Regensburg, December 9, 2019:
Vitesco Technologies, the
Powertrain business of Continental, is presenting a cost-effective and compact
hybrid transmission solution with integrated electric machines, designed for
use in applications such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), at the
CTI Symposium in Berlin at December 9-12, 2019.
Vitesco Technologies, is using
its expertise of its powertrain business for affordable hybrid vehicles. Due to
the two power sources in a hybrid vehicle – an internal combustion engine and
an electric motor, the task has become more challenging with complete power
electronics and battery. This additional technical infrastructure can raise the
cost of an all-electric-capable high-voltage hybrid to a level that prohibits
significant market penetration. And yet, if only they weren’t so expensive to
buy, hybrid vehicles, which are now often capable of an electric driving range
of 50 km or more, could potentially play a significant part in reducing CO2
emissions from everyday driving.
Vitesco Technologies has come
up with a solution: Crucially, this involved breaking with conventional
thinking on powertrain design with a concept that reassigns a number of
functions previously performed by the transmission. At the heart of Vitesco
Technologies’ solution is the expanded role played by the electric motor, which
no longer simply acts as a means of propulsion and energy recuperation.
Stephan Rebhan, Head-Technology
& Innovation, Vitesco Technologies, said, “So far it has not been possible
to tap the full potential of plug-in hybrids and full hybrids for reducing CO2
emissions because the expensive powertrain of these vehicles puts them out of
reach for many customers. We have identified further potential here which our
DHT technology for cost-effective PHEVs is designed to leverage. With a view to
cutting CO2 emissions, PHEVs are a form of electric mobility which deserves to
become much more successful in the future.”
The basic aim of DHT technology
for cost-effective PHEVs is to permit the design of very compact automatic
transmissions with an integrated high-voltage electric motor on the output side
of the transmission. The Vitesco Technologies cost-effective PHEV prototype
offers the driver the same standard of comfortable driving and shifting that
until now has been associated with plug-in hybrids equipped with a conventional
6-speed automatic transmission. And yet a DHT transmission with Vitesco
technology, has only four mechanical gears and has no mechanical synchromesh
systems, auxiliary hydraulics or start clutch. Moving off (in 1st and 2nd gear)
and reversing are handled by the electric drive motor, while synchronization is
performed by a starter-alternator that also provides fast and smooth starting
of the internal combustion engine.
The reassignment of functions
makes it possible to reduce the number of mechanical components in the
transmission, which also saves space, weight and costs. This makes the DHT a
natural choice for front transverse mounting in compact segment vehicles, where
installation space is always a challenge.
Combined with a low-cost port-injection gasoline engine and
allelectric-capable electric drive, for example, DHT technology clears the way
for affordable, economical and comfortable vehicles capable of performing a
wide range of daily trips in all-electric mode, with zero local emissions. The
DHT for cost-effective PHEVs is designed for speeds of up to 120 km/h in
all-electric mode, and up to 160 km/h in hybrid mode.
This new PHEV solution draws on company’s
wide ranging systems expertise in terms of overall powertrain design, and
comprehensive knowledge of electric drive technology. By way of example, the
smooth, quiet shifting offered by the DHT despite its simple dog-clutch design
is entirely down to the high dynamic capability of the electric motor
functions, which in turn requires a profound understanding of the relevant
control technology. DHT technology for low-cost PHEVs marks a further step in
Vitesco Technologies’ systematic electrification strategy.
“To ensure compliance with future
EU CO2 emissions limits, it will be particularly important to get a grip on
costs, which currently act as a barrier to the wider market success of hybrid
electric powertrains,” concluded Rebhan.