Electric (EV) and hybrid (HV) vehicles will dominate traffic in urban areas in a few decades. One of the problems that must be solved is to increase the range of operation by increasing electric energy storage capacity and reducing resistive forces. The LEO project aims to demonstrate the state-of-the-art technology for tires for EV and HV, which are optimized for low-rolling resistance and low noise. The project will demonstrate the reduction of energy consumption for EV and HV using optimized tires and road surfaces in urban conditions. Reduction of traffic noise will be documented. A catalogue of best tires and road surfaces for EV and HV will be published. One of the goals of the project is to disseminate knowledge about environmental impact of EV/HV. Reports will be available on the project webpage. Scientific papers in specialized magazines will be published. The results will also be published in popular magazines to disseminate results among EV/HV users. The project will benefit vehicle, tire and road manufacturers as well as municipal authorities. Execution of the project will strengthen cooperation between the Technical University of Gdansk (Poland) and SINTEF (Norway).
Summary of project results
The LEO project addressed a problem of development of tires for electric and hybrid cars as well as road pavements that are optimized for urban use. The goal was to evaluate costs and benefits of using very low-rolling resistance tires on pavements that are designed to lower rolling resistance due to optimized texture and stiffness. At the same time the problem of tire/road noise generated by electric car tires was investigated. The project has shown that low-rolling resistance tires and pavements may reduce energy consumption of electric vehicles by up to 15% and this corresponds with proportional increase of operational range. On the base of project results it is possible to select road pavements that fit urban and suburban conditions in the best way from the point of view of energy consumption and noise reduction. At the moment the project consortium is in negotiation with a leading tire manufacturer on commercial utilization of project results. For business reasons no further details were given.
Summary of bilateral results
The execution of the LEO project strengthened cooperation between TUG (Poland) and SINTEF (Norway). Teams from both countries performed common measurements and analyses. The Norwegian partner obtained information about unique equipment for rolling resistance measurements used by TUG, while the Polish partner gained experience with the Norwegian system for carrying out research projects. Several new ideas were born and hopefully they will result in common, near future projects. The cooperation between the Polish and Norwegian partner made it possible to share valuable experiences and perform measurements based on very different platforms as use of electric vehicles in Norway is very common, while in Poland it is nearly non-existent (but with plans for rapid growth).