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HEMIS project will contribute to make electric vehicles more safe, reliable and easy to maintain

According to the coordinator of this European project, Ainhoa ​​Galarza, which involved a consortium of CEIT-IK4, JEMA, IDIADA Automotive Technology Energy as Spanish partners, York EMC Services and MIRA from Great Britain, VTT Technical Research Centre from Finland and the Politecnico di Milano from Italy.   

Nowadays, road transport relies almost exclusively on fossil fuels, accounting for 60 % of all the oil consumed in the EU. In fact, road transport is responsible for one-fifth of the EU's total emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. Moreover, emissions from transport have increased 26% since 1990. Therefore, in order to reach the 2020 target of reducing the 1990 greenhouse emission figure by 20 %, the European Commission considers the electric vehicle an absolute must. However, with the recent introduction of electric vehicles on the market some concerns have been raised among potential drivers namely the reliability and the electromagnetic field generated by the electrical components.

Some components of the 100% electric vehicles are underdeveloped from a technological point of view. This means, for example, that components potential failures are still largely unknown as is the vehicle’s lifespan. One of these components is the powertrain, made up of the electric motor and its associated electronics. Although electric engines have been used in

 industry for a long time, the use of electric engines for vehicles is new, since they need to be specially light-weighted and efficient to increase the autonomy of the vehicle. Besides, these electric and electronic components emit electromagnetic fields, which could interfere with the rest of the systems of the vehicle and affect the occupants of the vehicle.

The HEMIS project (www.hemis-eu.org) will first study how the powertrain degrades in time and the consequences of its failure. With this knowledge, researchers will develop a system to analyze the state of the powertrain when the vehicle is running by monitoring some physical characteristics. It will also estimate, by means of special software, how long the powertrain will work for, and which component will fail first. This means that the owner will be able to plan for optimum vehicle maintenance.

The HEMIS project has a second objective. The electromagnetic field emitted by the electric powertrain will be measured, and its effect on the human body and any interference with the rest of the system will be analyzed. It will then be assessed whether these fields which present greater activity than in a conventional car, exceed current standards. In that case, HEMIS proposes to adapt the automotive standards so that the electromagnetic field is always below the limits. In addition to this, this monitoring system will also include measurements of the electromagnetic field inside the vehicle.

Finally, electric vehicle manufacturers will be provided with the information on the components that fail most so that the vehicle reliability can be improved, and costs reduced. Design and testing guidelines regarding electromagnetic fields will also be dealt with. With this in mind, in the words of Ms Galarza, coordinator of the project, “The HEMIS project will contribute to making electric vehicles  safer, more reliable and easier  to maintain”.

Some additional data on HEMIS project are:

      Partners: CEIT, York EMC Services, IDIADA Automotive Technology, VTT Research Centre from Finland, Politecnico di Milano, Mira Ltd, Jema Energy.

       Budget: €2,924,470. EU funding: €2,000,000.

       Duration: 30 months (June 2012-November 2014).

      Links to the news:

       El Ceit-IK4 lidera un proyecto europeo que busca consolidar el vehículo eléctrico como sistema de transporte mayoritario (Spanish Version)

        Un centro tecnológico vasco lidera un proyecto europeo para desarrollar sensores de vehículos eléctricos (Spanish Version)

         IK4 lidera un proyecto que busca consolidar el vehículo eléctrico como sistema de transporte mayoritario    (Spanish Version)

         El Ceit-IK4 lidera un proyecto europeo para consolidar el coche eléctrico (Spanish Version)

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Project acronym:

Project name:
 Electrical powertrain Health Monitoring for Increased Safety of FEVs

Project reference:

Start date: 01/06/2012
End date: 28/02/2015

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