Volkswagen and AEM (Anhaltische Elektromotorenwerk Dessau GmbH) together with researchers from the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg have begun a new three-year project on EVs.

Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept

Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept

The first goal is to improve range by enhancing peak charge/discharge capability using combined energy storage with batteries and ultra capacitors.

That would enable the EV to accept higher power regenerative braking on one hand, and on the other reduce the power demand for batteries, which should positively affect their longevity, as well as limit capacity fade.

We have long felt that the use of capacitors was the next logical step in EV evolution for performance enhancement...its seems VW feels the same way.

Having on-board ultra capacitors could also lead to use higher-energy (lower-power) battery cells.

"The researchers are thus exploring a configuration in which constant base-load power comes of the the main battery pack, while peak consumption during acceleration comes from the intermediate store, replenished by regenerative braking."

Second topic is electromagnetic compatibility of the vehicle systems. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ralf Vick said:

"Due to the interference of the individual components in the electric vehicle, it could happen that when accelerating, the car radio breaks down or security-related technology such as the ABS is affected. We have, with the largest EMC anechoic chamber on German university campus, the expertise accurately to measure, analyze and then minimize the mutual influence and interference during operation or even eliminate it."

Cost of the project is estimated at €2 million.  Seems like a bargain if even the smallest advancement is made.

source: Green Car Congress