E-car sharing comes of age

October 7, 2014
Credit: Fraunhofer IAO

Giving up your own car and sharing one with other people instead – car sharing is the hot trend of the moment. But if it's going to succeed with electric vehicles, charging times need to be shorter and booking processes simpler. That means a straightforward process for finding the electric car that best suits your needs as well as a wide-ranging charging infrastructure. At the eCarTec trade fair in Munich on October 22, six Fraunhofer Institutes will be demonstrating the technology that will make e car sharing a viable concept.

Every day, private motor transportation causes , pollution and a shortage of . The number one mode of transportation – the automobile – is one of the biggest burdens on urban spaces and their inhabitants. But does it have to be this way? Other options have emerged that offer reliable, low-emission mobility in cities and the surrounding areas: not just electromobility, but digital networking and car sharing, too. In a project entitled "Shared use of e-mobility: vehicles, data and infrastructure" (GeMo for short), six Fraunhofer Institutes are combining these trends, which so far have been worked on virtually in isolation, and making them accessible.

The result: a comprehensive package of eight technological innovations that are making shared e-vehicles the true superheroes of the city. To better demonstrate these advances, the institutes have bundled them in a concept car. With access to a pioneering infrastructure featuring inductive charging stations and cloud-based charging management, charging the e-car becomes fast and straightforward. What's more, if it's a , drivers can easily find it in the city and book it using a convenient app. An on-board unit enables the car to communicate with various cloud services, other e vehicles and the charging infrastructure. As a result, the can provide data on its position, or how much charge its battery has remaining.

"To make shared mobility a reality, we have to link vehicles, data and infrastructure. That was the core of our project," says Florian Rothfuss, the person in charge of the GeMo project at consortium leader Fraunhofer IAO. "What we need are applicable information and communication solutions that are both very reliable and easy to use. However, everything depends on having a convenient charging integrated within the city." The six Fraunhofer Institutes will reveal their solutions on October 22 at eCarTec in Munich (Booth 418). Naturally, visitors will have the chance to take a close look at the and get information about the new technologies straight from the developers. Experts from automotive manufacturing as well as urban and project development will also be on hand to discuss the future of mobility.

Explore further: Electromobile, together

Related Stories

Electromobile, together

October 18, 2011

Not buying cars but sharing them -- car-sharing is practiced in many major cities. And in the electromobile future, city dwellers will use lots of vehicles and infrastructure together -- that is the idea of Fraunhofer researchers. ...

Toyota, Grenoble set stage for test in ride-sharing

September 14, 2014

Toyota is testing ride-sharing. As simple as that may sound, the experiment indicates an innovative model for the future of urban transportation. The Grenoble metro area could turn out to be the trial stage for a new city ...

Silicon Valley sees shortage of EV charge stations

January 20, 2014

An increasing number of electric-vehicle driving employees at Silicon Valley companies are finding it hard to access car-charging stations at work, creating incidents of "charge rage" among drivers.

My car drives, parks and charges itself for me

August 12, 2014

Imagine you are rushing to catch a train but must first park your electric car inside the station garage. You lose precious time searching for a space, ideally one where you can charge your vehicle, which might cause you ...

Recommended for you

US faces moment of truth on 'net neutrality'

December 14, 2017

The acrimonious battle over "net neutrality" in America comes to a head Thursday with a US agency set to vote to roll back rules enacted two years earlier aimed at preventing a "two-speed" internet.

FCC votes along party lines to end 'net neutrality' (Update)

December 14, 2017

The Federal Communications Commission repealed the Obama-era "net neutrality" rules Thursday, giving internet service providers like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T a free hand to slow or block websites and apps as they see fit ...

The wet road to fast and stable batteries

December 14, 2017

An international team of scientists—including several researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory—has discovered an anode battery material with superfast charging and stable operation ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

teslaberry
not rated yet Oct 07, 2014
horseshit. there's one, ONE fully electric zipcar in all of manhattan. and it has been out of commission for a few months.

the possibility of figuring out the 'sharing' part is entirely dependent on decreasing charging times. if you have a car that is to be shared and thus IN USE as much as possible. there is always transitioning 'dead' time. if you then have to negotiate into the equation the need for 'recharging' time, you have a serious serious problem.

hence, there are currently ZERO functioning electric cars for sharing on the zipcar network. why? because the zipcar operators had to call people all the time to tell them the car had insufficient charge as it was drained too recently by the previous 'sharer'.

95% of the 'smart network' horseshit is hype. . sharing of E-cars will only be feasibly at scale when charging time is reduced by a factor of 4 times. an hour of charging must take place within 15 minutes. the 'smart network' will only work after the chargers do.
Eikka
not rated yet Oct 08, 2014
I don't see the point of the car sharing system.

People aren't going to carpool even if they share ownership of the same car. They just aren't going to the same places at the same times unless they happen to work for the same business, and then they could carpool normally anyhow.

That is to say, you'll still get the problem of traffic jams and parking space shortages because there's still just one passenger per vehicle and everyone needs one. The only difference is that the driver then has to drive the car to a designated parking lot, and take a taxi home!

All these schemes just sound like services for rich people who want to live in the city center and drive, but not have the hassle of actually owning and caring for the car. If the car was truly communally owned, instead of provided as a service by a profiteering company, it would break down in a year.

It isn't even about efficient use of resources, because most cars on the roads are already 2nd or 3rd hand cars.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.