New Partner Electric: 100 % Partner, 100 % electric
With this new 100 % electric version, Peugeot takes another step in offering business users responsible mobility suitable for all kinds of use and improved driving experience.The new Partner Electric combines the features which have already made the Partner a great commercial success - modern and attractive style, modularity and practicality, with the best load volume in the segment – now with the driving experience of an electric drive train.The Partner Electric is aimed at all business users wishing to reduce their environmental footprint and the expense of their fuel bill. Presented for the first time in its definitive version at the Brussels Motor Show in January, the new Partner Electric goes on sale during the second quarter of 2013.
All of the modularity and loading capacity features which have made the Partner such a great success are present in the Partner Electric.
Available in two body lengths ; L1: 4.38 m and L2: 4.63 m, the Partner Electric offers the largest loading volume of the small electric vans.
The load volume is up to 3.3 m3 on the L1 with a load length of 1.80 m and 3.7 m3 on the L2 with a load length of 2.05 m, for a payload of up to 695 kg - the best in its category.
With its Multi-flex bench seat, the Partner Electric retains the exclusive features of modularity which have characterised the Partner since its launch:
This equipment, unique in the small van segment, can accommodate 3 people at the front. This practical aspect is greatly appreciated by business users who can transport their employees and equipment from one work site to another with fewer journeys.
The retractable side passenger seat provides both a flat floor and an additional 400l of load volume. This increases the loading capacity to 3.7 m3 on the L1 with a load length of 3 m and to 4.1 m3 on the L2 with a load length of 3.25 m.
The side seat cushion also folds on the seat back to allow the transportation of high loads.
The folding seat back of the central seat offers a mobile office function due to its table design feature.
Its range of 105 miles (170 km) on the standard European cycle (NEDC) positions the Partner Electric as the benchmark in the segment. The desire to offer a better range guided the work of the project team throughout the Partner Electric design phase.
This result has been obtained in particular by:
- dual energy recovery; to the conventional energy recovery on deceleration - on releasing the accelerator pedal it captures the energy from deceleration or during braking to supplement the energy reserves which allows an increase in range of up to 10% depending on the type of route,
- a record on-board electrical capacity of 22.5 kWh combined with efficient energy management,
- improved aerodynamics, due to the addition of a closed grille design, aero devices under the body and special wheel trims,
- a maximum speed limited to 68 mph (110 km/h), sufficient for professional use.
This, combined with an innovative group of eco-driving systems which allow the driver to limit his energy consumption, provides in real use a range compatible with the requirements of small van customers 70 % of whom make daily journeys of less than 60 miles (100 km).
The homologated range of 105 miles (170 km) is achievable, for example in free-flowing traffic in town without air conditioning or heating.
The energy consumption and therefore the range, as for an internal combustion engine vehicle, depend mainly on the style of driving and the profile of the route, but many other factors also have an effect, be it numerous aspects or the use of certain electrical equipment.
An efficient electric heating and air conditioning system
The two main energy consuming electrical systems are the heating and air conditioning.
To limit their effect the Partner Electric offers an innovative heating and air conditioning system.
100 % electric, it directly heats or cools the air blown into the passenger compartment so allowing the required temperature to be reached more quickly than with a conventional system.
To conserve the vehicle's energy still further, the ‘ECO’ mode instantly switches off the heating or air conditioning while maintaining the passenger compartment ventilation so permitting an immediate increase in the range. It can be activated by pressing a button on the air conditioning and heating control panel. The potential increase in range is displayed on the central screen before the ‘ECO’ mode is activated.
The Partner Electric also offers a solid partition behind the seats as an option*. In addition to its load retaining safety features, it permits a faster increase in the temperature of the passenger compartment which is then maintained for longer after the air conditioning or heating is switched off. (*available later in the year)
Charging for all uses
To make it suitable for all types of daily use, the Partner Electric offers two types of battery charging:
Fast charging is carried out at a special charging station supplied with 3-phase 380 V and takes only approximately 20 minutes to reach 50 % of the capacity of the battery or approximately 30 minutes for 80 %.
The special cable for fast charging, secured to the station, is connected in the charging flap located on the rear left wing of the vehicle.
Normal charging is carried out using the single-phase 230 V Mains. Connection is in the normal charging flap located on the front right wing of the vehicle and in a power socket:
- Either a conventional socket or a safety socket thanks to the "intelligent" cable which identifies the type of socket and automatically adapts the charging current (up to 14 A depending on the socket and the country). With 14 A a charge to 100 % takes approximately 8hrs 30 mins.
- Or a domestic wall station or highway type station with 16A via a cable supplied as an option. A charge to 100 % takes approximately 7 hrs 30 mins.
