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« ICCT study examines current & projected use of heavy fuel oil in Arctic shipping; growth in BC emissions points to need for policies | Main | Intelligent Energy tech lead in €3.5M EU DIGIMAN program to advance fuel cell stack mass production; Toyota the automotive partner » IAV has developed a particularly closed-coupled diesel exhaust gas aftertreatment (EAT) system. The design allows the diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and particular filter/selective catalytic reduction (DPF/SCR) units to reach optimum working temperature more quickly which, even when driving in the low-load range, significantly cuts emissions. Under the EU6 standard, diesel engines are still allowed to emit up to 80 mg NO /km milligrams of nitrogen oxides per kilometer—not only under the legal framework in the cycle but also in respect of increasingly tighter RDE requirements. Future diesel powertrains will need to be capable of meeting limit values that are even tighter than EU6. A key contribution to this performance must come from the exhaust gas aftertreatment system—across the entire speed and load range. The temperatures in the oxidation catalyst (DOC) as well as in the combined diesel particulate filter and SCR catalyst (SCRF) play a crucial part in this regard. The sooner they reach their optimum operating temperature and the better they maintain it, the quicker and more reliably emissions fall. In modern charged engines, however, exhaust gas aftertreatment (EAT) competes with the turbocharger for heat in the exhaust gas flow. Normally its turbine is positioned upstream of EAT so that exhaust gas temperature drops by 100 to 150 kelvins (100 to 150 degrees C) before it reaches the DOC and SCRF. IAV’s developers moved the EAT system closer to the engine—specifically, the turbocharger and EAT swap places. This way, exhaust gas flows through DOC and SCRF before it enters the turbine. These measures produce significant improvements. Changing the position of turbocharger and EAT alone reduces NO emission at low load to about a fifth of the level from a conventional EU6 vehicle. However, the emission benefit also comes with a downside. To begin with, small particles from the DOC can damage the turbocharger’s turbine—endurance tests need to show what kind of a problem this actually is. Then, after starting, the turbocharger is initially deprived of the energy that is first used to get the EAT system to its operating temperature. Whatever the case, one of the two will become necessary if an OEM goes for the “EAT upstream of turbocharger” option. Such a solution is not the only way of moving EAT closer to the engine. In a concept study, IAV’s experts examined several topologies and compared the effects they bring about. One of the alternatives they looked at involves leaving the EAT system in its original place and bypassing the turbocharger on cold starting until the DOC and SCRF are at operating temperature. This gets the EAT system to operating temperature more quickly without the drawbacks of an upstream-of-turbocharger arrangement. Integrating an additional DOC into this bypass is also conceivable. A further option is to position the DOC upstream and the SCRF downstream of the turbocharger.


« Researchers say policies to curb short-lived climate pollutants could yield major health benefits; methane and black carbon | Main | IAV 8-speed hybrid dual-clutch tranmission can reduce fuel consumption 18% over 6DCT » Gevo, Inc. has entered into a definitive supply agreement with HCS Holding GmbH (HCS) to supply renewable isooctane (earlier post) under a five-year offtake agreement. HCS is a leading global supplier of high-quality hydrocarbon specialty products. Haltermann Carless, a subsidiary of HCS and one of the oldest companies in the world of chemistry, is expected to be the direct customer with Gevo under the agreement. he agreement is consistent with the Letter of Intent with HCS that Gevo announced earlier this year. The Supply Agreement has two phases: In the first phase, HCS will purchase isooctane produced at Gevo’s demonstration hydrocarbon plant located in Silsbee, Texas. This first phase commences in May 2017 and would continue until completion of Gevo’s first large-scale commercial hydrocarbon plant. Gevo estimates that this could generate up to $2-3 million of gross revenue per year. In the second phase, HCS has agreed to purchase 300,000 gallons of isooctane per year with an option to purchase an additional 100,000 gallons of isooctane per year, under a five-year offtake agreement. The supply agreement contains a selling price that is expected to allow for an appropriate level of return on the capital required to build out Gevo’s existing production facility in Luverne, Minnesota. Gevo would supply this isooctane from its first commercial hydrocarbon facility, which is expected to be built at Gevo’s existing isobutanol production facility located in Luverne, Minnesota (the “Expanded Luverne Plant”). Based on Gevo’s current estimates, this agreement would represent approximately 10-15% of the isooctane production from the Expanded Luverne Plant. Gevo’s primary market development target in 2017 is to enter into binding supply contracts for its renewable isobutanol, isooctane, and alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) that represents the majority of the production volume to be produced at the Expanded Luverne Plant. Gevo believes that such contracts would underpin the economics of the expansion, which should facilitate the raising of the capital necessary to finance the Expanded Luverne Plant, potentially at a lower cost of capital than what it has historically achieved through the issuance of common stock and warrants