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Chapter 2
THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY ON THE WAY TO
ELECTROMOBILITY
2.1 ELECTROMOBILITY PROPULSION AND VEHICLE CONCEPTS
»Electromobility propulsion concepts« are becoming increasingly
significant. This term embraces all passenger motor vehicles and
commercial vehicles, as well as two-wheelers (scooters and elec-
tric bicycles), used on the road, that can cover a least a portion
of the route propelled purely by electricity, regardless of whether
they get their energy from a battery or from a fuel cell. Moreover,
vehicle concepts that have electrical components for optimization
of the combustion engine are also considered. This chapter will
also present the different vehicle concepts, technical fundamen-
tals and possible development paths.
Vehicles can vary both in the type of propulsion concept applied,
as well as by vehicle type. The propulsion concepts, in turn, can
be classified as conventional and electromobile; conventional
propulsion concepts, include vehicles with traditional, as well as
consumption-optimized combustion engines. On the other hand,
electromobility propulsion concepts include, as shown in Figure 1,
hybrid vehicles (parallel hybrid, power-split hybrid) plug-in hybrid
vehicles, electric vehicles with range extension (serial hybrid) as
well as pure electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles [German Fede-
ral Government (2009)].
• Hybrid vehicles (parallel hybrid, power-split hybrid)
Characteristic features: Electric motor for support of the trac-
tion drive; battery can be charged through recuperation; com-
bination of a conventional combustion engine with an electric
engine; pure electric propulsion is possible in some cases over
a short range. Depending on the degree of support from the
electric motor, these concepts are also referred to as mild hyb-
rids or full hybrids.
Examples of current and planned models:
Toyota Prius, Daimler S400 Hybrid, Daimler E300 Blue Tec Hybrid
• Plug-in-Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV)
Characteristic features: Electric motor with grid-chargeable
battery; combination of classic combustion engine with elec-
tric motor; pure electric propulsion possible, depending on bat-
tery size and use. The difference from the classic hybrid is the
possibility of charging the battery via the grid.
Examples of current and planned models:
Fisker Karma, Prius Plugin, Daimler S500 Plug-In, BMW i8
Fig. 1: The diversity of Electromobile concepts compared to conventional propulsion systems
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