MercedesThe race continues to build more advanced vehicles, whether it’s wireless functions in connected cars or automated driver assistance systems or fully autonomous vehicles. It seems as if every company in the transportation sector has an “e-mobility” vision to improve fuel efficiency and emissions, and meet market demands for lower costs. Advances are being made in electric powertrain technologies, in-vehicle information systems, communication technologies, and connected infrastructures for electric propulsion of vehicles and fleets.

Powertrain technologies include full electric vehicles. plug-in hybrids, even hydrogen fuel cell-based vehicles. According to Peter Loetzner, CEO of equipment manufacturer EMAG LLC:

Batteries and fuel cell development are progressing at light speed and the electric power source, I believe, will vary by continent. Asia will be heavily leveraged to the all-electric vehicle due to pollution and other concerns, while Europe will maintain an allegiance to the hybrid gas engine, due to the road conditions and established recharging network. In America, hybrids will have more gradual growth, while the share economy of Uber services and the Google car take shape.

Consumer trends show that driving will become more of an “as-needed” function. This will lead to smaller, more precise e-mobility systems with smaller engines, more gears, superchargers, and other high-performance enhancements.

Smart Transportation Grids

Battery-based EV’s (BEVs) show great potential, as long as investments are made in smart transportation grids, intelligent electrical distribution that serves as the charging infrastructure. According to a report by the Joint Research Council, smart grids will be the backbone of the EU’s future energy system. These electricity networks will use intelligent metering and two-way communication to predict and respond to the behavior and actions of connected users.

Dundee, Scotland, has become the first of Britain’s “Go Ultra Low Cities” to start serious work on its EV charging network. New charging hubs are being scattered across town, with rapid and fast chargers in dedicated areas. The chargers can handle two EVs simultaneously, to 80 percent battery life in 30 minutes on the rapid charger and in one hour on the fast charger.

The connected car industry is an increasingly complex array of safety technology, infotainment, infrastructure, services, and partnerships. Source: Pwc, 2016.

The connected car industry is an increasingly complex array of safety technology, infotainment, infrastructure, services, and partnerships. Source: Pwc, 2016.

Wireless Communication

Speed is also an issue for vehicle-to-vehicle communications. 5G cellular tech was first demonstrated by BMW in South Korea.

Two BMWs shared information with the human drivers; in a future, self-driving setup, such sharing of data might allow cars to coordinate actions almost instantaneously. Each car had a 5G station of its own, through which on-board cameras could upload ultrahigh-definition video for displaying to an audience. The cars were from the X5 and the S7 series.

An up-to-date look at new connected car functions and mobility services. Source: CNET]

Evolving Standards

There are many standards around for EV charging that it’s making development difficult. Initially, the primary EV standard was AC (alternating current), like the power in your home. New charging station offers AC Type 2, which yet another standard.

According to Deutsche Welle, more e-mobility vehicles offer fast charging on DC. CHAdeMO and CCS (Combined Charging System) are both DC standards and the most obvious way to tell them apart is by their adapters or plugs. Wouldn’t one international standard be more sensible than this?

Current AC standards:

  • CEE 3 pole
  • CEE 5 pole
  • CEE+ 7 pole
  • Type F
  • Type 2
  • Type 1
  • Tesla Wall Connector

And DC plugs include:

  • XLR
  • CHAdeMO
  • CCS
  • Type 3
  • Tesla Supercharger

Next Gen Electrical Power

Connected cars keep adding components and so need more electrical power. A modern vehicle may have as many as 150 electric motors. According to Technology Review, the good news is that 48-volt systems will appear in cars starting in 2017. The increased voltage lets engineers design cars in novel ways that boost engine output and efficiency. This can be used to make hybrids on the cheap, “mild hybrids”. These combine electric motors and combustion engines to cut fuel consumption and emissions.

According to Technology Review:

Audi’s forthcoming luxury SUV, the SQ7, for example, uses a 48-volt system to power a turbine that forces extra air into the engine to provide a momentary power bump. A prototype Ford Focus uses a similar power supply to provide torque assistance, which helps the car accelerate. These kinds of advances may not have the dramatic emission-reducing power of switching to all-electric motors, or even hybrid systems like those found in the Toyota Prius. But they’re less of a departure from the norm for both manufacturers and consumers, and they could help cut emissions in vehicles that Americans are already buying in huge quantities.