Unbeatable running costs
With running costs of between €0.9 and €2 (average for Europe) per 60 miles (100 km), depending on the price per kWh in the country, the Partner Electric's fuel bill is unbeatable for business users, whatever the charging mode used. Maintenance costs are also lower than for an internal combustion engine vehicle as there are no oil changes, fewer parts requiring regular servicing and the brakes are used less heavily thanks to the energy recovery on deceleration.
Services that make life simpler
The Partner Electric will offer a range of services aimed at fulfilling a diverse range of customer requirements and expectations. These services will include in particular:
- the possibility in France and in Germany of hiring the battery separately from the vehicle,
- the battery and drive train warranty over 5 years or 30,000 miles (50 000 km),
- appropriate assistance,
- facilitated installation of charging infrastructures thanks to partnership agreements signed with service providers in different European countries.
An entirely new driving experience
Dynamic performance and driving pleasure
The Partner Electric has an electric motor offering dynamic performance of the highest level with power of 49 kW (67 hp) and torque of 200 Nm available instantly from 0 to 1500 rpm. Combined with a constant single speed gear reduction unit, the result is a swift and smooth acceleration as soon as the vehicle moves off, without having to change gear.
As soon as you set off, the quietness of the drive train immerses the driver in the new experience of peaceful driving. Due to the silence, on board journeys are less tiring and more sociable, permitting extremely easy conversation among all the occupants.
A power gauge on the instrument panel indicates the current level of consumption or energy recovery (on releasing the accelerator or on braking) and an auxiliary consumption gauge indicates the level of consumption of the heating or air conditioning. You soon get caught up in the game of optimum recovery of energy on deceleration, so adopting a fluid and economical style of driving.
Although it favours peaceful driving, the Partner Electric is not lacking in character and vivacity. As soon as you feel the need, a sharp press on the accelerator pedal releases the torque of the motor which is available instantly for rapid and linear acceleration.
The ‘Hill Assist’ function, standard with ESP, combined with the high torque of the motor, contributes to the Partner Electric's ability to move off on a very steep gradient (up to 25 %). The ‘creeping’ function on releasing the brake pedal, similar to that of an automatic gearbox, facilitates manoeuvres at low speed. The precise management of the energy recovery to obtain optimum progressiveness of the deceleration, both on releasing the accelerator pedal and on braking, provides remarkable driving comfort.
The driver finds a conventional driving position with controls comparable to those of an internal combustion engine vehicle: ignition key, handbrake, four-position gear selector and two pedals – just like an automatic transmission vehicle - heating and air conditioning controls...
Turning the ignition key to the first notch supplies the electrical equipment, turn it to the second notch and the drive train is operational. The lighting of a green indicator lamp on the instrument panel, accompanied by a beep breaking the silence, indicates that the vehicle is ready to depart.
The main differences compared to an internal combustion engine vehicle are found on the instrument panel which groups together:
- the power gauge,
- the battery charge level indicator,
- the air conditioning or heating consumption gauge,
- the trip computer which indicates the usual information with consumption in kWh.
As on the e-HDi versions of the Partner with the piloted manual gearbox, the absence of the gear lever - replaced by a dial perfectly integrated on the dashboard - improves the occupant space in the front seats, benefitting the central passenger in particular.
Control of the range with complete peace of mind
The Partner Electric combines a group of systems, unheard of in the segment, which assists the driver in adopting an economical style of driving allowing close control of energy consumption and so optimising the range of the vehicle, with complete peace of mind and safety.
Eco-driving on board the new Partner Electric is very intuitive:
The Power Gauge, clearly visible on the left-hand side of the instrument panel, favours economical driving by indicating the current level of consumption or energy recovery on deceleration or braking, by means of a needle passing over coloured zones:
- green zone: driving style minimising energy consumption.
- white zone: driving style with poor energy economy,
- blue zone "charge": energy recovery.
The innovative auxiliary consumption gauge indicates the energy consumption of the heating or air conditioning by means of a needle passing over coloured zones. The green zone indicates the lowest auxiliary consumption level and the red zone the highest consumption level.
The innovative display of the additional range possible using the "ECO" mode of the heating / air conditioning system on the central screen which also displays the total range remaining, as well as the average consumption in kWh/60 miles (100km) or in miles (km)/kWh.
The energy gauge, located at the top centre of the instrument panel on the left-hand side, indicates the battery charge level. Progressive information is indicated to the driver from 20% energy reserve to assist in managing the end of the range with complete peace of mind and as safely as possible:
- from 20% reserve the gauge warning lamp comes on continuously and the heating power is limited progressively,
- from 10 % reserve a warning lamp comes on and the power supplied is limited progressively. The acceleration required is no longer provided in full and the vehicle advances at a slower speed.
No compromise on safety
The Partner Electric is a benchmark for safety.
The battery components are included in 2 packs ideally positioned under the floor on either side of the rear axle, which spreads the weights, lowers the centre of gravity and so provides the vehicle with good dynamic stability. Stability which is improved further by its standard equipment - in addition to the ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBFD) and the Emergency Braking Assistance (EBA) - the Partner Electric is fitted with electronic stability control (ESP), which is unheard of in the segment.
