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The Electric Vehicle: a Present Insight, its Future as

New Viewpoints
Anca DEACONU, Valentin NVRPESCU, Aurel CHIRIL, Gianfranco CHICCO,
Drago DEACONU
Abstract
The paper presents some of the automotive industry challenges that are generated by world economy decline,
especially in the area of electric and hybrid vehicles. Continuing the ideas presented in the original paper, which
was published two years ago, some of the key aspects in electric vehicles manufacturing, including
environmental factors, are examined and briefly outlined. An analysis of electric machines used for vehicle
propulsion with an example of a small size Permanent Magnet Synchronous Machine design and behavior is
also presented.
Keywords: electric vehicle, electric drive, manufacturing cost, PMSM, automotive industry

1. Introduction
Two years have passed since the original
article was published [1]. Over this period of
time, new car registration in Romania has
dropped more than 42 %, while, around the
world, the decrease is about 32 %.
Although, some of the Western Europe,
Asia and North America regions are giving
signs indicating that the automotive industry
is starting to rise and the global economic
development is done with very small steps.
Most of the cars manufacturers have
already revealed the results of their
researches conducted over the past twenty
years in the electric propulsion. Despite
these presentations, some of the large
automotive manufacturers are reducing their
producing rate.
In Romania, the suite of electric vehicles
is stiil at the prototype stage, although the
Government drew up a national strategy to
support researches dedicated to this area,
as they are the prerequisites to succeed at

Anca DEACONU, PhD. Stud., anca.s.deaconu@gmail.com


Valentin NVRPESCU, Prof.,
valentin.navrapescu@upb.ro,
valentin.navrapescu@gmail.com
Aurel CHIRIL, Senior Lect. PhD., aurel.chirila@upb.ro,
aurel.chirila@gmail.com
and Drago DEACONU, Senior Lect. PhD.,
dragos.deaconu@upb.ro, dragos.deaconu@gmail.com:
Universitatea Politehnica din Bucureti, Facultatea de
Inginerie Electric, Splaiul Independenei, nr. 313,
Bucureti, Romnia;
Gianfranco CHICCO, Prof., Politecnico di Torino, Faculty of
Electrical Engineering, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, nr. 24,
10129 Torino, Italy, gianfranco.chicco@polito.it

the native producer Automobile Dacia and


also at Fords plant in Craiova.
The second generation of one of the most
popular hybrid vehicles, the Toyota Prius, did
not have spectacular sales figures. This is
caused by the serious competition from
Honda, Renault, VW or even G-Wiz (electric
vehicle produced by Reva Electric Car
Company [2]).
General Motors hoped that Chevrolet Volt
[3] (see Figure 1) will be a large milestone in
the companys recovery but now is facing
large stock numbers for this vehicle.

Figure 1. The Chevrolet Volt 2012 [4].

This problem has caused stoppages of


the production lines for over one month.
In spite of all these issues, all
manufacturers have moved towards 100 %
electric propulsion. Mercedes electric Smart
[5], BMWs i3 and i8 [6], Renaults Twizy
electric car [7], VWs eGolf [8], Fords Focus
Electric [9], Lexus electric super car [10] are
just some of many models that have started
or will start on the market given the present
context of the environmental factors and the

ELECTROTEHNIC, ELECTRONIC, AUTOMATIC, 60 (2012), nr. 4

global economy.

27

drives a load).

2. Electric machines

Table 1. Electric machines used for vehicle


propulsion
Vehicle
type
Electric
Electric
Electric
Hybrid
Electric
Electric
Electric
Electric
Electric
Electric

Vehicle name
Tesla Roadster
Model S
Chevrolet Volt
Nissan Leaf
Toyota Prius 2012
Citron C-Zero
Peugeot iOn
Mitsubishi i MiEV
Lexus CT 200h
Renault ZOE
Lightning GT

Electric machine used


for propulsion
3 phase induction
machine
PMSM 111kW
PMSM 80kW
PMSM 60kW
PMSM 47kW
PMSM 47kW
PMSM 49kW
PMSM 60kW
PMSM 65kW
PMSM 150kW