Battery Packaging

The future of transportation increasingly involves batteries that need to be packaged to absorb internal impact energy. PORON Urethane and BISCO Silicone foams withstand collapse that can happen due to the stresses of compression and temperature in battery packs over time. This Compression Set Resistance (C-set) Resistance can help extend the life of the battery by continuing to seal and absorb shock. These unique foams from Rogers Corporation also have a unique ability to act as a spring by retaining a very consistent level of force across a range of compressions. This allows the designer more flexibility and reliability in packaging of the battery pack due to the ability to predict the cushioning material’s behavior across varied dimensional tolerances.



curamik® electronics, which is part of Rogers’ Power Electronics business, will be presenting at the eCarTech Conference in Munich on October 23-25,
2012.  This conference takes place during  the 4th International Fair for Electric- and Hybrid-Mobility for electric vehicles. curamik recently released a new silicon nitride (Si3N4) ceramic substrate that can significantly extend the life span of power electronic modules, and will be presenting this product at the conference.

Manfred Götz, Product Marketing Manager from curamik will be giving a presentation about this new ceramic substrate on Thursday, October 25th at 3:00 PM:

“How silicon substrate can increase the duration of power modules”

“In test cycles we have conducted so far, ranging from -55 °C to 150°C , curamik® silicon nitride substrates have shown more than a 10X improvement over substrates typically used in the Automotive segment, especially HEV/EV. From this data, we can expect to see a longer life span for modules using these substrates,” reports Manfred

 About curamik’s New Ceramic Substrate 

Until now, the reliability of copper-bonded ceramic substrates used in power modules has been limited by the lower flexural strength of the ceramic that can result in reduced thermal cycling resistance. For applications combining extreme thermal and mechanical stress, such as hybrid and electric vehicles (HEV/EV), the current commonly used ceramic substrates are not optimal. The significant difference in thermal expansion coefficients of the substrate (ceramics) and the conductor (copper) exert stress on the bonding zone during thermal cycling, threatening reliability. Rogers Corporation introduced a new silicon nitride ( Si3N4) ceramic substrate under its curamik® ceramic substrates brand. Due to the higher mechanical robustness of silicon nitride relative to other ceramics, the new curamik® substrate is intended to help designers achieve critical, long-life performance under the demanding operating environments and conditions of HEV/EV renewable energy applications and other high reliability applications.

With the growth of HEV/EV and renewable energy applications, designers have struggled to find new ways to ensure reliability of the electronics required to power these new, challenging technologies. With an increase in operating life span of potentially ten times or more relative to other ceramics used in power electronics, silicon nitride substrates provide the mechanical robustness critical to achieving the necessary reliability requirements. The life span of ceramic substrates is measured by the number of repetitions of thermal cycles the substrates can survive without delamination or other failure modes that compromise the function and safety of the circuit. This testing is typically done by cycling the samples from – 55° C to 125°C or 150°C.

Download the data sheet.

The entire event will cover these topics:

  • Electric Vehicles
  • Drive and Motor Technique
  • Energy Storage Technology
  • Engineering and subcontracting
  • Reparation and spare parts
  • Connected Car – sMove360°
  • MATERIALICA – Lightweight Design for New Mobility
  • Finance
  • eCarLiveDrive – Test Area

For More information:

curamik electronics GmbH
A division of Rogers
Am Stadtwald 2
92676 Eschenbach, Germany
phone: +49964592220

There has been lots of discussion of how manufacturing is becoming a thing of the past in the United States. Well, we were happy to read in this New York Times article “Does America Need Manufacturing” that there is a shift happening in area of advanced battery technology to help make advancements in clean energy technology.   Not only has the government been providing stimulus money to help drive these efforts, but it’s also promising to help job creation in this tough economy.  Clean energy technology is one of our megatrends that we track, and are actively working on developing new products in this area.

The article notes:

In 2009, the U.S. made less than 2 percent of the world’s lithium-ion batteries. By 2015, the Department of Energy projects that, thanks mostly to the government’s recent largess, the United States will have the capacity to produce 40 percent of them. Whichever country figures out how to lead in the production of lithium-ion batteries will be well positioned to capture “a large piece of the world’s future economic prosperity,” says Arun Majumdar, the head of the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The batteries, he stressed, are essential to the future of the global-transportation business and to a variety of clean-energy industries.

This is good news, we hope the trend continues in this direction.  We are doing our part in advancing this technology.  We recently launched our RO-LINX® PowerCircuit™ Busbars that enable the effective distribution of high voltages and large currents in power electronic modules for HEVs and EVs, while minimizing physical and thermal constraints. On another side, we are working to create more effective lithium ion battery pack assemblies and enclosures using silicone and urethane foams to protect this sensitive technology from harsh environments, improve durability and help extend battery life and capacity which is a huge issue when it comes to all types of EVs.

One thing is for certain, this is a rapidly moving technology that is evolving very quickly. Lithium ion batteries are where it’s at today, but we anticipate there are more advanced battery technologies that are in development now that could become a game changer in clean technology. At Rogers, we’ll continue to be committed to staying on top of clean technology trends and will be developing new products to help respond and meet consumer demands for even better HEV and EV solutions.

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