When the accelerator pedal is released, the kinetic energy from the wheels drives the motor in electricity generator mode and provides a more powerful ‘engine brake’ than that of an internal combustion engine vehicle. So, the effectiveness of the braking is guaranteed by the energy recovery and by the conventional brake circuit.
Protection of the battery in the event of an impact
During the design phase, a strict requirement was imposed regarding the safety and durability of the components of the electric drive train.
The battery packs, positioned in the area most resistant to front impacts, have a rigid structure obtained using glass fibre reinforced polymer. This structure includes steel crossmembers secured to rear floor strengthening components, which protect the battery packs in the event of a side or rear impact and increase the rigidity of the structure of the rear floor.
Each elementary cell of the battery (of which there are 80) is monitored as regards temperature, voltage and current and is enclosed in a stainless steel protector. They are grouped together in modules which are themselves protected and positioned in the structure of the pack. In the event of a collision, a circuit breaker system isolates the battery and the High Voltage circuits.
Safety when charging the battery
Charging from an earthed power socket is by means of a cable with a safety unit which carries out an electronic check of the continuity of the earth line and which therefore can interrupt charging in the event of an anomaly.
The monitoring of the charges, fast or normal, is carried out both by the cell voltage, current and temperature sensors and by the dialogue between the special battery pack ECU and that of the station with the supervisor (the true brain of the vehicle), which interrupts charging in the event of an anomaly.
Charging is only possible when the vehicle is switched off and starting of the vehicle is deactivated to make it impossible to move off with a charging connector still in place.
Technology of the electric drive train
The power train
The electric motor and the single speed gear reduction unit located under the bonnet drive the front wheels. The high performance electric motor of the synchronous type with permanent magnets is particularly compact for a power of 49 kW (67 hp) and a torque of 200 Nm available instantly from 0 to 1500rpm.
It consists of:
- in the centre, a moving rotor with magnets on the periphery directing the poles (north/south) alternately towards the outside:
- on the outside, a fixed stator consisting of coils supplied with three independent phases of current creating the magnetic field which turns the rotor.
It is supplied with 3-phase alternating 300 V by the inverter from the traction battery with direct current at 300 V. The inverter regulates the current, the frequency and the voltage according to the pressing of the accelerator pedal. The progressiveness of the response to the pressing of the pedal has been designed to obtain the best compromise between dynamic performance and energy consumption favouring the range.
The inverter, the motor and the gear reduction unit provide the variations in speed from 0 to 68mph (0 to 110 km/h). A single reduction ratio provides a global ratio of 9.93 in forward and reverse gear.
Reverse gear is obtained by inverting the direction of operation of the motor.
The Partner Electric is fitted with a high energy density latest generation Lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 22.5 kWh. It can store more energy per kilo and per unit of volume.
In addition, this battery does not have any memory effect. It can even be partially charged without the need for regular complete discharges. It consists of 80 cells of 3.75 V (nominal voltage) assembled in 5 modules of 16 elementary cells. Cleverly installed in the form of 2 packs in the underbody of the vehicle on either side of the rear axle (3 modules in the front pack - 2 modules in the rear pack), it preserves the handling of the Partner and the usable dimensions of the load space.
Each module is fitted with 2 CMUs (Cell Monitor Units) which check the temperature, the voltage and the current of each cell. The assembly is completed by a BMU (Battery Management Unit), which manages the general operation of the battery and constantly optimises the energy efficiency which contributes to guaranteeing the best range of the vehicle.
The energy flows
When the vehicle is moving, the inverter transforms the direct 300 V from the battery to alternating 300 V to supply the electric motor. It is this which controls the motor while moving and during the energy recovery phase.
The motor is reversible. On deceleration, it generates an alternating voltage which is transformed by the inverter to direct voltage to charge the traction battery (‘generator’ mode).
During normal charging, the on-board charger transforms the alternating 230 V from the mains to direct 300 V to charge the traction battery.
During fast charging, the charging station directly supplies the direct voltage and current necessary to charge the traction battery. The station includes a charger supplied with 3-phase 380 V. The vehicle's battery is then supplied with a single-phase direct voltage.
Charging is monitored and controlled by the dialogue between the vehicle's supervisor and the station's ECU. It stops automatically at 80 % of full charge. A second charging phase can be started (after the first 80 %), which will be controlled up to 100 % but more slowly to comply with the maximum voltage of each cell of the battery.
The voltage transformer integrated in the charger generates a voltage of 14.7 V, from the 300 V of the traction battery, to charge the 12 V battery supplying the equipment: on-board ECUs, lighting, audio system, steering assistance, vacuum pump, etc. It fulfils the same role as the alternator in internal combustion engine vehicles.
Caroline Damey \ +33 (0)1 40 66 55 61