in underwritten public offerings. Gevo and HCS intend to establish further offtake arrangements for other products such as Gevo’s ATJ and isobutanol. The agreement with HCS is a key milestone for Gevo and represents our first definitive purchase agreement for long-term supply from our first commercial scale hydrocarbon site. As we communicated during our last conference call, one of our critical strategic objectives is to secure binding supply contracts for a combination of isobutanol and related hydrocarbon products representing at least 50% of the capacity at the expanded Luverne plant. This is exactly the type of deal I was referencing and we are excited to get the first one on the books. Gevo has developed proprietary technology that uses a combination of synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, chemistry and chemical engineering to focus primarily on the production of isobutanol, as well as related products from renewable feedstocks. Gevo’s strategy is to commercialize bio-based alternatives to petroleum-based products to allow for the optimization of fermentation facilities’ assets, with the ultimate goal of maximizing cash flows from the operation of those assets. Gevo produces isobutanol, ethanol and high-value animal feed at its fermentation plant in Luverne, Minnesota. Gevo has also developed technology to produce hydrocarbon products from renewable alcohols. Gevo currently operates a biorefinery in Silsbee, Texas, in collaboration with South Hampton Resources Inc., to produce renewable jet fuel, octane, and ingredients for plastics like polyester.


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.greencarcongress.com

« Gevo signs definitive supply agreement with HCS Holding for commercial supply of renewable isooctane | Main | Faurecia and ZF enter in a strategic partnership for integrated safety for autonomous driving » IAV has developed a high-power, high-torque eight-speed hybrid dual-clutch transmission (8H-DCT) that is capable of reducing fuel consumption by up to 18% in the NEDC over a conventional six-speed dual-clutch transmission (6DCT) due to its high number of speeds and integrated hybrid functionality. A further advantage of the IAV 8H-DCT450 lies in its extremely small package requirement. IAV said that its design target was maximum efficiency at all operating points and in all driving situations; the high number of speeds plays a key part here. The unit makes optimum use of the map range when the combustion engine is the main source of propulsion, said Dr. Jörg Müller, head of the Transmission, E-Motor and Hybrid Systems department at IAV. “This alone cuts fuel consumption in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) by 4.3 percent over a six-speed transmission.” In addition, hybridization contributes to this effect. With continuous power output of 30 kW and maximum torque of 300 N·m, the efficiency-optimized motor can provide all of the drive power necessary over some distance. It is also designed to minimize the overall transmission package needed. With a total installed length of 370 millimeters (14.57 inches), it takes up no more space than a comparable transmission without hybrid functionalities. Hybridization alone reduces fuel consumption in the NEDC by 13.8%. The two separate hydraulic circuits also help to provide the high level of efficiency of IAV’s in-house development. A circuit working at a low pressure of 5 bar cools the clutch and e-motor. A second circuit operating at a high pressure of up to 50 bar is responsible for actuating the clutches and shift elements. With its maximum torque of 450 N·m, the eight-speed hybrid dual-clutch transmission is suitable for use in vehicles from the compact to upper standard class and even the SUV segment. Various IAV development methods were used in the development process. The transmission synthesis tool identified the transmission’s optimum structure from millions of possibilities under the given boundary conditions. It provides a high level of development certainty because all possible variants can be taken into consideration. IAV’s e-motor synthesis tool delivers electric drive systems that combine a high level of efficiency with minimum dimensions. Combining both tools made it possible to package the hybrid transmission’s functionalities in an extremely small amount of space.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.greencarcongress.com

« IAV says new version of modular electric drive can boost range 5-10% vs system with fixed transmission ratio | Main | Researchers say policies to curb short-lived climate pollutants could yield major health benefits; methane and black carbon » The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new vehicles sold in the US in April was 25.3 mpg (9.29 l/100 km)—up 0.1 mpg from the value for March, according to the latest monthly report from Dr. Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle at University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). The value for April is up 5.2 mpg since October 2007 (the first month of their monitoring), but down 0.2 mpg from the peak of 25.5 mpg (9.22 l/100 km) reached in August 2014. The University of Michigan Eco-Driving Index (EDI)—an index that estimates the average monthly emissions of greenhouse gases generated by an individual US driver—was 0.85 in February 2017, up 0.01 from the value for January 2017 (the lower the value the better).  This value indicates that the average new-vehicle driver produced 15% lower emissions in February 2017 than in October 2007, but 7% higher emissions than the record low reached in November 2013. The EDI takes into account both vehicle fuel economy and distance driven (the latter relying on data that are published with a two-month lag).


