The new trend for wheel transportation of people and materials is the electric solution because it has a low impact on the environment both in terms of pollution of the air, unlike the gaseous emissions of the combustion engine, and in terms of acoustic pollution, due to the low noise electric motor.
One of the main challenges to face when talking about electric motor transportation is the realization of a system of energy distribution able to recharge the vehicles quickly and, more importantly, by doing this effectively by means of many access points in the central energy hub. A huge step in this direction is the announcement of the realization of the world biggest virtual battery in Australia, in collaboration with the TESLA Company, powered by sun renewable energy through photovoltaic technology (see Figure 1):
“The State Government has unveiled a plan to roll out a network of at least 50,000 home solar and battery systems across South Australia, working together to form the world’s largest Virtual Power Plant. Beginning with a trial of 1100 Housing Trust properties, a 5kW solar panel system and 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall 2 battery will be installed at no charge to the household and financed through the sale of electricity. Following the trial, which has now commenced, systems are set to be installed at a further 24,000 Housing Trust properties, and then a similar deal offered to all South Australian households, with a plan for at least 50,000 households to participate over the next four years….”
“South Australia’s virtual power plant” is a project designed in collaboration with Tesla Power Solar to create a system of stock, distribution and utilization of solar energy by means of a system of solar panels and a smart net which is perfectly suited for smart cities’ future developments (Source: gov.au)
Electronics technology plays a fundamental role for this type of project; let’s consider, just as an example, the possibility to have a central energy hub inside a smart city to realize an e-scooter bike sharing system (see Figure 2):
“Some Californian cities are about to start an e-bike-sharing system and it will be the biggest in the country…We’ll have to see what the cities decide and hope the industry gets together to standardize charging for e-bikes. Out of the five e-bikes, we are testing for CleanTechnica currently, two have multi-pin circular connectors, the other three a regular one prong, two contact connector.” (Source: Clean Technica)
The E-bike sharing system has been started in California USA. (Source: Clean Technica)
The e-bike solution is realized by means of integrated circuits that control and drive the electrical engine in a very smart manner (see Figure 3):
“STM32 microcontrollers offer the performance of the industry-standard Arm® Cortex®-M cores running either Vector control or FOC modes, widely used in high-performance drives for air conditioning, home appliances, drones, building and industrial automation, medical and e-bike applications.” (Source: st.com)
The STM32 motor control software development kit for e-bike applications (Source: ST online)
Electronics technology is the key for the success of bike (as well as e-bike) sharing systems. Do you think this system is consistent with the smart city approach?