E-car sharing comes of age

E-car sharing comes of age
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.

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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.

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.

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