The E-Future project was designed to make the full electric vehicle (FEV) more attractive for future buyers by developing and integrating features that potential customers would find persuasive when considering buying an electric car in the future.

Project objectives

The project was funded by the European Commission and involved collaboration between six companies, each specialists in their own field:

  • TMETC (UK)
  • Intedis (Germany)
  • Hella (Germany)
  • WIVW - Wûrzburg Institute for Traffic Sciences (Germany)
  • INRETS (France)
  • Miljobil Grenland (Norway)
Technical outline

The key technical aspects of the project were based around the development of a new two motor drivetrain to give enhanced control, safety and efficiency. The addition of new driver assistance functionality made the drive and feel of the full EV more acceptable to the potential customer: a 'virtual range extender'.

The project built two EV demonstration vehicles, which included all of the core components on an existing EV platform but added individual wheel motors for greater control. Intensive validation testing was completed to prove the concept validity for safe and efficient operation.

This new vehicle concept had been developed through the project from a clean sheet of paper, creating a new electrical architecture that is scalable, reliable and provides a safe and highly efficient mode of operation. All of these new functions were implemented in a new domain-oriented control unit architecture.

Customer benefits

Recognising the prime project deliverable was to deliver customer focussed benefits that would encourage future purchase of EVs, these had to be clearly targeted at current customer concerns that actively discourage purchase. Four groups of benefits were targeted:

  • Delivered through improvements to the vehicle architecture
  • Battery and energy management, eliminating perceived 'range anxiety'
Driver integration
  • Clearer, more logical human machine interface
  • Stimulate 'driver coaching' by driving style evaluation
  • Driving environment awareness - called the 'vehicle observer'
  • Torque vectoring to enhance vehicle safety performance
  • Enhancing perception
  • 'Green' advanced driver assistance system
  • Vehicle decision unit
Project outcomes

The build of the two EV demonstrators identified means by which customer purchase resistance to EVs can be overcome by the adoption of high tech solutions to many of their concerns. TMETC's involvement in this project, using a fully developed prototype Tata Vista EV as the base car, allowed the construction of an enhanced vehicle that addressed the many customer concerns.

There was successful implementation of a robust functional architecture, creation and implementation of a comprehensive functional safety concept, successful commissioning of the component set selected to support a high safety standard, and the introduction of functions for a reliable and safe operation.

There was also a favourable integration of an energy management system for supporting smart and economical current draw, extension of conventional ACC to a smart and green ACC, and the integration of the driver into the vehicle's decision loop for assisting efficient driving.

The E-Future project has complemented TMETC's EV technology development and knowledge base from the Vista EV and the LCVTP programmes. TMETC is the centre of excellence for EV and HEV technologies for light duty vehicles for Tata Motors.

Key technologies employed by TMETC
  • Vehicle integration
  • Functional safety concept to account for the adaptive driveline
  • Full vehicle chassis modelling and correlation
  • Development of novel driveline using two independently controlled direct drive wheel motors