« Intel unveils latest autonomous driving lab in Silicon Valley | Main | Average new-vehicle fuel economy in US up 0.1 mpg in April » IAV presented a new version of its modular electric drive concept at the Vienna Motor Symposium. Combining a 50 kW (continuous) / 80 kW (maximum) e-motor and transmission, the modular drive unit can support electrification solutions in vehicle classes A to D. The unit represents a further development of a solution IAV presented in 2010. IAV’s aim is to deliver a high level of ride comfort, efficiency and compact packaging at a competitive cost. Many of today’s electric drives use a combination of an e-motor and transmission with fixed gear ratio. Although solutions of this type are relatively simple in terms of structure, they can be challenged to meet the full range of use cases, IAV says. For example, high hill-climbing performance and maximum efficiency demand very different transmission ratios. To address this, IAV chose a modular concept based on an e-motor and a transmission with one to three speeds. Solutions with a fixed transmission ratio also come with efficiency drawbacks; IAV says that its solution increases traveling range by five to ten percent. The e-motor developed by IAV generates constant torque of 150 N·m which can be increased to 300 N·m for short periods of time. IAV designed the motor using IAV’s e-motor synthesis tool which finds the optimum solution for the given application from an almost unlimited number of potential variants. Providing a maximum of three speeds, the planetary transmission is installed at the side of the e-motor and is capable of generating output torque levels of up to 3,000 N·m. At the same time, this makes it possible to limit the motor’s maximum speed to 8,000 revolutions per minute. The differential is accommodated in the e-motor, making optimum use of limited package. The overall transmission ratio is adjusted by the spurgear stages that are mounted downstream of the differential and are easy to adapt to the specific application case. Compared to a pure coaxial solution, this produces package benefits as the output axis can be spun in relation to the unit’s actual centerline, making it much easier to observe the ground clearance limit or meet other package restrictions, IAV says. On demand, the hydraulic module with an integrated electric oil pump provides the pressure and volumetric flow required for the circuits that split off downstream of the main control valve for lubrication and cooling as well as actuation. The system supports hill-climbing ability to a maximum 30% grade, supports a top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph) (continuous) / 185 km/h (115 mph) (maximum), with acceleration from 0 – 60 km/h in 4 seconds and 0 – 100 km/h in 10 seconds. IAV’s solution is also flexible in terms of use—as the main drive for battery-powered electric vehicles, for fuel cell vehicles or as a component of plug-in hybrids. Its power output is sufficient for vehicles from classes A (subcompact car), B (compact car), C (standard size) and D (upper standard size). IAV partnered with Nemak, a global manufacturer of aluminum castings for the automotive industry, on the development of the housing. The housing design was optimized for functional integration, cooling, structural stiffness and NVH as well as cost-effective, large-scale and robust manufacturability. Growing complexity puts more emphasis on low-pressure die casting and core-package sand casting process (CPS). Developing the casing also presented a particular challenge. Compact design, a high level of functional integration and temperature management have been combined to provide additional benefits. With IAV’s solution, for example, the power electronics are accommodated in the casing to reduce costs from copper wiring, ensure good EMC shielding as well as include the power electronics in the electric motor’s cooling circuit.


