Determining battery range for electro-mobility

January 04, 2013 // By Volker Blandow
A survey of more than 5,000 motorists, carried out at TÜV SÜD service centres (that are used for periodic vehicle inspection) in co-operation with the German Technomar market research institute, revealed that 70 per cent of respondents were discouraged by the short range of electric vehicles.

However, more than 62 per cent would be prepared to buy an electric car. As far as the success of electro-mobility is concerned, battery range therefore plays a crucial role. As the range of electric cars are considerably lower than combustion engines, manufacturers need to be able to test against and work with a set of measurements that are as close as possible to real world use. In reality, an electric vehicle driving up to 1,000 kilometres on one 'tankful' is out of the question and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

Range transparency

The electric car market therefore creates an interesting dichotomy for both consumers and manufacturers - if people want to drive an environmentally friendly electric car, then they must accept a much lower mileage range. To achieve greater acceptance for this inevitable drawback, drivers need to be better informed by manufacturers about how far their electric car will take them.

Drivers of electric cars must plan exactly the distances between charging stations. This of course means that range data must be precise and with only 100 to 150 kilometres per charge, manufacturers can no longer rely on measures equivalent to those used for combustion engines. With very little room for error when planning a route in an electric vehicle, manufacturers must rethink how they measure range and what parameters they use to determine it.

The TÜV SÜD E-Car Cycle (TSECC) was therefore developed as a new method for determining the range of electric vehicles, including parameters such as outside temperature and the use of power consumers within the car. One of the main concerns when developing this standard was to measure the range under conditions that were as realistic as possible. This means that manufacturers must use test parameters that use a driving style and selected route that are as close as possible to the real-world use of the vehicle.

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