 15 to 20 years the combustion engines will interact with electric motors
by means of a hybrid". New drive systems and technologies, offered by AVL in
form of different hybrid and electronic drives - but also in form of modern combustion engines - are the focus of both automobile manufacturers and
customers. The main objective of the aforementioned is to increase the efficiency
and to reduce the CO2 emission of the vehicles considerably. 

List is sure that the key for the electric drive is the battery: "On the one hand,
AVL concentrates on the optimisation of the battery itself and on the other hand
on system developments like the Range Extender, to reduce the requirements for
the battery." 

The AVL Pure Range Extender is a very compact combination of combustion
engine and generator that produces electricity on demand and enables
electrically powered vehicles to cover a range equal to those of conventional
vehicles. At the same time the battery unit can be reduced to one third of its size
e.g., having a positive impact on the acquisition costs of an electronic vehicle. 

The Range Extenders are based on two approaches: based on a "conventional"
hybrid vehicle the electrically driven share will be increased and hence the
battery will be enlarged. In return the mechanical drive can be reduced until only
a mechanic through drive with a transformation ratio remains. Dr. Robert
Fischer, chairman of AVL: "This approach allows for the use of the existing
investments and hence will play an important role in the near future." 

The other approach is based on a pure electrically powered vehicle, which is able
to break away of the structural design of current vehicles. One of the main topics
for the purely electrically powered vehicles is the range, as the costs for the
battery increase considerably with the range. In this case the AVL Pure Range
Extender (i.e. without mechanical pressure) can be used to reduce the size of the
battery and thus to reduce the costs. This concept permits a more
uncompromising interpretation and optimization of the combustion engine.
Fischer: "This AVL solution sets new benchmarks regarding noise behavior, costs,
weight, and required mounting space and is an essential "enabler" on the way to
a general acceptance of electrically powered vehicles."

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