BEIJING – Thanks to some important technological breakthroughs, China has developed its own electric vehicle engines after more than a decade of research, according to a report in Economy News citing a scientist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
“Some of the newly-developed motors with digital control systems have already been used in electric vehicles produced by major Chinese automakers,” said Wen Xuhui, top researcher of the electric vehicle project of CAS Institute of Electrical Engineering. Now China has intellectual property rights for both asynchronous drive motors and permanent magnet synchronous motors for electric vehicles.
The current motor systems are principally for use in buses for the time being. A few electric buses have been in trial operation on Beijing’s No. 121 bus-line for two years since May 2005. More of the highly efficient electric buses driven by alternating current motors will hit the road in the capital before the upcoming 2008 Olympics.
Earlier, sources indicated that Chinese engineers have developed a type of lithium battery that allows a car to operate for 300 kilometers and sustain a top speed of 120 kilometers an hour. A specially designed battery based on new nano materials is engineered to last over 10 years and can be fully recharged within 10 minutes.
“Though we have solved problems with batteries, motors, and electric control systems in our research, the electric cars have still more demanding motor requirements,” Wen explained. So far the Chinese scientists have drafted two sets of state technological standards for domestic engine systems.
Research on cars that run purely on electricity is of strategic importance in the development of China’s home grown vehicles. Scaling up production of environment-friendly hybrid vehicles, including fuel-cell cars, hybrid-electric cars and purely electric cars as well, is a key task in the 11th Five-Year Plan, 2006-2010.
China is in fact selling low-speed electric vehicles to the United States. To reduce the gap between China’s auto industry and those of advanced countries, CAS has been boosting China’s efforts in both R&D and industrialization of vehicles using alternative fuels or new forms of energy.