« IAV 8-speed hybrid dual-clutch tranmission can reduce fuel consumption 18% over 6DCT | Main | GM, SJTU wrap up EN-V 2.0 vehicle sharing pilot program; learnings to be shared with Maven » ZF and Faurecia, both leading global systems suppliers for cars and trucks, will cooperate in a strategic partnership for the development of disruptive and differentiating interior and safety technologies for autonomous driving. Within this special advanced engineering partnership the two companies will identify and develop innovative safety and interior solutions linked to different potential occupant positions. The collaboration will be based on shared expertise and competencies and will involve no capital exchange.


« Porsche Digital, Inc. opens location in Silicon Valley | Main | IAV develops new close-coupled diesel exhaust gas aftertreatment system for improved emissions reduction » A new study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) estimates heavy fuel oil (HFO) use, HFO carriage, the use and carriage of other fuels, black carbon (BC) emissions, and emissions of other air and climate pollutants for the year 2015, with projections to 2020 and 2025. According to the report, potentially large increases in BC emissions may occur in the Arctic, further exacerbating warming, if ships are diverted from the Panama and Suez canals to take advantage of shorter routes to and from Asia, Europe, and North America. If even a small percentage (1%–2%) of large cargo vessels are diverted from the Panama and Suez Canals through the Arctic over the next decade, BC emissions could rise significantly—jumping up to 46% from 2015 to 2025. Dwindling sea ice is opening new shipping routes through the Arctic and shipping activity in the Arctic is expected to rise as oil and gas development increases and as ships take advantage of shorter trans-Arctic routes from Asia to Europe and North America. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, 2014a) estimates that 75% of Arctic sea ice volume has been lost since the 1980s. The Northwest Passage (NWP) and Northern Sea Route (NSR) … are the two most economically advantageous routes for trans-Arctic shipping. The trip between Shanghai and Europe is shortened by about a third when the NSR is taken in lieu of the traditional route through the Suez Canal. Similarly, the trip from Shanghai to New York City also is shortened by a third when taking the NWP instead of the path through the Panama Canal. Shorter distances result in fuel, labor, and time savings. The ICCT report uses exactEarth satellite Automatic Identification System (AIS) data along with ship characteristic data from IHS Fairplay to examine shipping in three Arctic regions: (1) the Geographic Arctic (above 58.95 ˚N); (2) the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Arctic as defined in the Polar Code; and (3) the US Arctic, defined as the portion of the US exclusive economic zone (EEZ) within the IMO Arctic. The report found that shipping within the Arctic as defined by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) consumed an estimated 436,000 tonnes of fuel and emitted 193 tonnes of black carbon in 2015.  This is almost quadruple the most recent (2012, by DNV) estimate. HFO was the most consumed marine fuel in the Arctic in 2015. In the IMO Arctic, HFO represented nearly 57% of the nearly half million tonnes (t) of fuel consumed by ships, followed by distillate (43%); almost no liquefied natural gas (LNG) was consumed in this area. General cargo vessels consumed the most HFO in the IMO Arctic, using 66,000 t, followed by oil tankers (43,000 t), and cruise ships (25,000 t). HFO also dominated fuel carriage, in tonnes, and fuel transport, in tonne-nautical miles (t-nm) in the Arctic in 2015. Although only 42% of ships in the IMO Arctic operated on HFO in 2015, these ships accounted for 76% of fuel carried and 56% of fuel transported in this region. Specifically, bulk carriers, container ships, oil tankers, general cargo vessels, and fishing vessels dominated HFO carriage and transport in the IMO Arctic, together accounting for more than 75% of HFO carried and transported in the IMO Arctic in 2015. Considering the quantity of fuel these vessels carry on board and the distances they travel each year, these ships may pose a higher risk for HFO spills than others. the ICCT team concluded. Among the other key findings of the report: Some of the emissions growth between 2012 and 2015 can be attributed to increased vessel traffic, with satellites detecting roughly double the number of ship miles traveled in 2015 compared to 2012.  Emissions from ships operating in areas that were previously ice locked and inaccessible to marine traffic can be clearly seen in 2015, particularly on the Northern Sea Route off of Russia’s coast. Estimates of HFO use and BC emissions is heavily dependent upon the definition of the Arctic.  