ICT for electric mobility II: Smart Car – Smart Grid – Smart Traffic

The ICT for electric mobility II programme focuses on the latest information and communication technology (ICT) as a crucial factor for the future success of electric mobility.

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This programme combines three different areas of research: The focus of the research into smart cars is on developing and testing new ICT architectures for electric cars. These will help reduce the weight and cost of future generations of electric cars and lay the basis for more convenience and new entertainment and safety features. The aim is to rely on software rather than hardware, wherever possible, and to replace the many control devices and cable connections found in vehicles today with a small number of main computer units. This concept could make a major contribution to reducing complexity in automotive engineering.

The research that is being conducted into smart grids focuses on finding smart solutions for integrating electric vehicles into the overall energy supply system. These solutions are to allow vehicles to be charged in a way that does not put undue strain on the grids, whilst also tapping the potential of renewable energies. It is to this end that ideas for controlled charging, feeding back electricity from batteries of electric cars, and standardised access to charging infrastructure are being developed and tested. Another issue that has to be addressed in this context is how payments for electricity used to recharge the batteries of electric cars can be settled in a way that is both economical and simple.

The third area of research that is covered by this programme is smart traffic. Here the focus is on integrating electric vehicles in modern transport infrastructures. More specifically, the research work in this area involves developing standardised interfaces in order to reduce traffic congestion, maximising the range of electric vehicles, and finding ICT solutions for the management and route planning of entire electric vehicle fleets.

The total investment of €140m across the 16 projects currently funded by this programme is being used to develop comprehensive concepts for electric mobility and to thoroughly test them in the field. This also includes concepts for using electric mobility in areas where little use has been made of it to date: in trade, in closed logistics systems (Hamburg container port), in agriculture, in taxis, and in fleets that are shared by several companies.

ICT for Electric Mobility II is part of both the Federal Government’s Electric Mobility Programme and its Digital Germany 2015 strategy. It builds upon the results of the ICT for Electric Mobility I programme designed by the Division for the Development of Convergent ICT. The focus of this earlier programme (2009-2011) had been on the development and testing of open, ICT-based system solutions for the best-possible integration of electric vehicles in transport systems and energy grids. Most of the research was dedicated to ICT-based charging, control, and settlement infrastructures and to their implications for new business models, services and standards. Projects tested across seven pilot regions received funding under the programme. The over-arching aim of ICT for Electric Mobility was to pave the way for the everyday use of electric vehicles and fleets of electric vehicles.

The ICT for electric mobility II programme

Number of projects:18
Period of duration:2012-2016
Number of project partners:124
Total funding:around €77m

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