Schaeffler pools electric mobility expertise in new “E-Mobility” business unit
2017-09-21 | Sutton Coldfield
Electrified powertrain architectures are shaping the future of automotive progress, confronting the automotive industry with major challenges. As a preferred technology partner, Schaeffler supports customers from the automotive industry in developing vehicle and powertrain concepts that reduce emissions. Schaeffler is prepared for the forward-thinking field of electric mobility as well, with comprehensive system solutions enabling tailor-made fully electric mobility for tomorrow. In the future, electric powertrain technologies such as electric axles will be managed by the new “E-Mobility” business unit in which Schaeffler is pooling all its products and system solutions for hybrid and fully electric vehicles.
FRANKFURT AM MAIN/ HERZOGENAURACH, September 22, 2017. Electric mobility as a whole – including fully electric driving as well as hybrid solutions – will define mobility of the future. Schaeffler set the course for the age of electrified powertrain architectures as far back as the late 1990s – with hybrid products in the transmission environment.
“Talking about plug-in hybrids or hybrid applications today, it is clear that we are able to fully integrate both the software and the mechanical and mechatronics part, as well as to deliver them as components,” says Matthias Zink, CEO Automotive at Schaeffler.
Around the world, Schaeffler is currently working on a number of volume production orders for high-performance, high-voltage hybrid modules and electric axles for battery-operated vehicles without internal combustion engines. Electric drive systems such as 48-Volt hybrid modules that enable a vehicle to pull off on electric power, maintain speed in urban traffic in fully electric mode and recuperate braking energy, are also part of Schaeffler’s product portfolio. Even at moderate cost, these technologies yield considerable savings potential and therefore help protect the environment.
New “E-Mobility” business unit
In the new “E-Mobility” business unit, Schaeffler is pooling its engineering capabilities and its products and system solutions for hybrid and battery-electric vehicles for the powertrain of the future.
“Proceeding from individual products, Schaeffler, from an overall perspective on electrified powertrain topologies, is going to evolve into a company that provides technological total system solutions,” Matthias Zink emphasises. Schaeffler’s innovative E-Axle, its latest generation, is a good example that was showcased by the supplier at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA).
Schaeffler’s development of the electric axle provides a modular kit solution for hybrid vehicles and all-electric vehicles. The range of E-Axles starts with a single-speed ratio unit featuring a coaxial or parallel-axis design. Due to the planetary-type differential, the transmission is extremely compact and offers ample assembly space for the electric motor, which is available either as a PSM (permanently excited synchronous motor) or as an ASM (asynchronous motor) with or without power electronics. The base configuration can be extended by additional functional elements such as the integration of a parking lock. A second gear is required, particularly for plug-in hybrid vehicles, for which dynamic, all-electric operation up to 120 km/h and high top speed are specified. Due to the two-speed axle developed by Schaeffler, lateral dynamics can be improved by means of a torque vectoring element. This function is achieved by adding a respective transmission and an electric motor in the range of 7 kW.
Tailored system solutions for the electrified powertrain of the future
The efficiency, and therefore the higher fuel economy of hybrid passenger cars that use powertrain architectures with an electric motor, power electronics, a battery and a supplementary internal combustion engine, depends on the perfect interaction of all components. Here, Schaeffler’s decades-long system and component expertise offers customers substantial added-value. In addition to the mechanical composition of the electric propulsion systems, all types of electric vehicles require power electronics in order to make the electrical energy available in ways that are specific to the application and tailored to the respective situation. In a collaborative partnership with Semikron, Schaeffler is expanding its electronics expertise and, using space-optimised power electronics, has the capability to efficiently convert, control and integrate electrical energy into the total system.
Alternative drive systems with electric motors require sophisticated software, regardless of whether the motors are used by themselves or in hybrid powertrains. Schaeffler is leveraging its expertise in engineering on the road to becoming a total system supplier of electric axles and electrified drive systems, which are also used in production plug-in hybrid vehicles. Tailored software solutions, for example, ensure loss-free torque transfer or control the perfect interaction between the propulsion units on the total system level. This means Schaeffler is able to implement fast control algorithms and customer-specific functions and to validate these on in-house test benches. The know-how acquired as a result of the company’s FIA Formula E Championship commitment – centred on the powertrain of the reigning Formula E Champion – is fed into the development of electric mobility technologies too.
Publisher: Schaeffler (UK) Ltd
Country: United Kingdom
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