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Clean Transport Modular batteries (orange) can be integrated easily in the free space of the vehicle.
Image Credit: KIT

Published on September 5th, 2013 | by James Ayre

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Novel Economically Efficient Modular Battery Concept For Electric Vehicles Unveiled



An interesting-looking concept for an electric city bus — one that would already be economically efficient, even when current battery costs are taken into consideration — was recently unveiled by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The e-city bus design is intended to serve as a demonstrator for a new modular battery concept. It will be presented in detail at the upcoming IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt.

The primary components of the new demonstrator are: the novel new modular battery system with lithium-ion cells made in Germany, a drive-train with a high-torque electric motor, an advanced battery management system, and a high-voltage network.

Modular batteries (orange) can be integrated easily in the free space of the vehicle. Image Credit: KIT

Modular batteries (orange) can be integrated easily in the free space of the vehicle.
Image Credit: KIT


The press release from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology has more:

The battery system consists of flat modules that can be stacked to reach the dimensions and electric characteristics desired. Various spaces in the different types of vehicles can be used for accommodating the energy storage system. The battery management system and drive control developed for the KIT demonstrator allow for driving operation taking into account the current performance limits of the system and its components.

“Energy efficiency of an electric bus can be increased by an adequate selection of components already,” states Martin Gießler, head of the demonstrator development project. “Of course, an anticipatory operation and recuperation strategy plays an important role.”

“By means of recuperation, braking energy is converted into electrical energy again. The drive consists of a low-torque engine supplying a high driving torque for the vehicle. The engine is connected directly with the differential gear of the rear axle. It decreases the gear reduction to be implemented and, hence, ensures a high efficiency of torque transmission.”

The new e-city bus demonstrator development project was funded primarily by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.



  • Wayne Williamson

    Just the sound of “differential gear” and “gear reduction” says these weren’t made for an electric vehicle. Must be some kind of retro fit?

  • Marion Meads

    I hope they will use ultracapacitors when the prices goes down. Combined with advances in ultracapacitors, the recuperation would become more efficient. I was wondering where the ultracapacitors be placed.

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