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© tesla (illustration purposes only!) Business | June 24, 2015

HV-ModAL: Powerful drive trains for electric vehicles

Within the next three years, the research project HV-ModAL wants to create an electric drive train modular system toolbox, which is suitable for a wide range of electric cars from various manufacturers.
Thus, the ten partners from the whole automotive value chain and the sciences intend to further expand the global market position of the German automotive industry in the field of electric vehicles – purely electric, plug-in hybrids and small transport vehicles. The power bandwidth should be between 50 kilowatts (kW) and 250 kW with the range of the vehicles further extended. Today, 125 kW and a range of 150 km are typical. HV-ModAL is a German acronym that translates as “Modular drivetrain topologies for electric vehicles with high power”.

Research in components and system designs

During the first project stage, the HV-ModAL research partners intend to come to an understanding of electric drive platforms that is shared throughout the automotive value creation chain. Then they will conduct extensive concept and component research to determine the individual components that can be best coordinated with each other for such electric drive platforms.

Among other things, research will address IGBT power modules for high-power drives up to 250 kW and high voltages of up to 900 V, modular multi-level DC/DC converters, batteries with integrated DC/DC converters, and system components for batteries over 600 V. To describe and define these components, then best tune them to one another, the partners are constructing a common, flexible system simulation model for different vehicle platforms. To verify the theoretical results, optimized components and architectures will be built as demonstration models, and tested. The results will be the basis for the HV-ModAL system designs, and ultimately the modular system toolbox for the broadest possible range of electric drives.

Over the duration of the project, about Euro 7.5 million will be invested. About 50 percent of that amount will be funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The project will run until December 31, 2017. Infineon Technologies has the project lead.

Project partners in HV-ModAL

A total of ten partners from the automobile industry and research institutions are collaborating. They include the automobile manufacturers BMW AG and Daimler AG, the automobile system supplier Robert Bosch GmbH, the drive system developer AVL with its subsidiaries in Stuttgart and Regensburg, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology (IISB) in Erlangen, the Leibnitz Universität Hannover, the Universität der Bundeswehr München and RWTH Aachen University, and the semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies AG.
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