Electrified Renault Megane: Continental Wants to Know
150 km range, a battery life of two and a half hours and not slow down the space: With a self-developed, electrified Renault Megane shows tire manufacturer Continental, the all-electric compact cars are not just the future.
The majority of the components is ready for the market or is already produced on a large scale. The converted vehicle has traveled more than 10,000 kilometers on public roads. The heart of the Continental carrier testing is a synchronous motor, as in the electric vehicles from Renault already has thousands of applications. The engine has an output of 70 kW/95 HP and a maximum torque of 226 Newton meters with it the Continental prototype accelerates in 11.9 seconds to 100 km.
The electric motor is coupled to an integrated single-stage differential gear including mechanical parking brake as well as a power electronics and a control device by Continental. The power electronics comes from a flexible modular system of the second generation, which should be about 30 per cent are less than in the first generation and the most compact components in the market through the compact space is gained and reduces the vehicle weight. Thus, additional space under the front hood won. For a series vehicle it could accommodate there another storage space about the tire repair kit, tool kit and charger.
The engineers have the various components of the electric drive train so well integrated into the car that they save over comparable vehicles several meters on high-voltage cables and various special connectors. This leads to a significant cost advantage and reduces the benefit of the weight range again.
The lithium-ion battery system with liquid cooling weighs 154 kilograms and can be integrated without sacrificing space in the sandwich floor under the seats. Boot volume and variability of the test vehicle interiors remain intact. The battery pack has a rated voltage of 355 volts with a capacity of 18 kilowatt hours. This allows a maximum range of 150 kilometers.
Loading the battery with a new charging system (on-board charger) from Continental, which will be ready for series production. With the boost performance by up to ten kilowatt allows the vehicle to load completely in just over two and a half hours. The prototype of a distributor secures and monitors the connections of all the high-voltage consumer and temporarily can not turn off unnecessary components.
Continental has developed a prototype for the charging socket, which informs the vehicle owners at a glance the current status of his car. It is not only white, illuminated at night so you can easily tap into electricity. A blinking LED ring shows the store, a color change from yellow to green, how the downloading is complete. Moreover, the company has developed for electric vehicles an Internet-based portal, which has the driver from their computer or from a smartphone direct access to his car. With a few clicks, charging time and battery status can be read. Future so shall the charging management control and the vehicle to be conditioned. Then the charging process starts as only during favorable night rate or the air conditioner cools down the car while the car still on the grid depends.
Another innovation in the electric demonstration vehicle is the world’s first active gas pedal, the “Accelerator Force Feedback Pedal” (AFFP) from Continental. It is shortly before they are deployed and offers new opportunities to assist the driver in a most economical driving style. Depending about the currently selected drive program can be generated, for example, a variable pressure point in the pedal travel, which signaled to the driver the optimum accelerator position. At the same time in relation to battery power, an increasing counter pressure can be built, which indicates a declining range and economical pace prompts. Because such information even on vehicles with internal combustion engines can reduce the daily consumption and the AFFP can be used also as a warning of impending danger, they can be used not only limited to electric vehicles.
The testbed is also converted to newly developed tires with names “Conti.eContact“. With its unusual size from 195/55 R20 and the aerodynamic wheels it offers reduced by about 30 percent rolling resistance and thus a higher income range, according to Continental. Up to ten percent more miles to the new tires, with tire pressure automatically monitored, should be possible.
In the recuperation, the recovery of braking energy, Continental relies on the ESC control unit MK 60, which is built on a large scale worldwide in more than 50 million conventional vehicles from different manufacturers. It controls key functions such as electronic stability control, ABS, traction control and hill start assist. For use in electric vehicles, Continental has expanded the functionality of the controller. From the gas and brake pedal position of the driver, steering angle, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, it determined the safest combination of regenerative braking and friction brake. So it should allow the most familiar feeling on the best possible energy recovery.