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No fear of long distances

The challenge of the future: A balance of optimum performance and resource conservation

On a test run through Germany’s Neandertal Valley near Dusseldorf:, Heinrich Dismon, Head of Research at KSPG, steered an all-electric car fitted with a KSPG range extender.

Heinrich Dismon, Head of Research at KSPG, is at the driving wheel of a special type of vehicle. As if not wanting to disrupt the peace and quiet of prehistoric man, the 30-kW FIAT is powered by a quiet electric engine. The latter is almost inaudibly assisted by a range extender that takes over whenever the car’s battery runs out of breath, and thus provides further electric propulsion. This functions very effectively. Even after a 30-km journey at brisk autobahn pace to get here, the rechargeable battery of KSPG’s technology demonstrator is still almost 85-percent charged when Dismon, arriving at his first milestone, turns into the roadway leading to the futuristically designed Neanderthal museum. These are figures that will mean something to owners of electric vehicles

Impressive to note that the drive to humankind’s origins proved hardly any effort at all for today’s motor vehicle technology. In fact, the inbuilt range extender is good for some 400 additional km plus the almost 70 from the car’s regular battery charge.

As Head of Research & Technology at KSPG, Heinrich Dismon is normally accustomed to directing his attention to the opposite end of the timeline. His preoccupation is the cars of tomorrow and so he’s concerned with such matters as improving exhaust-gas recirculation systems or the components of a fuel cell. So for his trip back to the origins of humankind he chose this concept car whose technology serves as a bridge to future all-electric modes of propulsion. A nice contrast to Homo neanderthalensis. Says the research chief who commenced his career at Pierburg, Neuss, in 1999 after studying engineering at RWTH Aachen university: “This car shows the capability of this technological concept that we have put into place together with FEV. It and its electric motor can easily keep up with traffic, even on the motorway. The range extender (REx) comes into play without any problem as if an I.C. engine. And for the driver there is a certain peace of mind and reassurance of arriving at one’s destination.” He adds, “In terms of NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) this is exactly the feedback given to KSPG by the carmakers to whom REx has so far been introduced. The concept of the KSPG-FEV REx is right among the leaders.”

Ideal for urban traffic

Dismon himself would nonetheless not drive to work with an electric vehicle. The outward journey from the Dutch border would not be a problem for REx yet using his company car for the journey and on his many other business trips, Dismon arrives at a higher average speed. In the city, however, “the electric FIAT is a most agreeable vehicle and one feels in no way constrained. I’m quite certain that the electric propulsion has a great future ahead of it.”

Source: "Heartbeat" - The magazine of the KSPG Group, Issue 02/2014

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