IMO’s narrow definition of the Arctic, which excludes significant coastal areas around Iceland and Norway, excludes 85% of ship traffic, 90% of fuel use, and 85% of BC emissions from shipping in the Geographic Arctic north of 59 degrees latitude. By 2025, emissions of CO and black carbon by ships in the Arctic are projected to increase 5% to 50%, depending upon the level of ship diversions from the Panama and Suez canals through the Arctic as well as the geographic definition of the Arctic used. While less than half of the ships in the Arctic use HFO, it represents 75% of the fuel onboard ships in the Arctic because larger ships, with larger fuel tanks, tend to use HFO instead of cleaner distillate fuels. The majority of HFO carriage in the Geographic Arctic is attributable to ships flagged to non-Arctic states with major ship registries like Panama, the Marshall Islands, Liberia, Malta, and the Bahamas.  This points to the need for an international standard on HFO use and carriage at the IMO, the authors said. The authors suggested that several policy alternatives could reduce the dual risks of air pollution and fuel oil spills from ships in the Arctic, including regional emission control policies; restricting the use of HFO, the carriage of HFO, or both; and regulating BC emissions regionally or globally. Explicitly restricting the use and carriage of HFO in the Arctic would greatly reduce the risks of HFO oil spills and would also reduce air pollution, including BC, provided ships operate on distillate, LNG, or other alternative fuels. An even stronger approach would be to prohibit the use of petroleum-based fuels (e.g., HFO and distillate), which would require a complete shift to cleaner fuels (e.g., LNG, fuel cells), albeit at substantial cost to existing fleets. Finally, Arctic BC emissions could be addressed through regulations that either establish new emission standards for marine engines, require the use of low- or zero-BC fuels, or mandate the use of BC reduction devices such as diesel particulate filters. Such a policy also may encourage a shift toward fuels that are less damaging than HFO when spilled. … Policies could be implemented at the global, regional, national, or subnational scales. Consensus policies that apply specifically to the Arctic region could be effective because ships registered to Arctic states, particularly Russia, account for the majority of HFO use, carriage, and BC emissions in the Arctic. However, because the diversion of ships from traditional trade routes in favor of trans-Arctic routes is likely as the Arctic becomes ice-free for longer periods, policies that apply to the global fleet, or ships intending to sail in the Arctic, are more attractive. Global policies are also desirable given that emissions of BC outside of the IMO Arctic can be, and are, transported northward. Thus, global policies that prohibit the use and carriage of HFO and reduce BC from marine engines will help ensure that the impacts on the Arctic environment from ships are meaningfully reduced.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.greencarcongress.com

« Enel, Nissan and IIT launch pilot corporate EV car charging project with V2G chargers | Main | IAV says new version of modular electric drive can boost range 5-10% vs system with fixed transmission ratio » Intel unveiled its Advanced Vehicle Lab in Silicon Valley, providing insight into the company’s R&D efforts underway on autonomous vehicles. The announcement was made during the company’s first Autonomous Driving Workshop held in San Jose, California. At this workshop, Intel—together with BMW, Delphi, Ericsson and HERE—demonstrated progress toward autonomy. The theme of the day was “the data-driven journey”. The company’s Silicon Valley Lab joins Intel’s other labs in Arizona, Germany and Oregon. They have been created specifically to explore and better understand the various requirements related to self-driving vehicles and the future of transportation, including sensing, in-vehicle computing, artificial intelligence (AI), connectivity, and supporting cloud technologies and services. With the slew of information captured by cameras, LiDAR, radar and other sensors, autonomous cars are expected to generate approximately 4 terabytes of data every 90 minutes of operation. Most of this data will be processed, filtered, and analyzed in the car, while the most valuable data will be moved to the data center to update maps, enhance data models and more. Intel’s Autonomous Garage Labs work with customers and partners to come up with new ways of addressing the data challenge inside the vehicle, across the network and in the data center. Engineers at the labs use a variety of tools to advance and test in these areas, including vehicles equipped with Intel-based computing systems and different kinds of sensors that help gather data; autonomous test vehicles that practice real-world driving; partner vehicles and teams that are collaborating with Intel’s research efforts; and dedicated autonomous driving data centers.


