In a world context where more and more vehicles are on the roads, eco-driving makes perfect sense. Every liter of fuel saved, either by the design of the vehicle, or by appropriate driving habits, will reduce polluting and CO2 emissions and will prolong by as much the life of fossil fuels.
Eco-Meter Connect: supports eco-driving, encourage the development of a society that is more ecologically aware
Billions of tons of emissions could be saved by the global automobile industry by monitoring polluting and GHG emissions from ICE vehicles, by monitoring the energy consumption patterns of hybrids and electric vehicles and through improving driving habits. Innovative solutions in these areas could be leveraged across various sectors of society to reinforce a greener road transport sector.
Reducing emissions from the road transport sector: an integrated approach
Automobile manufacturers are struggling today to reduce the average CO2 emissions of new cars in Europe from 159 gm/km to 95 gm/kg in 2020, to meet the European Commission’s regulations. Not only, is this extremely challenging technologically, but also the resulting costs per car are likely to add up to 1,900 euro– the equivalent of 130 to 150 euro per metric ton of CO2 abated. This is almost 300-400 % higher than the CO2 abatement costs in other industrial sectors. It is generally acknowledged that 75% of the emissions are contributed during the use phase of the vehicle. The industry currently ignores the fact that an old fleet produces 20-30% more emissions than a fleet of new vehicles.
Several constraints are currently hindering the growth of hybrids and electric vehicles, which would otherwise help the industry achieve such targets. An enhanced focus on energy profiling and battery optimization will drive the future of this industry. An integrated approach addressing regulations, technological improvements and conscious driving would help achieve these goals.
The Eco-Meter Connect proposition
Wipro Technologies has developed a solution that helps various stakeholders involved in emission reduction efforts, with an innovative and inexpensive way of tackling the emission reductions, across all the types of cars: ICE, hybrids and electric vehicles. A greenhouse gas (GHG) sensor placed in the exhaust pipe of an ICE/hybrid car could measure instantaneous data related to the emissions and the information could be integrated, with other eco-driving parameters captured from the vehicle, and clearly displayed to the driver as feedback about driving habits. In electric mode for hybrids or electric vehicles, the battery State of Charge (SOC) and State of Health (SOH) could be captured and displayed along with the driving pattern on the Instrument Cluster. All these elements would guide the driver to improve his driving, with a reference provided by the Eco-Index. This would not only help improve fuel efficiency and optimize the energy consumption from batteries, this would also be valuable data for various stakeholders to reinforce their commitment to emission reductions. This information could then be transmitted through a telematics portal to a server, which could provide driving input to owners, consumers and fleet users, emission trading opportunities to the OEMs, voluntary-based business opportunities for insurance companies, automotive dealerships and service stations. They could also be used for the implementation of regulations by various governmental agencies. The diagram below explains the concept schematically.
Measuring emissions, energy consumption and the conscious improvement of driving behavior
With a proposed investment of billions of dollars in the carbon reduction and trading business in the next 5-10 years, Wipro Technologies proposes to use a systematic method for emission data capture, transmission and storage to be used by various stakeholders for further deriving business opportunities. The use of a GHG sensor eliminates all data irregularity issues, which would otherwise be associated with an estimation based on the fuel consumption. Similarly, in the case of a battery-driven vehicle, a standard innovatively designed Battery Management System (BMS) ensures the optimum use of the lithium-ion battery pack. While the emissions in ICE cars and energy control in electric cars are monitored with the help of the GHG sensor and the BMS, the final responsibility rests with the driver to improve his driving habits. To improve the pattern of driving, an Eco-Index has been derived, based on factors like GHG emissions, aggressive acceleration, sharp braking, speeding, optimal tire pressure, engine idling, use of air-conditioner and air drag are continuously monitored and displayed as a part of the instrument cluster. Along with the indicators on emissions and battery health, a unique, easy-to-comprehend color coded image of the globe indicates when a person is driving in eco-mode, and when not. This image is accompanied by information indicating where the driver is going wrong, by providing input relative to his instantaneous drive data, and a trail of information from the start of the trip.
Battery Management System
With increased focus on electric and hybrid electric vehicles, considerable capital costs are incurred for battery management systems. Extending battery life with new technologies has become the prime focus. Vehicles are powered by different configurations and combinations like motors and batteries with/without internal combustion engines; this has resulted in a paradigm shift in the way we look to improving engine efficiency. Now improved efficiency of the vehicle’s electrical load and optimized utilization of battery energy in the vehicle will play a significant role in the future.
Solutions on auto-learn driving profile based on the traffic situation and maintaining the energy in the battery system to fulfill the expected demand can significantly reduce harsh usage on battery cells. Some of the enabling services include remote monitoring of battery and energy systems, vehicle smart grid technology (to assist driver in extending the range) and smart metering and billing eco system. Solutions are designed keeping in mind the scalable and modular architecture requirements and are further adaptable to different market segments.
A greener transport sector: extending benefits to the whole of society
The information thus captured could be used to serve business purposes across various stakeholders of society, which would in-turn reinforce a greener road transportation sector. The manufacturers could effectively use this information to trade emission credit certificates, capturing the actual information from real-time running of the cars. The trip details about the various driving parameters could be analytically evaluated and explained as feedback to the consumer, who would be interested in improvements to save dollars not only by improving fuel efficiency, but probably also from personal carbon trading. Insurance companies could offer "Greensurance", a green insurance benefit to drivers who adhere to the principles of eco-driving, which could be an advanced version of "pay-as-you-drive" insurance schemes. Fleet owners, could evaluate the fuel consumption and driving habits of their drivers, to improve the overall profitability. They might also be interested in trading with emission certificates, based on the information gathered for the company.
Automotive dealers and various service centers could use this highly useful information to set used car prices, arrive at extended warranty costs and AMCs. All these business cases would be based on the premise of voluntary participation by the owner. However, governments and other regulatory authorities could plan to use such data to substantiate decision making on policy matters, without infringing the privacy of an individual. Information related to the percentage of cars beyond a certain emission value, emission contouring of a city could be extremely interesting propositions. All this would result in one final goal, of helping to reduce the emissions and controlling energy consumption across the global road transport industry.