Open network for Light Electric Vehicles

Erlangen, (PresseBox) - The nonprofit organization CAN in Automation (CiA) and EnergyBus agreed to jointly develop an open network for light electric vehicles (LEV).This network will meet the specific requirements of the LEV industry.

The bus system, taking the name EnergyBus, will be comprised of the electrical power lines between a variety of electrical devices such as battery, battery charger, and motor. It will also include the CANopen network for controlling these devices and connecting the sensors and the optional board computer.

An application-specific plug-set is intended to be developed for exclusive use with the EnergyBus. As Hannes Neupert (EnergyBus) remarks:

"The goal is to ease development of LEVs for the manufacturers, and increase the competition in the component area since the individual devices of different manufacturers could easily be connected to one another".

After several years of research and some experiments with RS-485 and LIN, the EnergyBus consortium selected CAN communication technology for Light Electric Vehicles. A study conducted by C&S group headed by Prof.

Dr. Wolfhard Lawrenz, which extensively analyzed the requirements of the LEV industry, found that only the internationally standardized CAN (ISO 11898-1/2) is capable to fulfill the requirements. "CAN is the dominant bus system in several industries, mainly in passenger cars," said Holger Zeltwanger (CiA). "About 500 Million CAN controllers have been sold in 2006."

In 2006, the LEV market reached around 20 million units worldwide; these units were mainly sold in China. The sales quantities in Europe are relatively low with around 200,000 units — notwithstanding the fact that the retail value and the products in Europe are much higher as well as the customer expectations on functions, reliability, and product life.

The EnergyBus organization believes that the market for LEVs in Europe has the potential to grow quickly, up to several million units sold per year, if further standardization is implemented. Such standardization would allow for a variety of manufacturers to easily fulfill all customer requirements.

The LEV industry, including its suppliers, are invited to participate in CiA's and EnergyBus's jointly organized workshop in Nuremberg, Germany, on Nov. 8, 2007. The workshop, in discussion format, will focus on the requirements of the participating parties and present the technical options to fulfill them.

Registrations may be sent by email to: headquarters@can-cia.org or, hannes.neupert@extraenergy.org.

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