Three projects of Fontys are receiving large, four-year grants within the RAAK-PRO regime of SIA. It is about the projects Progress with Electric Transport in Cities, Printing makes Sense and e-Exercise lower back pain. Fontys submitted six full applications, nationwide there were 64. 27 applications were honoured.

In a short series we highlight the three successful applications. Today: Progress with Electric Transport in Cities (VETIS)

Read about all the honoured Fontys-projects here.

 

In the transition to clean and sustainable mobility, a lot of attention goes out to electric buses and city distribution vehicles in the Netherlands. Many companies participate in that transition. They develop electrical vehicles, use them as part of their fleet, or provide services to improve that use. Thereby they encounter problems, such as a driving range that is usually smaller than those of comparable conventional vehicles, and usually decreases over time due to aging of the batteries.

But the extent to which that happens is unknown. “We can’t predict this yet”, says lecturer dr. Rik Baert of Fontys University Automotive. “What we do know is that carriers now take safety measures based on a worst case scenario.  In other words: a greater safety margin than necessary is being observed, out of fear of ending up with a half battery halfway somewhere.”

The project Progress with Electric Transport in Cities, VETIS, is going to monitor a fleet of buses and city distribution vehicles, not in a laboratory but in practice. Electrical buses in Eindhoven, electrical trucks in Rotterdam. Data are being gathered, processed and analysed and expanded with new predictive data analysis techniques. The results of the research should make clear how driving range and energy consumption of both test fleets change with the operating conditions. The results of this project will become available to all interested Dutch companies and research institutions afterwards. Baert is project manager of VETIS.

 

“A greater safety margin than necessary is being observed, out of fear of ending up with a half battery halfway somewhere.”Rik Baert, Fontys Automotive

VETIS has a duration of 4 years and employees of the studies Automotive, Engineering and ICT (Big Data) will participate for Fontys. But there is also help from outside: Breytner and Hermes as carriers in Rotterdam and Eindhoven and in addition also TU/e, TNO, VDL, ViriCiti, Siemens and Route42. “The biggest effort in this project comes from us, but we really need those partners. Thanks to the cooperation we can later find out exactly which decisions lead to which energy consumption. And that under various circumstances, because you can imagine that the use under bright sunshine is different than with storm or frost.”

Eventually it should also become clear what’s more handy: a large battery that you only charge at night for hours, or a small one that goes on the quick charger more often. Or maybe something in between. That is important information for the carriers as well as for the end user and that is why SIA is willing to spend € 700.000,- on it; a firm impulse for a project that is going to cost more than a million all together.

RAAK-PRO focuses on strengthening the practice-oriented research at universities, in cooperation with the professional practice, and on intensifying the relations with other knowledge institutions.

The available budget for this call was € 9,8 million and a maximum of € 700.000,- could be requested per RAAK-PRO project. SIA has decided to raise the budget of the call to €17,5 million in response to the quantity of high-quality applications, which made is possible for 25 research proposals to be honoured.

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About the author

Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.