UPC, SEAT and Volkswagen Group Innovation look for new strategies to improve the performance of the powertrain and batteries of electric vehicles of the future

Tuesday 19 April 2022

The inLab FIB of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) collaborates with SEAT and the Volkswagen Group Innovation (Wolfsburg, Germany) in the 'Predictive eBoost' project, focused on designing new strategies, based on Machine algorithms Learning and data analysis, to improve the efficiency and performance of electric vehicle motors and batteries.

Electric vehicle batteries are becoming more powerful and have more autonomy but also need proper thermal management. Current strategies only take into account the current temperature of the vehicle components to decide when to cool or heat them. The development of smarter decision support systems, such as machine learning models, will lead to better efficiency and consumption criteria.

The focus of this project is to use information about the vehicle's journey, such as the slope of the road or the speed of the road, to decide when to activate the battery cooling and thus be able to improve current strategies.

Why should a vehicle invest energy in cooling its battery if it finds a long slope in which it can cool on its own in just a few minutes? If it is known that a significant acceleration is approaching, wouldn't it be better to prepare the vehicle in advance to mitigate the effort it will have to make? These, among other things, are some of the questions that this project seeks to answer.

In conclusion, if we consider not only the temperature of the components of the vehicle, but also its condition, the environment and the journey, we can optimize the performance and consumption of the battery in order to increase its autonomy and useful life, and the environmental impact. In this way, the results of the ‘Predictive eBoost’ project will be an important step forward in the implementation of the electric vehicle as it will allow to extend the distance travelled without having to stop, while providing a more satisfying driving experience.

The research is led by Dr. Gerhard Lux, of SEAT, and Marc Duevel, of Volkswagen Group Innovation, and at the UPC is led by Professor Ernest Teniente, Director of the inLab FIB, the innovation and research laboratory of the Faculty of Informatics of Barcelona (FIB) of the UPC.

UPC Rector Daniel Crespo and SEAT Executive Vice President for Research and Development Werner Tietz

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