electr veh bosch charg

Bosch says worries over driving range are a big concern for electric vehicle buyers (Photo: Bosch)

A group of automotive companies including Robert Bosch and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen hopes to find ways to expand the driving range of electric vehicles without increasing battery size.

The European Union sponsored "OpEneR" project, which stands for "Optimal Energy consumption and Recovery based on system network," aims to merge data from on-board and off-board sources to increase driving efficiency.

A particular focus will be the cooperation between the electric drivetrain and the regenerative braking system, supported by data from radar, video, satellite navigation, car-to-infrastructure and car-to-car systems.

The project partners are the Austrian powertrain development company AVL List GmbH, the Spanish research institute Centro Tecnológico de Automoción de Galicia (CTAG), the German Forschungszentrum Informatik Karlsruhe (FZI), French carmaker PSA, and Germany's Bosch.

The European Commission is co-funding the three-year project, which has a budget of 7.74 million euros.

Bosch, which leads the research, noted that electric vehicles' limited electric driving range, very high battery price, and long charging times "are major impediments to their widespread market acceptance." The supplier said OpEneR will use improved driver guidance and information to reduce the "range anxiety" that comes with driving a full electric vehicle.

The OpEneR system will provide advanced and fully integrated driver support, based on a networked architecture that connects the vehicle, battery, e-machine, regenerative braking, adaptive cruise control, and 3D satellite navigation route data. It will also feature car-to-infrastructure and car-to-car communication and enhanced haptic dashboard and head-up displays.