Significantly higher voltages (indicatively, in the 1200V region) may be the next logical step and become standard in the next decade, providing benefits in terms of efficiency, copper use and weight.
If not properly managed, they could have a constraining impact on the overall architecture especially in terms of DC charging and efficiency for low power use. Thus, new challenges for the powertrain arise in the areas of the motor, battery, cabling, couplers etc. as well as in electromagnetic compatibility and the development and integration of new power semiconductors.
To successfully address the expected outcomes in the constant drive to improve efficiency and performance while increasing affordability, proposals are expected to address several of the following aspects capable of demonstrating the achievement of the intended objectives at system level:
- Assess in a holistic way the positive and negative impacts of higher voltage levels at vehicle and powertrain level, defining the best option for the post-800V EV generation.
- Development and integration of power-electronic components with new concepts for component miniaturisation and modularity. Also, solutions that can transition rapidly from modular to integrated systems need to be identified, depending on demand and eco-balance.
- Topologies adapted to advanced wide-bandgap semiconductors and new materials, leading to higher power density.
- Modular powertrain platforms, with the aim of coming closer to a full mechanical, electrical or thermal integration of the three main systems (electric motor, power electronics systems and battery pack) benefitting from the smaller sizes and cooling demands due to higher voltage.
- Defining suitable testing and validation procedures on component, powertrain or vehicle level and demonstrating them on a suitable use case. Furthermore, the projects should identify and analyse potential regulatory aspects and barriers to contribute to a definition of common EU standards for system validations.
- Small-sized, ‘ready for integration’ power modules at the best system fitting position (e.g. e-motor or battery) for greater design flexibility while optimizing costs.
- Packaging and coupler solutions e.g., substrates, moulding epoxy, electrical interconnections, adapted for higher voltages, increased isolation demands, high-frequency switching, frequent thermal cycling, elevated temperatures etc.
- Heat spreading technologies for short power pulses/ heat dissipation approaches for long duration pulses, long acceleration phases.
Exploitation of outcomes, and knowledge from ECSEL/KDT partnership projects should be foreseen where applicable, as well as feedback in terms of future needs to achieve the project outcomes should problems be encountered. The development of the needed semiconductors, however, is not part of this topic’s funding, and the proposal is expected to specify the components that the involved semiconductor suppliers guarantee to provide for the research activities.
This topic implements the co-programmed European Partnership on ‘Towards zero emission road transport’ (2ZERO). As such, projects resulting from this topic will be expected to report on the results to the European Partnership ‘Towards zero emission road transport’ (2ZERO) in support of the monitoring of its KPIs.
Clean and competitive solutions for all transport modes (2023/24)
This Destination addresses activities that improve the climate and environmental footprint, as well as competitiveness, of different transport modes.
The transport sector is responsible for 23% of CO2 emissions and remains dependent on oil for 92% of its energy demand. While there has been significant technological progress over past decades, projected GHG emissions are not in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement due to the expected increase in transport demand. Intensified research and innovation activities are therefore needed, across all transport modes and in line with societal needs and preferences, in order for the EU to reach its policy goals towards a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and to reduce significantly air pollutants.
The areas of rail and air traffic management will be addressed through dedicated Institutional European Partnerships and are therefore not included in this document.
This Destination contributes to the following Strategic Plan’s Key Strategic Orientations (KSO):
- C: Making Europe the first digitally enabled circular, climate-neutral and sustainable economy through the transformation of its mobility, energy, construction and production systems;
- A: Promoting an open strategic autonomy[[ ‘Open strategic autonomy’ refers to the term ‘strategic autonomy while preserving an open economy’, as reflected in the conclusions of the European Council 1 – 2 October 2020.]] by leading the development of key digital, enabling and emerging technologies, sectors and value chains to accelerate and steer the digital and green transitions through human-centred technologies and innovations.
It covers the following impact areas:
- Industrial leadership in key and emerging technologies that work for people;
- Smart and sustainable transport.
The expected impact, in line with the Strategic Plan, is to contribute “Towards climate-neutral and environmental friendly mobility through clean solutions across all transport modes while increasing global competitiveness of the EU transport sector“, notably through:
- Transforming road transport to zero-emission mobility through a world-class European research and innovation and industrial system, ensuring that Europe remains world leader in innovation, production and services in relation to road transport (more detailed information below).
- Accelerating the reduction of all aviation impacts and emissions (CO2 and non-CO2, including manufacturing and end-of-life, noise), developing aircraft technologies for deep reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and maintaining European aero-industry’s global leadership position (more detailed information below).
- Accelerate the development and prepare the deployment of climate neutral and clean solutions in the inland and marine shipping sector, reduce its environmental impact (on biodiversity, noise, pollution and waste management), improve its system efficiency, leverage digital and EU satellite-navigation solutions and contribute to the competitiveness of the European waterborne sector (more detailed information below).
- Devising more effective ways for reducing emissions and their impacts through improved scientific knowledge (more detailed information below).
Several levels of interactions are foreseen with other European initiatives, in particular with the Industrial Battery Value Chain (BATT4EU) partnership, the Cooperative Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM) partnership and the Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities, in particular:
- Joint topic “2ZERO – BATT4EU” D5-1-4 B – Innovative battery management systems for next generation vehicles (2ZERO & Batteries Partnership) (2023)
- Joint topic “CCAM – 2ZERO – Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities” D5-1-5 Co-designed smart systems and services for user-centred shared zero-emission mobility of people and goods in urban areas (2ZERO, CCAM and Cities’ Mission) (2023)