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An essential challenge for the development of electric vehicles is
thermal management, since, in comparison to conventional vehic-
les, engine heat is no longer available for heating the interior of the
vehicle, and cooling is provided through auxiliary aggregates that
consume a lot of energy. The range, which is already restricted as
compared to that of conventionally propelled vehicles, is further
reduced through the power requirements of electric heating and
cooling elements. This effect becomes greater, the higher the po-
wer consumption of the components for interior air conditioning.
Nevertheless, to counteract this effect and still be able to genera-
te a high level of climate comfort in the vehicle interior, innovative
air-conditioning concepts must be developed (see chapter 2.2.3).
In the area of air conditioning and thermal comfort concepts for
electric vehicles, the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics
has been working on this issue in the „E-Comfort“ project. Behr
GmbH & Co. KG in Stuttgart is active in topics that involve ther-
mal management. The company, J. Eberspächer GmbH & Co. KG,
headquartered in Esslingen am Neckar, develops and produces
heating concepts for efficient heating of electric vehicles. In ad-
dition, Robert Bosch GmbH in Gerlingen-Schillerhöhe, and Bosch
Engineering GmbH in Abstatt are participating in a research pro-
ject devoted to thermal management for electric vehicles.
In addition to the thematically assigned networks and clusters
already cited, a number of additional networks and associations
exist in Baden-Württemberg for interdisciplinary promotion of
electromobility and fuel cell technology in the state.
The State Agency for Electromobility and Fuel Cell Technology Ba-
den-Württemberg, as the central contact point in the electromobi-
lity sector and for networking all important participants, initiatives,
projects, and funding activities in the state, assumes the role of an
umbrella organization and state-wide platform. The declared goal
of e-mobil BW is to promote the exchange of knowledge, identify
innovation potential and to initiate collaborative research projects
in this manner. A particular work focus of e-mobil BW, in this re-
gard, is better integration of small and medium-sized businesses in
the electromobility innovation process. The „Electromobility Sou-
thwest“ cluster, with the motto „road to global market“ today in-
cludes approximately 80 participants from business and science in
the Karlsruhe – Mannheim – Stuttgart – Ulm region. As a regional
concentration and network of innovative participants, it connects
with the understanding of the three technology approaches, the
automobile, ICT and energy industries, and the interdisciplinary
field of production. With the goal of industrializing electromobility,
the cluster participants jointly address the three essential levers
for making electromobility competitive: „Market and costs“ (pro-
vision of competitive life-cycle costs), „Handling and comfort“
(satisfying customer expectations for e-vehicles) and „networked
mobility“ (increasing the usability of electrified modes of trans-
port). Through its synergies, it acts as a catalyst, particularly for
small and medium-sized companies, because it integrates them in
the knowledge transfer between large companies and research
organizations and thus actively prepares for the change to elec-
tromobility. e-mobil BW handles the overall cluster management
and is a competent contact for all cluster members.
In this sense, the state-wide network „automotive bw“ promotes
further development of Baden-Württemberg as an innovative sup-
plier location, and the bundling of companies and their activities
as part of a cluster [automotive bw (2011)].
The Fuel-Cell and Battery Alliance Baden-Württemberg (BBABW),
which also has an interface and consulting function, works close-
ly with its more than 70 members from business, research, and
public administration, with partners such as Wirtschaftsförderung
Region Stuttgart GmbH (WRS) and e-mobil BW, to accelerate mar-
ket preparation and industrialization of battery and fuel cell tech-
nologies, jointly with its members.
In the FutureCar innovation network, under the direction of the
Fraunhofer Institutes IAO and IISB, and the Swiss company Pro-
toscar, supplier firms are supported in their positioning in electro-
mobility [IAO (2011)].
Aid in development and research is also offered by Baden-
Württemberg’s Mechatronics Competence Network, which is
a communication platform for its partners for collaboration and
knowledge transfer in the development of technical solutions, to
improve solution competencies in Baden-Württemberg and make
these competencies known beyond the state borders [mechatro-
nik (2011)].