This paper presents a lightweight, high-performance Lithium-ion Battery System developed jointly by Nissan Motor Co. and Sony Corp. for electric vehicle (EV) use. Electric vehicles are generally powered by a battery pack consisting of numerous cells connected in a series. Management techniques to elicit the maximum performance of the battery pack are needed, including a function for monitoring individual cells to prevent them from over-discharging. Because of high cell voltage, lithium-ion batteries enable the number of cells in a battery pack to be greatly reduced compared with other types of battery systems. They also allow accurate detection of the battery State of Charge (SOC) based on the battery voltage. These characteristics are conducive to the application of battery pack management technology. These concepts provided the basis for the development of a Lithium-ion Battery System for EV application.
The performance capabilities which hold the key to the acceptance of electric vehicles (EVs) includes range and acceleration. Range can be effectively extended by increasing the size of the batteries used, but it requires a trade-off with acceleration performance which deteriorates due to the increased weight. The FEV-II and Prairie Joy EV exhibited at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show were equipped with high-performance lithium-ion batteries that achieve both high energy and power densities, to provide an excellent balance of range and acceleration. Futher more, the batteries exceptionally high charging efficiency enables them to accept regenerative energy effectively. This feature improves range, and also allows the battery state of charge (SOC) to be determined accurately. This characteristic was used to develop a highly accurate battery model which was incorporated in a simulation program for predicting EV performance.
An electric vehicle (EV) has less powertrain energy loss than an internal combustion engine vehicle (ICE), so its aerodynamic accounts have a larger portion of drag contribution of the total energy loss. This means that EV aerodynamic performance has a larger impact on the all-electric range (AER). Therefore, the target set for the aerodynamics development for a new EV hatchback was to improving AER for the customer’s benefit. To achieve lower aerodynamic drag than the previous model’s good aerodynamic performance, an ideal airflow wake structure was initially defined for the new EV hatchback that has a flat underbody with no exhaust system. Several important parameters were specified and proper numerical values for the ideal airflow were defined for them. As a result, the new EV hatchback achieves a 4% reduction in drag coefficient (CD) from the previous model.
Reduction of greenhouse gases or CO2 is the global issue for sustainability. City of Yokohama, where 3.7 million people live, established the Yokohama Climate Change Action Policy “CO-DO30”, aiming to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions by over 30% per person by 2025, and by over 60% by 2050. “CO-DO30” includes 7 areas of approaches, such as Living, Businesses, Buildings, Transportation, Energies, Urban and Green, and City Hall. To achieve this challenging target, practical and effective action on transportation area is definitely required, because it emits 20% of total greenhouse gas emission in the city. In 2008, City of Yokohama and Nissan jointly started YOKOHAMA Mobility “Project ZERO” (YMPZ), a 5-year project aimed at realizing “Eco-Model City, Yokohama”.
Curbing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO₂), which is believed by many scientists to be a major contributor to global warming, is one of the top priority issues that must be addressed by automobile manufacturers. Automakers have set their own strategies to improve fuel economy and to reduce CO₂ emissions. Some of them include integrated approaches, focusing on not only improvement of vehicle technology, but also human factors (eco-driving support for drivers) and social and transportation factors (traffic management by intelligent transportation systems [ITS]). Among them, electric vehicles (EVs) will be a key contributor to attaining the challenging goal of CO₂ reduction. Mass deployment of EVs is required to achieve a zero-emission society. To accomplish that, new advanced technologies, new business schemes, and new partnerships are required.
From the beginning of the 1990s, we have been vigorously investigating a high-performance power source system for application to environmental vehicles, focusing our research and development efforts specifically on lithium-ion batteries. In order to adapt a battery system to the requirements of the target vehicle, battery performance must be predicted and designed more accurately. In the case of hybrid electric vehicles, for example, battery power must be reliably assured. Improving battery power requires quantitative analytical methods as fundamental techniques for understanding the basic processes that take place in a battery. From this perspective, we began constructing a battery simulation model from scratch in the middle of the 1990s concurrently with our battery R&D activities. The model simulates electrode reactions and charge transport and has been used in investigating the influence of these factors on battery performance.
This paper describes the HMI, navigation and telematics systems developed specifically for the Nissan LEAF electric vehicle to dispel drivers' anxieties about operating an EV. Drivers of EVs will need to understand various new kinds of information about the vehicle's operational status that differ from conventional gasoline-engine vehicles. Additionally, owing to the current driving range of EVs and limited availability of charging stations, drivers will want to know acccurate the remaining driving range, amount of power and the latest information about charging station locations. It will also be important to ensure that people unfamiliar with EVs will be able to operate them easily as rental cars or in car-sharing systems without experiencing any inconvenience.
This paper presents the electrically driven intelligent brake system that has been developed for electric vehicles, which are expected to penetrate markets rapidly amid the ongoing energy paradigm shift. This brake system achieves a cooperative energy regeneration function and high responsiveness while providing braking performance, system reliability and vehicle mounting ease equal to that of conventional brake systems with a vacuum booster. This paper outlines the newly developed brake system and describes how to decide the target brake force which is achieved a regenerative braking capability for recovering energy efficiently without sacrificing braking.
An electric vehicle (EV) is promising as clean energy powered vehicle, due to increased interest in fuel economy and environment in recent years. However, it requires to meet unique safety performance such as electric safety. Nissan has developed a new electric vehicle which achieves electric safety in addition to maintaining enough cruising distance and cabin space. This was achieved by I he development of an all-new platform for electric vehicles. The electric safety was enhanced by the protection of high-voltage components based on consideration of component layout and body structure, high-voltage shutdown by impact sensing system and prevention of short circuit by fuse in the battery. As an example of the protection of high-voltage components, the battery which locates under the floor was protected by elaborative packaging and multi-layer protection structure.
