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Means of transport are one of the main reasons of environment pollution as well as climatic changes such as: global warming, smog or acid rains. Carbon dioxide is responsible for greenhouse effect, that is why we are looking for technologies that would limit emission of deleterious gas to the atmosphere. Passing only ten kilometers by car generates 2kg of CO2. Within an hour, a car transforms 6000 liters of oxygen into fumes. In comparison, an average deciduous tree produces 1200 liters of oxygen and a human consumes 30 liters per hour.1 We also have to remember that the crude oil is non-renewable. Therefore, its price will rise as the resources will decrease. The forecasts are not optimistic: we will be hard-hit by the lack of oil within the next 50 years.
In the face of the threat, cars with alternative engines in comparison to the combustion ones, seem to be not just a nice diversification, but a necessity. Investment in new technologies – a direction that Western Europe and the United States should have taken long time ago – is the best and the only solution. The discoveries from science-fiction are not only imagination inspired by the light of silver screen – it is our upcoming reality.
At the same time, one has to remember that electric cars were very popular means of transport already in XIX century. Obviously, contemporary vehicles represent different, more progressive form. Since 1900, electric energy-powered cars were widely recognized. One reason behind this was the simplicity of starting them – one did not have to deal with the starter as in the case of the combustion engine. One of the most popular electric cars of that times were vehicles produced by Baker Motor Vehicle, which were able to go almost 100 km on a single charge of acid accumulator. Unfortunately, poor quality of electric cells of that times resulted in electric cars being displaced by combustion cars.
Nowadays, one can observe a return to once abandoned technological solutions. It is worth mentioning the ELV001 prototype, a pride of Polish constructors associated in Green Cars Cluster (ed. carspl.eu). The car was manufactured in less than half a year and nearly 90% of the parts came from Polish manufacturers. Constructed with the financial support from the EU, the car reaches the velocity from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6 seconds. The model was presented for the first time in June 2011 and it already caught great interest since Electric-power is immensely economical and generate low exploitation costs – according to claims of the creators, ELV001 is able to cover 100 km distance for just PLN 4.
Companies and institutions associated in Green Cars Cluster (www.carspl.eu) developed modification thanks to which it became possible to transform combustion cars into electric ones. Members of GreenCars are convinced that the element initiating attempt to establish Poland’s sovereignty in terms of energy is the active creation of electric cars market along with parallel development of intelligent networks of renewable energy sources. Electricity could already eliminate oil with great benefits for the users, environment and future generations.2
On the basis of technology developed by Green Cars Cluster, in 2011, the group has conducted a complex conversion of cars for Energa Operator Group. Fiat Panda cars were modified with the use of the newest, unconventional technological solutions. In 9 converted cars, a 15kW AC synchronous electric motor with torque of 105 Nm was installed. It reaches the maximum speed of 160 km/h, what in comparison to models with traditional combustion engine, gives less power, but higher torque.
Converted cars can be charged even in normal electric socket (230 V, 16 A). To fully charge the car one needs approximately 18kWh, what will allow to cover 180 km of distance. Also economic aspects are in favor of looking at this modern solution in detail. With current energy prices, one whole “refueling” will cost less than PLN 5.
The implementation of technology in combustion cars becomes an increasingly popular way of introducing efficient, ecological solutions. Conversion of the car is much cheaper than buying a new one, thus it is a much affordable solution and can be used by more car users.
What does the process of conversion comprises of? The combustion engine is removed and instead of it, an electric engine is installed along with the base on which the batteries are placed. Depending on the capacity of the boot, batteries can be put in the rear sector fitting a special frame for the batteries, which are charged afterwards. The charging process lasts from 5 to 8 hours, depending on the car and parameters. The energy can come from a normal 230V power socket, however, there is still a supply network with charging points, where one can „refuel” the car in less than 30 minutes.
One of the companies, associated within the Green Cars Cluster - Green Taxi, based on the idea of green transport - combines the idea of ecological transport and functional system of renting cars. The fleet offered by the company is directed not only at taxi corporations, enterprises or public administration bodies, but also at private individuals. However, Green Taxi means not only eco and functionality, but also safety. Wide market experience and expertise in technology allowed for creation of AST, so-called “black box”. Its usability is based on four systems, i.e. measuring system, archiving system, communication system and extension system.
The key designation of AST is the immediate communication to proper offices about an accident. The archiving system consists of number of non-volatile memories of different kind: NOR Flash, NAND Flash, FRAM and microSD. Its task is to archive and store parameters of the product for a certain period of time which are generated by the remaining AST systems. The communication system is equipped with GSM module, WIFI module, USD interface, one-frequency radio working at 2.4[GHz] and multi-frequency radio working at 315[MHz], 433[MHz], 868[MHz], 915[MHz].
A detailed record of parameters of drive (with 100[Hz] frequency) makes AST a very precise tool for determining position, direction and velocity of the car, with an accurate reference of the data to GPS localizer. AST also makes it possible to record basic parameters of the drive, what allows for recreating its dynamics and help determine the way of driving a car. Extension system contributes to an increase of functionality of the “black box”. It is an optional but a very practical step. It consists of a set of peripheral devices that communicate with the AST with or without the use of a wire. These are: OBD2, an alarm, pager, barcode reader, display with the touch panel and a device compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT/ANT+.
Thanks to AST communication with the cloud, one can send archived, basic parameters of the drive and the record of incidents with the possibility to download detailed parameters from the moment when an accident happened.
Nowadays, there are a lot of skeptical views on electric vehicles: it goes without saying that the technology is very demanding and dependent on properly designed infrastructure, equipped with universal charging stations. Nevertheless, this alternative means of transport are slowly gaining new supporters. There are many brands that specialize in production of electric cars only. Let’s just think of MyCar, which was used by the staff of county office in Mielec. What is more, models such as Mega e-City, which were used by employees of the town hall can serve a proof that transport based on electric energy is an issue that is worth giving a chance. In case of combustion cars, it seems that the saying “the new does not mean better” is very relevant. It is thanks to the fact that cars which are powered by the “clean” energy are given a chance by an increasing number of individual and fleet clients; these novel solutions are appreciated by both the media and administrative bodies, what can be exemplified by the prize in “Innovative Project 2010” competition, organized by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development , for implementing the project entitled “Developing the market of electric cars as well as the charging infrastructure as a way to achieve energy safety” awarded to Green Car electric car, which has been constructed by companies affiliated in Green Cars Cluster.
Source: Green Economy