As the Table 1 shows, most electric


vehicles are using PMSM (Permanent
Magnet Synchronous Machine). This is due
to the larger efficiency that these types of
electric machines have in comparison with
other types of electric machines such as
induction machines or DC machines. Given
this perspective, a significant number of
scientific papers treat PMSM development
and driving options.
One important approach in this field is
thermal analysis of PMSM for different load
profiles or different supplying techniques. For
example, PMSMs are tested under various
intermittent duty cycles (see Figure 2, where:
is the temperature, t is the time, tp is the
time when the PMSM is not supplied, and tl
is the time, when the PMSM is supplied and

Figure 2. An intermittent duty cycle

For this type of duty cycle (operating


service), the supplying method has a major
influence over the temperature of the
vehicle.
Figure 3 depicts a comparison between
the temperature of a PMSM when a PWM
supplying technique and a sinusoidal are
used.
55
50
45

Temperature [C]

Due to the fact that CO2 emissions


reduction remain one of the most important
topic in the current debate on climate
protection,
all
large
automotive
manufacturers are developing 100 % electric
propulsion alternatives for their typical
models. The reason for this is that CO2
absorbs a part of the heat radiated by the
sun, which causes the greenhouse effect
and, in turn, the warming of the earths
atmosphere.
Today, the car manufacturers have to
further reduce their emissions for their new
cars below the 100 g/km threshold (starting
from 2012, 120 g/km). This figure may be
achieved by using electric machines for
vehicle propulsion.
Table 1 presents some of the electric
machines used by car manufacturers
nowadays.

40
35
30
25
20

PMSM_50Hz_SIN_S3

15

PMSM_50Hz_PWM_4kHz_S3

10

PMSM_50Hz_PWM_16kHz_S3
AT_50Hz_S3

5
0
0

2000

4000

6000

8000

10000

12000

14000

time [s]

Figure 3. A comparison between the temperature of a


PMSM for different supplying techniques
experimental results

All the time (when it was supplied), the


PMSM was driving a small load at 1000 rpm.
The PMSM is shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4. The tested PMSM - BSM 0170 3 [11]

In order to validate the results, presented


in Figure 3, a 2D finite element method
analysis was conducted for the PMSM.
As Figure 5 shows, the results are close
to the experimental ones.

28

ELECTROTEHNIC, ELECTRONIC, AUTOMATIC, 60 (2012), nr. 4

analysis of its PM geometry was conducted,


in order to obtain the highest torque density.
Some of the analyzed geometries are shown
in Figure 6.

Figure 6. Some of the analyzed PM geometries [12]


Figure 5. The maximum temperatures map (using FE
method) for intermittent duty cycle and
sinusoidal supplying technique depicted
in Figure 3

Beside the heating analyses, that are


conducted for PMSM, the designing stage of
these machines is also an important aspect.
In order to get an optimized geometry for
a PMSM several parameters are analyzed.
The main objective is to get the highest
torque density for a given geometry of the
machine. The quantity that influences the
torque is the magnetic flux inside the
machine. The stator flux is generated by the
stator magneto-motive force, i.e. phase
stator currents, while the rotor flux is
obtained using permanent magnets (PM).
Thus, the rotor magnetic flux depends on the
permanent magnets parameters, such as
magnetic remanence, coercivity or maximum
magnetic density. If these properties are
given by the PMs manufacturer, the only
constraint is to exploit those as best as
possible by optimizing the geometry of the
PM [12].
For the PMSM, as shown in Figure 4, an

The target was to obtain the maximum


air-gap the magnetic field. The different
geometries have various top curvatures of
the PM. The curvature is given by the center
of the arc describing the top side of the PMs
with respect to the coordinates (0,0)
meaning the center of the machine (i.e. shaft
center in radial direction). The air-gap
magnetic field has been computed, i.e. radial
component of the magnetic flux density
along the air-gap periphery [12].
In one of the analyzed cases, the
maximum peak value of the magnetic flux
density was obtained, but the optimal case
was considered after a lot of others analyses
(such as harmonics, magnetic saturation or
PM volume) were conducted.
Another important aspect in electric
vehicles is the monitoring of the electric
machine that is driving the vehicle.
Figure 7 presents a schematic of an
application that monitors a PMSM behavior
over the internet using Android smartphones
or tablets [13].

Figure 7. System design schematic.