This paper explains the specific measures taken to develop the body and underfloor of the newly developed Electric Vehicle for the purpose of reducing drag. Additionally, the headlamps and fenders were designed with innovative shapes to reduce wind noise that occurs near the outside mirrors. As a result of utilizing the aerodynamic advantages of an electric vehicle to maximum effect, The newly developed Electric Vehicle achieves a class-leading drag coefficient and interior quietness.
Electric Vehicles are very quiet at low speeds therefore people (especially the visually impaired) have difficulty recognizing that these vehicles are approaching. To address this concern, Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians system development has been discussed worldwide. In Japan, USA, Europe and China, government regulation is currently under study. As a solution to meet this concern, Nissan has developed the VSP (Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians) system for implementation on Nissan's first mass production Electric Vehicle. Nissan VSP emits a futuristic sound to satisfy 3 key stakeholders' concerns; for pedestrians to provide detectability, for drivers and neighborhoods to maintain a quiet environment. The sound emitted during forward motion has a “twin peaks and one dip” frequency signature, with modulation (or rhythmic structure) to accommodate human-beings ear frequency sensitivity, hearing loss due to aging and ambient noise conditions.
Electric Vehicle distinctive techniques in order to enhance the vehicle dynamic performance have been studied and applied to Nissan LEAF. From the viewpoint of performance design parameters, this paper introduces the application items focusing on effectuality for the vehicle behavior by means of the yawing motion and the rolling motion control of its vehicle. As the result, the effects of vehicle performance are shown in experimental data.
Reducing vehicle fuel consumption has become one of the most important issues in recent years in connection with environmental concerns such as global warming. Therefore, in the vehicle development process, attention has been focused on reducing aerodynamic drag as a way of improving fuel economy. When considering environmental issues, the development of vehicle aerodynamics must take into account real-world driving conditions. A crosswind is one of the representative conditions. It is well known that drag changes in a crosswind compared with a condition without a crosswind, and that the change depends on the vehicle shape. It is generally considered that the influence of a crosswind is relatively small since drag accounts for a small proportion of the total running resistance. However, for electric vehicles, the energy loss of the drive train is smaller than that of an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.
This paper discusses various design factors that must be considered in achieving a practical motor-drive system for electric vehicles. When we design a motor-drive system for an electric vehicle, pursuit of high efficiency is required, and the system also has to have a good ease of use in practical situation. The following configuration is preferable for the realization of the vehicle that meets these requirements (1) A direct- coupled geartrain is used. (2) A permanent magnet synchronous motor is used as the traction motor. (3) The motor is inverter driven (battery operated) (4) A controller is needed to manage torque characteristics. When we design the motor-drive system using these configuration, we have to resolve various issues of the system concerning the vehicle and drive system performance fir practical use. By resolving these design issues, the practical performance of EVs can be improved and they can also make full use of the advantages of a motor-drive system.
This paper describes the development of the drive motor adopted on the newly developed 2013 Model Year (MY) electric vehicle (EV). Based on the 2011MY EV that was specifically designed and engineered for mass-production, the 2013MY powertrain integrates the electric motor, inverter and charging system into one unit in order to achieve downsizing and weight saving, unlike previous 2011 model which had these components segregated. In general, integration of all components into one unit causes deterioration of the noise and vibration performance of vehicles due to an increase in weight and the number of resonance parts. In order to overcome such problems associated with this integration, each component in the 2013 model has been optimized to reduce noise and vibration resulting in high degree of vehicle quietness.
This paper presents the technologies incorporated in an electric vehicle (EV)/hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) inverter built with power semiconductors of silicon carbide (SiC) metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) instead of conventional silicon (Si) insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs). A SiC inverter prototype of 2.9 L in size for driving an 80-kW motor was fabricated and evaluated on a motor test bench. The SiC inverter prototype attained average efficiency of 98.5% in the Worldwide harmonized Light-duty Test Cycle (WLTC) driving mode. The two main technologies achieved with this SiC inverter prototype are described. The first one is a new direct-cooled power module with a thick copper (Cu) heat spreader located under the semiconductors that improves thermal resistance by 34% compared with a conventional direct-cooled power module.
This paper describes the motor and inverter system developed for the Nissan LEAF that has been specifically designed as a mass-produced electric vehicle. The system produces maximum torque of 280 Nm and maximum power of 80 kW. The motor achieves a small size, high power, and high efficiency as a result of adopting the following in-house technologies. The magnetic circuit design was optimized for an interior magnet synchronous motor to attain the maximum performance figures noted here. The material technologies of the rotor and the stator facilitate high efficiency and the production technology achieves high density winding. The cooling mechanism is optimally designed for a mass-produced electric vehicle. The inverter incorporates the following original technologies and application-specific parts to obtain cost reductions combined with reliability improvements. The power module has an original structure with the power devices mounted directly on the busbars.
An electrically-driven, intelligent brake unit has been developed, to be combined with a regenerative braking system in electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) which went into production in 2010 - 11. The brake pedal force is assisted by an electrically driven motor, without using vacuum pressure, unlike conventional braking systems. The actuator can be implemented to coordinate with a regenerative braking system, and to have adjustable pedal feel through use of a unique pressure-generating mechanism and a pedal-force compensator. In this paper, we describe features of the actuator mechanism and performance test results