COBRA (CObalt-free Batteries for FutuRe Automotive Applications)

Road transport is the greatest source of CO2 emissions, contributing to 27% of the EU’s total value, with vehicles accounting for 45% of said impact. It is the only major sector where greenhouse gas emissions are still rising. To counteract this, electromobility has been recognised as one of the main solutions to decarbonise transport. A battery-electric vehicle can produce 50% less CO2 emissions over its lifetime than an average EU oil or diesel vehicle today.
COBRA (CObalt-free Batteries for FutuRe Automotive Applications) is a collaborative research and innovation project on next-generation batteries, co-funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. The project launched in January 2020 and will run until January 2024. COBRA aims to develop a novel Cobalt-free Lithium-ion battery technology that overcomes many of the current shortcomings faced by Electrical Vehicle (EV) batteries via the enhancement of each component in the battery system in a holistic manner. COBRA will use battery chemistry consisting of an LNMO cathode in combination with a composite anode based on nanometre silicon and graphite as active particles. The project will result in a unique battery system that merges several sought after features, including superior energy density, low cost, increased cycles and reduced critical materials. The proposed Li-ion battery technology will be demonstrated at TRL6 (battery pack) and validated on an automotive EV testbed. The involvement of several leading organisations for battery manufacturing ensures easy adaptation to production lines and scale-up to contribute to a higher market adoption while helping to strengthen Europe’s position in the field.

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Checking and maintaining the constantly regrowing vegetation along the 34,000 km long Deutsche Bahn (DB) rail network is a time-consuming and challenging task. In order to comply with the prescribed road safety obligation, the vegetation along the entire route network must be inspected, documented and evaluated by specialist personnel at least once a year. At the same time, rail traffic should not be disturbed during this inspection work.

Project Objective:

In the project, the scientific-technical fundamentals of a future fully automated drone-based system for digitalized vegetation control and registration of damage after severe weather events along the rail network of Deutsche Bahn are being developed. The goal is, on the one hand, the conceptual design and investigation of the technologies and operational processes required for this. On the other hand, a functional demonstrator will be developed and tested on a selected section of track.

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MARBEL – Manufacturing and assembly of Modular and Reusable EV Battery for environment-friendly and lightweight mobility

The MARBEL project develops an innovative and competitive lightweight battery with increased energy density and shorter recharging times with the objective to accelerate the mass market take-up of electric vehicles.

The project innovation is based on the following main pillars:

  • Advanced battery packaging using a Design for Assembly (DfA) and Disassembly (DfD) methodology.
  • Lightweight and sustainable Battery Packaging.
  • Solutions and processes for the sustainable dismantling and 2nd life
  • Flexible advanced battery management systems.
  • Ultra-Fast Charging strategies and enhanced thermal management
  • Procedures for characterisation and validation of future performance and safety

Eurecat coordinates and participates in the project through its Waste, Energy and Environmental Impact (WEEI) Unit, which is the technical coordinator of the project and supervises the battery pack requirements and guidelines in terms of safety, functionality 2nd life, circular economy, recycling and eco-design. Moreover, the WEEI Unit provides electrochemical and thermal models for battery management systems implementation (together with the Water, Air and Soil (WAS) Unit of Eurecat), an electrical and safety evaluation of the battery, support on dismantling and reassembly, the design of new performance and safety test procedures and the Life-cycle assessment of the project processes and products.

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Progress on reducing the EU’s road deaths has stalled in recent years. There was a 2% decrease in 2019 from 2018, according to EU road safety statistics. While the underlying trend remains downward, progress has slowed in most countries since 2013 and the EU target of halving the number of road deaths by 2030 (relative to the 2010 baseline) will not be met. Connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) could significantly reduce serious injuries and fatalities in road accidents. Over 90% of road accidents are related to human errors. That’s why we need robust and holistic solutions that ensure the effective integration of safety measures targeting all road users.

SAFE-UP will focus on delivering the promised potential of new mobility to keep all road users safe - drivers, vehicle occupants, and vulnerable road users including pedestrians, cyclists and users of two-wheelers.