The main advantage of such applications


is pretty straightforward the ability to work

from a remote location (so one does not


need to travel with the vehicle to the service

ELECTROTEHNIC, ELECTRONIC, AUTOMATIC, 60 (2012), nr. 4

department anymore in order to check on the


electric machines parameters), when
connected to the internet. The user (in this
case the service representative) can receive
information from the machine (it is also
possible to monitor multiple machines
scattered across large geographical regions)
and view it by the help of Matlab plots (this
means that diagnoses are now very easy to
achieve).
4. Acknowledgment
This work was supported by POSDRU
based
on
POSDRU/107/1.5/S/76903
financing program and EDL UPB.
5. Conclusions
In the area of the electric and hybrid
vehicles, a lot of challenges rise due to
worldwide economy decline. Some of these
challenges are reflected in the sales figures
of such vehicles.
The paper presents examples of such
cases, but also expresses the trend towards
100 % electric propulsion of some of the
largest automotive manufacturers. The
current environmental factors (particularly
related to CO2 emissions) sustain these
initiatives as car builders have to comply
increasingly stringent thresholds.
Analyzing the electric machines behind
the vehicles propulsion systems, a great
interest is given to the Permanent Magnet
Synchronous Machines.
The paper also presents a thermal
analysis of such a machine for a
discontinuous operating service (related to
an electric vehicle duty cycle) using different
supplying techniques. The experimental
results are validated using a 2D finite
element method analysis.
Considering that the designing stage of a
PMSM is also an important aspect,
especially, if we analyze electric vehicles an
optimization of the PM geometry for such a
machine is also presented. This analysis
takes into account the maximum peak value
of the air-gap magnetic field, harmonics,
magnetic saturation, PM volume etc.
At the end another important aspect in
electric vehicles i.e. the monitoring of the
electric machine that is driving the vehicle is
exemplified by a schematic of an application
that monitors a PMSM behavior over the
internet using Android smartphones or
tablets.
In the original paper [1], we concluded

29

that a positive example to be followed is the


one given by BMW that has introduced the
concept of "The Power of AND": economy,
sportsmanship,
elegance,
minimum
emissions, efficiently, cultured, responsible,
maximum driving joy. All these qualities were
attributed to a hybrid BMW. Now they are
attributed to a 100 % electric BMW.
References
[1] Nvrpescu V., Deaconu Anca-Simona,
Chiril A.-I., Deaconu I.-D., Chicco G.,
Electric Vehicle: a Present Insight from the
Future, Revista Electrotehnic Electronic
Automatic (EEA), Vol. 58, No. 3, 07-09,
2010, ISSN 1582-5175, p. 38-42, Bucureti,
Editura Electra.
[2] G-Wiz - Reva Electric Car Company [online].
[2010] [quote 18.08.2012]; Available from:
URL: http://www.mahindrareva.com/RevaHome.html
[3] Chevrolet Volt - Wikipedia [online]. [2012]
[quote 28.09.2012]; Available from: URL:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Volt
[4] Chevrolet Volt Picture - Wikipedia [online].
[2012] [quote 25.09.2012]; Available from:
URL:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:DCA_06_201
2_Chevy_Volt_4035.JPG
[5] Smart fortwo electric drive - Smart [online].
[2012] [quote 25.09.2012]; Available from:
URL: http://www.smart-electric-drive.com
[6] BMW i born electric- BMW [online]. [2012]
[quote 25.09.2012]; Available from: URL:
http://www.bmw-i.com/en_ww/
[7] Renault Twizy - Renault [online]. [2012]
[quote 28.09.2012]; Available from: URL:
http://www.renault.com/en/vehicules/aujourd
-hui/renault-vehiculeselectriques/pages/twizy.aspx
[8] VW eGolf - CNET [online]. [2012] [quote
28.09.2012];
Available
from:
URL:
http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_757403748-48/first-drive-in-the-electric-vwegolf/
[9] Ford Focus Electric - Ford [online]. [2012]
[quote 28.09.2012]; Available from: URL:
http://www.ford.com/electric/focuselectric/20
12/?intcmp=fv-fva2b07c04d000680e00f00g10h35j12k07m3n
0p20110126
[10] Lexus electric super car - Lexus Enthusiast
[online]. [2012] [quote 28.09.2012]; Available
from: URL: http://lexusenthusiast.com/2010
/07/15/lexus-electric-supercar/
[11] Icpe Servomotoare sincrone cu magnei
permaneni seria BSM (date de catalog)
[online] [2012] [quote 11.08.2012]; Available
from:
URL:
http://www.icpe.ro/en/d/3/p

