One of the biggest obstacles preventing electric vehicles to become truly viable transport solutions is their well-documented range limitations. Unlike vehicles powered by internal combustion engines, you can’t pull over at a petrol station and just refuel your EV. The reasons for this is simply because the deployment of EV charging stations are still not widespread, and the actual process of charging an EV takes a lot of time.
Users of electric vehicles need to take the range factor into account every day on the road, and if there is a need to journey far in an EV, they must plan their journey in such a way that they will reach an EV charging station along the way before their batteries deplete. To help address this inconvenience, international automotive supplier Continental has therefore created the “Simplify your Drive for Electric Vehicles” concept vehicle, which showcases a new system that not only calculates the vehicle’s available range, but also assists in managing energy consumption and also suggesting detours to nearby charging stations if necessary.
“Up to now, vehicles have estimated the remaining range on the basis of the average consumption over the last kilometers covered. With Simplify your Drive for Electric Vehicles, we are turning the tables, so to speak, and allowing the vehicle to look forward,” declares Ralf Lenninger, head of the strategy and development department at Continental’s Interior division.
“This allows us to make a much more accurate statement regarding the range and the driver does not have to fear a breakdown due to an empty battery,” Lenninger continued.
When using the system, drivers can select a suitable driving profile at the push of a button on the centrally-mounted 12.3″ touchscreen alternating between the ‘journey profile’ for a long trip or ‘city profile’ for your daily urban commute. Along the way, the system takes various parameters, including topographical data and usage of ancillaries to more accurately estimate the vehicle’s available range and make more accurate recommendations to the driver.
“Simplify your Drive places the driver’s needs center stage. As a result, not only does he not have to deal with calculations or planning, but the concept also demonstrates how smart electronics with intuitive operation can increase acceptance of electric vehicles,” says Lenninger.