Your Future EV: Faraday’s Quicker EV, IBM’s Charging Squad

4 months ago by Sebastian Blanco 8

Schematic of EV patent

Faraday Future wants to make your EV quicker

Faraday Future EV acceleration patent

Filed: December 22, 2015; Published: June 22, 2017

Patent says: “Current research and development efforts on improving the acceleration performance of electric vehicles focus on increasing the output power of the electric motors and the batteries. This approach is similar to the one followed by the R&D community of the gasoline cars, in that an electric motor is often seen as a counterpart of an internal combustion engine and a battery is often seen as a counterpart of a fuel system. The specific properties of the electric motor control system and their relationship with the torque output ability of the motor, however, have not been adequately explored. The present disclosure is directed to improving the motor control system of an electric vehicle to provide additional torque output, thereby further improving the acceleration performance of the electric vehicle.”

What this might mean: Gas-powered vehicles have had 100 years to evolve into the powerful beasts they are today. Even so, modern electric vehicles are quickly catching up when it comes to performance and driving style. Most EVs easily beat their ICE counterparts in acceleration tests, but Faraday Future thinks that there might be a way to make battery-powered cars even quicker. Instead of simply throwing in a more powerful motor, what if you could drive the motor with an inverter? Could you improve performance that way? Faraday Future wants to find out.

IBM’s plan to have agents charge your EV

IBM EV charging patent drawing

Filed: December 30, 2015; Published: July 6, 2017

Patent says: “A pro-active mobile refueling service uses a multiple agents and targets solution to assign mobile service agents to re-fuel moving vehicles. A subscription service continually monitors the fuel consumption and fuel reserves of subscribed moving vehicles to predict when a subscribed vehicle will need fuel replenishing.”

What this might mean: The letters “IBM” are not usually the first three that you think of when you think of roadside assistance, but a new patent from Big Blue shows that the computer and electronics giant just might want to get involved with helping cars get back on the road. In this case, IBM is suggesting using the cloud to monitor a fleet of vehicles and to dispatch workers to go and refuel or recharge those vehicles when their gas tank/battery drops below a certain level. While IBM says this service could be used to refuel a gas or diesel vehicle, the real target here is EVs:

The pro-active mobile refueling service is particularly beneficial for electric vehicles which have limited battery power, as compared to internal combustion vehicles which can run hundreds of miles on one tank of petrol. The pro-active mobile refueling service effectively extends the range of electric vehicles, allowing for worry-free long road trips. The cost savings are significant because it eliminates the need to build a network of fixed battery stations as in the current petrol station paradigm. Instead, a fleet of service agents is dispatched to deliver EV batteries or battery charging when needed.

As cool as this all is, we were more impressed with Ford’s self-driving, auto-charging EVs from our last patent round-up.

Proterra’s smart electric bus charging

Proterra electric bus charging

Filed: December 30, 2015; Published: July 6, 2017

Patent says: “A method for controlling the charging of one or more electric vehicles at one or more charging stations in a geographic locality includes determining if the charging event of an electric vehicle of the one or more electric vehicles increases a demand billing rate. The demand billing rate may be a cost per unit of energy in the locality. The method also includes charging the electric vehicle at the charging event such that the demand billing rate is not increased.”

What this might mean: Charging up a lot of big EV batteries is not an insurmountable challenge for electric utilities, but managing a lot of batteries in a lot of buses does require some thinking. That’s where Proterra’s patent comes in. The technology described here figures out the maximum amount of energy that can be fed into a number of EVs plugged into charging stations so that the ┬ádemand billing rate does not increase. With this sort of logic in play, “significant savings may be realized by controlling the charging of the vehicle based on prevailing utility cost,” Proterra says.

Source: USPTO

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8 responses to "Your Future EV: Faraday’s Quicker EV, IBM’s Charging Squad"

  1. Jake Brake says:

    Thanks for posting these type of industry patent articles, they are interreating and real content, not just speculation or the latest fan rendering on the next gen roadster.

    Also, that FF description doesnt make sense. Most motors are driven by an inverter today, thats kinda how they work.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Most motors are driven by an inverter today, thats kinda how they work.”

      Right. It looks like the writer of this article doesn’t understand how EV powertrains work.

      * * * * *

      Quoting from FF’s patent:

      “The specific properties of the electric motor control system and their relationship with the torque output ability of the motor, however, have not been adequately explored.”

      Oh, I rather think that every modern EV manufacturer has “adequately explored” the relationship between the power electronics (including inverter) and motor torque output. In fact, I think it’s a safe bet to say that AC Propulsion** and Tesla Motors/Tesla Inc., as well as other companies, have much more than “adequately” explored that subject!

      **The R&D company which developed the tZero electric race car, which became the prototype for Tesla’s first car, the Roadster.

      1. stimpacker says:

        FF’s patent is rubbish.
        My electric bike has all the components shown. OK, so the motor’s DC, not AC.

        It’s just a general description of every single electric drivetrain today.

        Shameful the crap that companies wanna patent these days. No engineering ethics.

  2. La Frennia di Mamata says:

    Faraday should worry more about actually getting a Car into Production to sell to the Masses at a reasonable price, with a decent style, & outstanding range to beat the competition, instead of wasting time & money worrying about speed.((these cars are fast enough)) You’ll get there faster with More Range than you will with more speed.
    Especially when the other guy run out of juice. lol

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      My guess is that since FF obviously doesn’t have the money to build actual cars, they’ve decided to use some of the rapidly dwindling supply of money they have in trying to become a patent troll. They certainly have a much better chance of making money that way than by putting a car into production!

      From Google:

      patent troll
      noun

      a company that obtains the rights to one or more patents in order to profit by means of licensing or litigation, rather than by producing its own goods or services.

      “patent trolls are quashing the next, nascent wave of tech innovation”

  3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    These days, most patent filings mean very little. Filing patents has become a corporate or legal strategy that most often has nothing to do with what a company winds up actually producing.

    I view patent filings related to EVs in the same way I view those frequent breathless, wide-eyed articles about the latest and greatest claim from a battery startup company or university researcher: Interesting as an intellectual exercise, but very unlikely to ever see production.

  4. Mark C says:

    I just gotta’ know who actually needs a car faster (0-62 mph / 0-100 kph) than a Tesla. Tesla already outruns EVERYTHING from the muscle car era and virtually everything now, many racecars included.

    At some point, the NHTSA will have to intervene and put a cap on acceleration. Too many people not responsible enought to drive a car 0-60 in less than 2.3 seconds.

  5. bogdan says:

    Rubish patent, they might as well patent the wheel…

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