30

ELECTROTEHNIC, ELECTRONIC, AUTOMATIC, 60 (2012), nr. 4

/brushless
[12] Deaconu
Anca-Simona,
Ghi
C.,
Nvrpescu V., Chiril A.-I., Deaconu I.-D.,
Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
Design Optimization, The 9th World Energy
System
Conference
(WESC
2012),
Suceava, Romnia, Buletinul AGIR Year
XVII, No. 3, Iunie August 2012, ISSN
(online) 2247-3548, pg. 391-398 (Full paper
- http://www.buletinulagir.agir.ro/articol.php?
id=1413), June 28-30, 2012.
[13] Industrial Monitor Google Play [online]
[2012] [quote 28.09.2012]; Available from:
URL:
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/details?id=cristian.recoseanu.cloud&feature
=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsI
mNyaXN0aWFuLnJlY29zZWFudS5jbG91ZC
Jd

8. Biography
Anca DEACONU was born in
Feteti (Romania) in 1986. She
received the B.E. degree and
M.Tech
degree
in
electric
engineering from Universitatea
Politehnica din Bucureti (UPB)(Romania) in
2009 and 2011 respectively. From 2011 she is
substantive patent examiner at Romanian State
Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM)
and a PhD student at Universitatea Politehnica
din Bucureti. Her current research interests
include electric machines and drives, automatic
control systems, power electronics and power
quality.
Valentin NVRPESCU was born
in Bucharest (Romania) in 1959. He
received the B.E. degree and Ph.D.
degree in electric engineering from
Universitatea
Politehnica
din
Bucureti (UPB) (Romania) in 1984
and 1996, respectively. He is currently a
Professor in the Department of Electric
Machines and Materials, UPB, and has been
the Director of the Laboratory of Electric Drives,
UPB, since 2000. From 2008, he is the Director
of the Electromechanical Energy Conversion
Equipment Research Center and in 2012 he
was elected Dean of the Faculty of Electric
Engineering, UPB. He has published more than
100 scientific papers and books in the field of
electric drives and microcontrollers. His
research interests concern power electronics
and power quality, electric drives and
machines.

Aurel CHIRIL was born in


Bucharest (Romania), in 1981. He
received the B.E. degree in electric
engineering from Universitatea
Politehnica din Bucureti (UPB)
(Romania)in 2004, and the M.Tech. and Ph.D.
degrees in electric engineering from the same
university (UPB), in 2006 and 2010,
respectively.
In 2004, he joined the Department of Electric
Engineering, Universitatea Politehnica din
Bucureti, as a Teaching Assistant. His current
research interests include active filters, power
quality, power electronics, electric machines
and drives.
Gianfranco CHICCO was born in
Calais (Italy) in 1960. He received
the B.E. degree and Ph.D. degree
in electrotechnics engineering from
Politecnico di Torino (PdT) (Italy)
in 1987 and 1992, respectively. He is currently
a Professor in Electric Energy Systems
research group at PdT and President of the
University Academic Planning Council in
Electric Engineering. He is a Member of the
Italian
Federation
of
Electrotechnics,
Electronics, Automation, Informatics and
Telecommunications,
and
a
registered
professional Engineer in the Province of Torino
(Italy). Since 2011 he is an Associate Editor of
the Energy journal. His international scientific
production includes one book, over 40 journal
publications, and over 120 publications in
conference proceedings. His research interests
concern power electronics and power quality,
cogeneration and trigeneration systems.
Drago DEACONU was born in
Bucharest (Romania) in 1980. He
received the B.E. degree in electric
engineering from Universitatea
Politehnica din Bucureti (UPB)
(Romania) in 2004, and the M.Tech. and Ph.D.
degrees in electric engineering from the same
university (UPB) in 2006 and 2009,
respectively.
In 2004, he joined the Department of Electric
Engineering, Universitatea Politehnica din
Bucureti, as a Teaching Assistant. His current
research interests include power electronics,
electric machines and drives, active filters, and
power quality.