Press Release

AVL and Spark EV Technology Develop Intelligent Energy Management System for Fuel Cell Trucks

AI for optimised energy management of fuel cell commercial vehicles

Fuel Cell Demo Truck

AVL and British start-up, Spark EV Technology, want to jointly predict whether and how fuel cell vehicles will get from A to B in a particularly energy-efficient and cost-effective manner - depending on route profile, driving behaviour or even air resistance. To do this, the partners will use simulations and machine learning to determine the exact energy requirements for a specific route online and show how a journey can be planned and carried out in an energy-optimised way.

Graz, Austria, December, 2023: Hydrogen will play a significant role in the road to  sustainable mobility. Commercial vehicles in particular, will benefit due to their high- performance requirements. To further strengthen confidence in fuel cell technology, AVL and Spark EV Technology have developed an intelligent energy management system for commercial vehicles. Leveraging patented control algorithms and innovative software for predicting energy requirements, routes can be planned in advance via a digital map provider, making it energy and cost-efficient. To achieve this, the partners will simulate a journey with a virtual lorry, a digital twin. This will show how the energy requirement per kilometre is determined by route characteristics, altitude profile and driving behaviour. Furthermore, parameters such as load or traffic volume are also taken into account. Thanks to Spark EV Technology’s machine learning driven energy prediction software, the predictions are becoming increasingly accurate. As a result, the operation of the fuel cell can be optimised, and energy consumption can be reduced. 

Optimised consumption, sustainable operation and less wear and tear 

The objective of the collaboration is to enable fleets to operate efficiently and in an environmentally way. To achieve this, the technology suggests when it is advisable to draw energy from the battery in order to reduce the load on the fuel cell. If the power requirement is high or the battery charge level is too low, the fuel cell is activated. With this intelligent operating strategy, hydrogen consumption can be reduced, while the size of the battery can be adapted and minimised. Gentle operation extends the service life of the cost-intensive components and reduces maintenance costs. Fleet operators can use the technology in the preliminary planning of their drive systems. It shows how profitable the inclusion of fuel cell lorries can be for their fleet.

Justin Ott, CEO Spark EV Technology: "Hydrogen will play a critical role in the energy mix for commercial vehicles. Our plan is to provide a solution that optimises FCEV performance and removes range and refuelling anxiety by providing confidence in highly accurate, up-to-date range availability and optimising hydrogen fuel consumption to enable more fleets to make the switch faster and provide manufacturers with a realistic FCEV option.”

Dominik Brunner, Lead Engineer Integration & Validation AVL: "By choosing the right energy source at the right point of the journey, the solution reduces energy consumption and is therefore an important step towards sustainable and more cost-effective transport. We look forward to seeing what comes out of the partnership with Spark EV Technology and exploring how we can help more manufacturers make the transition to zero-emission 

With more than 12,200 employees, AVL is one of the world's leading mobility technology companies for development, simulation, and testing in the automotive industry and in other sectors such as rail, marine, and energy. Based on extensive in-house research activities, AVL delivers concepts, technology solutions, methodologies, and development tools for a greener, safer, and better world of mobility and beyond.

AVL supports international partners and customers in their sustainable and digital transformation. The focus lies on the areas of electrification, software, AI and automation. In addition, AVL supports companies in energy-intensive sectors on their way to a greener and more efficient energy generation and supply.

Innovation is AVL's passion. Together with an international network of experts at more than 90 locations and 45 Tech and Engineering Centers worldwide, AVL is driving the future of mobility. In 2023, the company generated a turnover of 2.05 billion Euros, of which 10 % are invested in R&D activities.

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Founded on a mission to accelerate zero emission vehicle adoption, Spark EV Technology believes that accurate journey predictions can remove anxieties around range and charging time which enhance vehicle trust and faster zero emission vehicle adoption. Similarly, by better predicting energy requirements, zero emission vehicles can be optimised, improving the business case for transition. By supplying these systems our customers, end users and our environment all benefit. 

Spark EV Technology’s team is made up of experts in automotive systems, artificial intelligence, engineering, and clean technology, with a wealth of experience in developing and commercialising technology across industries. The company has been recognised for the continued research and development of its industry-leading range prediction and energy optimisation technology, being presented with the 2021 award for Design and Innovation from the Northern Automotive Alliance. 

Spark EV Technology’s solution is a patented energy prediction engine which continues to adapt through machine learning to changes in vehicle usage, the environment in which it is deployed, who is driving it, and the ageing of the vehicle. This enables improved user experience and vehicle performance, with better asset utilisation for zero emission vehicles (ZEV).

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