Content by: Optimal Energy – www.optimalenergy.com
Posted by: Eco-Question Editor
Source: Optimal Energy – www.optimalenergy.com
Photo Credit: © Optimal Energy – www.optimalenergy.com
Video Credit: © Optimal Energy – www.optimalenergy.com
- Jaco van Loggerenberg
Optimal Energy – www.optimalenergy.com
Joule is Africa’s first battery electric engineering masterpiece from Optimal Energy. The silent passenger vehicle is manufactured as a standard five-seater which complies with UN-ECE safety standards offering an optimal, no-compromise, zero emission urban driving experience.
Joule is as beautiful and elegant as it is stylish with a classically timeless appeal set to transform the face of the urban transportation landscape. Developed from the outset as an electric vehicle, Joule delivers optimal design, maximum interior space and a minimal exterior and environmental footprint.
Full-scale production of Joule will begin at the end of 2015, with cars in showrooms by mid-2015. Key design goals for the finished product include a range of 230 kilometers based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) or 300km using the Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule (UDDS), integration with existing charging infrastructure, a genuine freeway cruising capability, seating for five, a 5-star NCAP safety rating and a retail price that will place Joule in a competitive position in the c-segment of the automotive market.
Joule is Born Electric. It is the ultimate city car. The sleek exterior design, styled by legendary designer Keith Helfet, is highly appealing and very practical, particularly in a city environment. Brisk performance, a significant driving range and compact size make navigating through an urban landscape an absolute pleasure. Joule is nimble and functions optimally in the urban terrain, reveling in heavy traffic and small spaces, and with a minimum Euro NCAP rating of 5 stars, it does all of this in absolute style and safety. Joule is a no-compromise car that has been optimized for city use.
A 36 kWh traction battery powers the Joule. The function of the battery is to provide the energy required to power the electric motor of the Joule. In order to fulfill this function, the battery controller manages the energy transfer during charge, discharge and regeneration, a process that involves complex monitoring processes as well as sophisticated communication with other vehicle systems.
The traction battery consists of a number of modules, each module containing lithium-ion cells. These cells are at the forefront of battery technology and safety, and have a high specific energy density. This allows the Joule to achieve the desired range without the mass penalty of older technology batteries.
The battery pack is mounted onto battery trays which slot into the vehicle from below and which can be replaced within few minutes. These trays form an integral part of the structure, and their location serves to ensure a low center of gravity, which reflects in the Joule’s dynamic handling characteristics.
The Joule range is 300 km according to the Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule (UDDS) and 230 km using the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).
Exterior and Seating
With its simple, elegant lines and self-assured stance, Joule displays a timeless appeal, which sets it apart from the competition. Styling does not compromise the aerodynamics of the vehicle, and Joule’s design is inherently aerodynamically efficient. This allows for maximization of the vehicle range, especially important at high speeds. An on-going drag reduction program is in place to improve efficiency. The thermal and reflective properties of the paint and windows are being optimized in order to reduce the energy required to cool and heat the vehicle.
The Joule is designed as a five-seater. The two front seats are equipped with adjustment for height, fore/aft and recline. They are separated by a central console, which provides armrests and storage space. The rear seat is moulded with three individual seat positions. The folding backrest allows luggage volume to be progressively increased when necessary, for maximum versatility. Joule has a luggage volume capacity of up to 700 liters, with seating flexibility similar to an MPV.
Solar Panel and Home Charging
A photovoltaic solar panel mounted on Joule’s roof will be offered as an option. The energy generated by this panel may be used in various ways, internal environmental control being the most efficient. Electricity generated in this manner could also be fed back into the traction battery or used to power ancillaries such as daytime running lamps or entertainment systems.
The charging system has been designed to be intuitive, automatic and safe, allowing Joule to be simply plugged in and left to charge. Normal charging is from a single-phase 230v/16A supply to a charge point located on the Joule.
The ability to integrate with existing charging infrastructures is of paramount importance, research is being done on how best to design a system that can integrate with current (and future) systems. Integration with modern “Smart Grid” electrical networks is being investigated, so as to optimize energy usage and provide Joule users with the most cost-effective charging options.
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