« IAV develops new close-coupled diesel exhaust gas aftertreatment system for improved emissions reduction | Main | Umicore to invest €300M to boost capacity in NMC cathode materials for high-energy Li-ion batteries » A new European program has launched to provide a blueprint to enable fully automated future mass manufacture of fuel cell stacks for the automotive market. The objective of the €3.5-million DIGIMAN program is to advance (from Manufacturing Readiness Level 4 to MRL 6) the critical steps of the PEM fuel cell assembly processes and associated in-line quality control and end-of-line testing / handover strategies and to demonstrate a route to automated volume process production capability within an automotive best practice context. UK-based Intelligent Energy is the program’s technology lead with overall coordination provided by CEA Tech-Liten. The two companies will front a pan-European industry group to further commercialize fuel cells for the mass automotive market. DIGIMAN, is receiving funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) under the EU programme Horizon 2020, which will focus on creating a robust platform for future stack production for zero emission vehicles. The reduction of the production cost of fuel cell systems to be used in transport applications is one of the five techno-economic objectives of the FCH, and DIGIMAN fully contributes to the overall strategy. The project will indeed improve the manufacturing techniques by reducing the production time and costs, and increase the quality levels of PEMFC stacks. The project, which gathers industry, academia and research centres, is contributing to maintain Europe at the competitive edge on the key technologies for clean transport. Also involved in the three year program are Freudenberg Performance Materials SE&Co.KG, WMG at the University of Warwick, and Toyota Motor Europe. The latter will be responsible for best practice requirements for future automotive stack production. Project management support and communication activities will be provided by the SME Pretexo. The program outputs will demonstrate operational and supply chain cost reduction via seamless integration of digital manufacturing techniques and advanced technology optimized for automated production. Once developed, the blueprint design will enable build-to-print machine configurations with ready to scale production capacity to meet future requirements of more than 50,000 fuel cell stacks by 2020. Hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles are available now, but to continue to drive customer adoption, we need to ensure future fuel cell stacks are robustly industrialized and remain cost competitive in the future. The program will bring significant opportunity to further develop Intelligent Energy’s proprietary Air Cooled fuel cell architecture. Additionally, as Intelligent Energy’s Air Cooled fuel cell stack technology operates across multiple products and applications, the project will benefit commercialization within multiple market sectors, including stationary power and drones. This project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement Nº 736290. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Hydrogen Europe and N.ERGHY.


News Article | January 11, 2016
Site: www.greencarcongress.com

« IAV and Microsoft demonstrate connected highly automated driving vehicle for enhanced safety; cloud-based analytics and big data | Main | New software, electric motors for 2017 Ford Fusion hybrid and plug-in hybrid » Volkswagen is unveiling the Tiguan GTE Active Concept plug-in hybrid at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The five-seat concept is based on the completely redeveloped second-generation Tiguan—the first SUV to be based on the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB)—which will arrive in the US market in 2017 with a longer wheelbase and available seven-seat functionality. For Volkswagen, the new Tiguan marks the kickoff of an SUV product offensive that will significantly expand the range of vehicles offered, especially in North America. The Tiguan GTE Active Concept is equipped with a turbocharged and direct-injection TSI gasoline engine that produces 148 hp (110 kW) and 184 lb-ft (201 N·m) of torque, mated to two electric motors: 40 kW on the front axle and 85 kW on the rear. The total system power of 221 hp (165 kW) can supply all four wheels with propulsive force under off-road conditions and the 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system also boosts traction and contributes to active safety on normal pavement. The vehicle can cover up to 20 miles (32 km) in all-electric mode. The driving range, based on a battery capacity of 12.4 kWh and a 16.9-gallon fuel tank, is 580 miles (933 km). The Tiguan GTE Active Concept uses a 6-speed dual-clutch (DSG) automatic transmission that was specially designed for hybrid use, with the front electric motor being housed inside the casing. Other plug-in hybrid components of the 4MOTION plug-in hybrid drive include: a 12.4 kWh lithium-ion high-voltage battery that can be charged either externally or via