Charging times for electric cars are still a long way from those at the petrol pump. Research has shown that this is one of the most important reasons for consumers not to drive an electric car, and InMotion is going to change this!
InMotion is developing a new fast-charging technology called 'Electric Refueling'. No long queues for a charging station anymore, or the need to buy a cup of coffee, just charge and go.
It is a challenge that should not be underestimated. Technologically, it is a very complex concept. InMotion will demonstrate the possibilities of Electric Refueling by competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Garage 56 with an electric fast-charging endurance race car.
The Revolution is the first race car with our fast charging technology. Right now, charging within 12 minutes is very impressive, but we want this to be even faster. InMotion is eager to really put Electric Refueling into practice; make charging as fast and convenient as refueling. We are doing this by making our current battery pack charge even faster. This first iteration consists of a 57.6 kWh battery pack which we can charge within 12 minutes.
In order to showcase these fast charging times and really test the battery pack to its limits, we have chosen to implement the battery pack in an LMP3 race car. The chassis for this car consists of three main parts. The first in front is the monocoque, which contains the safety cell for the driver. This part is designed and manufactured by Ginetta, a race car manufacturer from the UK. Behind the monocoque lies the battery casing, which is a structural part of the car and is made from a carbon composite structure. This battery casing is designed in cooperation between Ginetta and InMotion, and produced by Ginetta. At last behind the battery pack, a tubular frame is mounted, which connects the front of the car to the rear suspension, and houses the powertrain. This tubular frame is designed by InMotion and manufactured by CP-tech in Germany. The rear suspension itself is based on the original rear suspension of the Ginetta chassis. However, some changes are made in order to optimally deal with the difference in weight balance of our car compared to the original Ginetta chassis.
The battery pack itself consists of 30 battery modules provided by Microvast, each containing 12 cells, yielding a total voltage of 750V. In order to fast-charge these battery modules, InMotion has developed its own cooling system, consisting of 2 separate loops. The first loop extracts heat from the battery modules by flowing a water-like fluid through the battery pack. The second loop consists of a refrigerant system (like an air-conditioning system), which is used to extract heat from the first loop and transfer it to the environment. The advantage of such a refrigerant system is that it allows us to keep the batteries at their optimal temperature, even if the outside temperature is higher. This allows us to charge from 20% to 80% in 12 minutes right now. In order to bring the charging time down even further, we are currently developing our own battery modules.
The powertrain of the vehicle is the part in between the battery pack and the wheels, which converts the electrical energy from the battery pack to torque at the wheels. It consists of 3 main components: two inverters, two motors and a transmission. The inverters are provided by Cascadia Motion, and convert the DC power from the batteries to AC power for the motors. They also control the motors and facilitate regenerative braking; the process of recovering brake energy to the battery pack. We have 2 motors provided by Phi Power, one connected to each rear wheel. The motors together have a peak torque of 1040 Nm and a peak power of 324 kW. Between the motors and the wheels a transmission provided by Hewland Transmissions is placed. This transmission has a gear ratio of 3:1, which means the motor torque of 1040 Nm becomes 3120 Nm at the wheels, allowing us to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in under 4 seconds, or from 0 to 200 km/h in under 10 seconds. Together with the battery pack, this powertrain allows us to achieve a top speed of about 300 km/h at Circuit de la Sarthe.
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