Date: March 31, 2014, No. 17

Strengths in energy research and electric mobility in focus

Californian Energy Commissioner Robert B. Weisenmiller visits the University of Stuttgart

During a visit by the Ministries for Science, Research and Art as well as for Environment, Climate and Energy Industry Baden-Württemberg on 31st March 2014, the Chairman of the California Energy Commission, Robert B. Weisenmiller, was a guest at the University of Stuttgart. Weisenmiller, whose position within the US State corresponds to that of an energy minister, inspected together with the Minister of Science Theresia Bauer the Stuttgart driving simulator, the research fuelling station for electric mobility, a gas-hybrid vehicle, as well as the vehicle wind tunnel. A flying visit to the student “Green-Team“ with its electric racing car as well as to the students of the Drive-E academy taking place at the same time was on the agenda as well. The attention of the visit was focused on the strengths of Baden-Württemberg in science and business in the fields of the energy turnaround and electric mobility as well as identifying cooperation possibilities.

“Global challenges like climate protection can only be overcome through international cooperation“, emphasised Minister of Science Theresia Bauer in her opening speech to the students. The Rector of the University of Stuttgart, Prof. Wolfram Ressel, welcomed Commissioner Weisenmiller as an expert in Californian environmental and energy policy that stands for a modern and active field of energy in contrast to traditional distorted pictures and thereby backs reliable, affordable, diversified and environmentally friendly energies. “We were particularly delighted by the fact that Weisenmiller hereby accepted stimulus from the innovative and sustainable research at the University of Stuttgart in the fields of renewable energies and the mobility of the future”, emphasised Ressel. Public private partnerships between science and business are thereby a fruitful road on this and that side of the Atlantic in order to rapidly press ahead with new approaches in energy and mobility research and to make them beneficial for society.

On the topic of electric mobility the Institute for Combustion Engines and Automotive Engineering (IVK) at the University of Stuttgart and the Research Institute of Automotive Engineering and Vehicle Engines Stuttgart (FKFS) rely on an holistic, interdisciplinary approach in the fields of information, energy and automotive engineering. The latest test stands, including several wind tunnels and a large driving simulator, a comprehensive pool of probands as well as the latest (research) battery charging infrastructure, supplemented by an ideally equipped electric vehicle fleet in metrological terms, enable automobile research at the highest level.

The Stuttgart driving simulator, the largest and most efficient system of this type in a European research facility is also used particularly for research projects on electric mobility, for example for the development of assistant systems specially for electric vehicles such as, for example range assistance and optimisation. The objective is the research and development of new drive assistant systems in the vehicle with the focal points energy efficiency and safety of electric and hybrid vehicles.

The electric filling station and the project BiPolplus were likewise inspected, in terms of the bi-directional, inductive, position-tolerant charging of e-vehicles. In the cooperation project funded by the Ministry of Economics Baden-Württemberg in the framework of the leading edge cluster initiative between industrial and research institutes, a concept for the inductive charging of battery-electric vehicles is being researched and developed. This concept deals with questions of network infrastructure, the contactless energy transfer, the necessary data communication as well as the placing of charging components in the vehicle.

The large vehicle wind tunnel was the last station of inspection. The aero-acoustic vehicle wind tunnel of FKFS, that is currently being comprehensively modernised, is one of the most modern of its kind in Europe for aerodynamic investigations of cars and vans. The optimisation of the aerodynamics, i.e. the reduction of the driving resistances, is essential for the increase in energy efficiency and consequently essential for the range management of electric vehicles. In this respect battery sizes and costs of an e-vehicle with the same range can be clearly reduced using aerodynamic measures.

Further information:
Dr. Hans-Herwig Geyer, Head of University Communication and Press Spokesperson, University of Stuttgart,
Tel.: 0711/685-82555, Email: hans-herwig.geyer [at]

Andrea Mayer-Grenu, University of Stuttgart, Department of University Communication, Tel. 0711/685-82176,
Email: andrea.mayer-grenu [at]

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