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SAFIR Cluster 1: Simulation-based test systems for the pre-crash phase

Impulse Project 1: Mixed reality experimental environment for safety-critical functions in highly automated driving

Automated driving is a key technology of the mobility revolution. The introduction of highly or fully automated vehicle functions will significantly change the interaction between driver, vehicle and driving environment. However, the technical complexity and in particular the functional safety of these vehicles cannot be adequately captured and verified with classic endurance tests, as they have been carried out in the development phase to date. The impulse project starts at this point and aims to create a modern test environment for automated vehicles in urban traffic by means of a mix of simulation-based methods and real tests. A further problem of classical endurance tests arises from the fact that, especially in mixed traffic, different weather conditions, mental states of all traffic participants as well as sensor aging and failures have to be examined in a reproducible setting.The central research question of IP 1 is how traffic safety in urban areas will be changed by highly or fully automated driving. The aim of the project is the automatic generation of test cases and, based on this, the determination and evaluation of future traffic scenarios and their effects on traffic safety. The implementation of a continuous so-called "mixed reality test environment" will create a basis for valid and reproducible validation and validation of the high complexity of situations in urban areas with variable reality reference. For this purpose, the proportion between virtual and real test can be varied in several discrete steps in the four dimensions, driver models, sensor technology, environmental properties and vehicle characteristics of the test setup. With the resulting configurations, all test cases occurring in reality should be generated, evaluated with regard to their criticality and HAF/VAF functions should finally be secured in a reproducible manner.

Explanation Video 1: A key component in the introduction of automated driving is to achieve a high level of acceptance and trust in the technology among users. In driving simulation studies, corresponding parameters are collected and the effect of assisting systems (e.g., system transparency through augmentation) is investigated.

Publication: Philipp Wintersberger , Frederica Janotta , Jakob Peintner , Andreas Löcken und Andreas Riener. 2021. Evaluating feedback requirements for trust calibration in automated vehicles, it-Information Technology. De Gruyter Oldenbourg, Online 16 January 2021, DOI:

Explanation video 2: Simulation can never reflect reality, e.g. due to the lack of actual danger. Therefore, in comparative studies, laboratory tests are replicated with instrumented (automated) vehicles, including on the CARISSMA outdoor test track, the differences are analyzed and, in turn, conclusions are drawn for the simulation. The aim is to obtain results in simulations that are as close to reality as possible.

Publication: Anna-Katharina Frison, Philipp Wintersberger, Clemens Schartmüller, and Andreas Riener. 2019. The real T(h)OR: evaluation of emergency take-over on a test track. In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications: Adjunct Proceedings (AutomotiveUI '19). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 478–482. DOI:

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Safe Energy Storages Bavaria SENSE BAY - Networking of science and industry

The project SENSE BAY - Safe Energy Storage Bavaria is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (EFRE). Project duration: 01.03.2018 - 28.02.2022, Project volume: 1.122.805 €.

Powerful and safe electrochemical energy storage systems play a key role in the energy revolution and electromobility. In order to promote especially small and medium-sized companies in this dynamic market, the project "SENSE BAY - Safe Electric Energy Storage Systems Bavaria" supports the establishment of a leading bavarian position in research and technological development in the field of electrochemical energy storages.

An adaptation of THI's test and battery measurement technology and an increase in technology transfer make it possible to establish a competence region for electrochemical energy storages in a central location in Bavaria. Thanks to a focused networking of actors in the subject area and the open, professional exchange of science and industry, innovative business models and services in the field of the development of safe energy storages are generated. Examples are the optimization of test procedures in the development phase or the realization of reliable security concepts.

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Contact COBRA

Research Professor Battery Systems, Head of SAFIR-Cluster 4
Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Schweiger
Phone: +49 841 9348-4500
Room: H026

COBRA Battery Lab

Contact FreeRail

Prof. Dr. Andreas Festag
Phone: +49 841 9348-2255
Room: B102

Video Project FreeRail

Contact MARBEL

Research Professor Battery Systems, Head of SAFIR-Cluster 4
Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Schweiger
Phone: +49 841 9348-4500
Room: H026

Project MARBEL

Contact SAFE-UP

Programme director and Academic advisor "Electrical Engineering for Mobile Systems" (Master)
Prof. Dr. Christian Birkner
Phone: +49 841 9348-3404
Room: A112

SAFE-UP: Number of traffic fatalities

Contact SAFIR

Programme director User Experience Design (Bachelor), Research professor for human-machine interaction, virtual reality, driver physiology and driver ergonomics
Prof. Dr. techn. Priv.-Doz. Andreas Riener
Phone: +49 841 9348-2833
Room: B210

Info Video 1 - SAFIR IP1

Info Video 2 - SAFIR IP1

SAFIR Simulation Lab


Research Professor Battery Systems, Head of SAFIR-Cluster 4
Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Schweiger
Phone: +49 841 9348-4500
Room: H026