the gasoline engine; power electronics for the front motor; a second module at the rear that converts the battery’s DC current into AC for the electric motors; and an on-board charger. Depending on the driving mode, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept can be driven by the front, rear, or by all four wheels. As a default, the concept car always starts off in zero emissions E-mode. If the battery is sufficiently charged, the rear electric motor powers the car by itself, while the TSI engine and the front electric motor are decoupled from the drivetrain and shut off to save energy. However, as soon as the driving situation demands it, or the driver manually activates a related mode, the front electric motor is engaged within fractions of a second. This means the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is a zero-emissions all-wheel-drive vehicle with up to 20 miles all-electric range. In E-mode, the Tiguan has a top speed of 70 mph (113 km/h). If the battery isn’t sufficiently charged and the system calls for the rear electric motor to be supplied with power for dynamic handling or for the Off-road program, the TSI engine is re-started and engaged (Hybrid mode). In this case, the front electric motor serves as a generator for the rear electric motor. Since the energy for driving the rear axle flows “by wire” and not mechanically, this is called an “electric driveshaft”. In Hybrid mode, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept may automatically use the TSI engine and/or the electric motors, depending on the energy level of the battery. The rotary/push-button switch for the new 4MOTION Active Control unit is located on the center console. The driver can use this control to select one of six driving programs: On road (Comfort or Eco); Offroad (Rocks, Sludge & Sand, or Gravel); Sport; Snow; Charge (battery is charged while driving); and Battery Hold (maintains a constant battery charge). When the Tiguan driver turns the switch to the left, the On-road, Sport, Snow, Charge or Battery Hold programs can be activated. When the switch is turned to the right, the user can access the Off-road programs. In off-road duty, the 4MOTION Active Control can adapt the assistance systems to the given driving situation within seconds, an added safety benefit. The same applies to the Snow program, which optimizes safety in winter road conditions. Four-wheel-drive is also activated when the driver selects 4MOTION Active Control or when GTE-mode is selected, for instance. The E-mode and GTE mode are activated by separate buttons on the center console. When the driver presses the E-mode or the GTE-mode button a second time, the car switches back to Hybrid mode. As mentioned, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept may operate with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive in Hybrid mode and in E-mode. In the sporty GTE mode, the car automatically switches to all-wheel drive. The GTE mode is unique to plug-in hybrid Volkswagen vehicles. The transmission, accelerator pedal, engine mapping, and steering settings are sportier and the TSI engine and the electric motors work together (in kickdown/boosting) to allow the full system power of 221 hp to be available. When this happens, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept has a top speed of 120 mph (193 km/h) and can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds. Depending on the given driving situation, the system may use the TSI engine only or switch over to the additional “Coasting” or “Regenerative braking” hybrid modes. Safety systems. The Tiguan GTE Active Concept is also equipped with safety systems such as Front Assist with Autonomous Emergency Braking and pedestrian monitoring, an active hood for pedestrian protection, Lane Assist and the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. Next-generation infotainment system. The top level next-generation modular infotainment platform (MIB) is also featured on the Tiguan GTE Active Concept. Two features of this system are a large 9.2-inch high-resolution touchscreen (1,280 x 640 pixels) and gesture control functionality. All functions and displays utilize a screen surface that is as clear as glass; facing the driver on the left are four sensor buttons (Menu, Home, On/Off and Volume). The 8.2-inch wide and 4.1-inch tall home screen consists of a large main window and two configurable tiles (positioned on the right side on the home screen), each of which is 1.7 inches tall and 2.3 inches wide. These can be filled with ten different types of content, such as Media (including song/album cover information) or Phone (including an image of the person to whom you are talking). In addition, it is possible to use the entire surface of the home screen for one function—for example, to show the navigation map in large format, to show special instruments for the Off-road program (steering angle, compass, altitude indicator) or to show, via Car-Net App-Connect, the smartphone apps for Mirror Link, Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.

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