Vitesco Technologies, Continental's Powertrain company, unveiled its first extremely low cost and compact hybrid transmission solution designed for Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PHEV) at the CTI Symposium held in Berlin on December 9 - 12, 2019. .
Vitesco Technologies paves the way for truly economical hybrid vehicles with its technical knowledge in powertrain electrification. The fact that hybrid vehicles have two power supplies - a power combustion engine as well as an internal combustion engine and a battery-powered electric motor - make it even more difficult. This additional technical infrastructure can raise the cost of a fully powered high voltage hybrid vehicle to a level that could prevent it from gaining high market share. Generally, if the cost of purchasing hybrid vehicles with an electric driving range of 50 km or more was still not so high, these engines could have played an important role in reducing CO2 emissions from daily driving.
Vitesco Technologies offers a solution. First and foremost, this solution includes a concept that redefines a number of functions previously carried out by the transmission, and the change in traditional thinking about powertrain design. The extended role of the electric motor in this solution from Vitesco Technologies is no longer limited to just drive power and energy recovery.
Vitesco Technologies Technology and Innovation Manager Stephan Rebhan said, “It has not been possible to utilize the full potential of plug-ins and full hybrid vehicles to reduce CO2 emissions since these vehicles were out of reach of many customers due to their expensive powertrain systems. At this point, we have identified the potential of our DHT technology designed for cost-effective PHEVs. In order to reduce CO2 emissions, PHEVs are a form of electrical mobility that deserves to be much more successful in the future. ” said.
Developed for low-cost PHEVs, DHT technology actually aims to allow the design of very compact automatic transmissions, with an integrated high-voltage electric motor on the output side of the transmission. The cost-effective PHEV prototype from Vitesco Technologies offers the driver the standard of comfortable driving and shifting in plug-in hybrid vehicles to the same level as the conventional 6-speed automatic transmission. In contrast, a DHT transmission with Vitesco technology has only four mechanical gears, and there is no mechanical synchronization system, auxiliary hydraulic or starter clutch mechanism. Synchronization is performed with a starter alternator, which allows the combustion engine to operate quickly and smoothly, while the forward (1st and 2nd gear) and reverse movement is started with the electric drive motor. This redesign of the functions makes it possible to reduce the number of mechanical components of the transmission, on the one hand, and saves weight and cost. This feature makes DHT technology a natural choice for front cross-assembly in compact segment vehicles where installation space can often be a problem. When combined with a low-cost port injection gasoline engine and a full electric drive, for example, with DHT technology, it opens the way for economical, comfortable and zero emission vehicles suitable for different daily use in full electric driving mode. Developed for cost-effective PHEVs, DHT can reach 120 km / h in full electric mode and 160 km / h in hybrid mode.
This new PHEV solution is based on Vitesco Technologies' extensive knowledge and expertise in general powertrain design and electric drive technology. For example, despite the simple jaw clutch design, the soft and silent shifting feature offered by DHT technology highlights the high dynamic capability of electric motor functions that require the best use of this control technology. Developed for low-cost PHEVs, DHT technology marks another step in Vitesco Technologies' systematic electrification strategy. Rebhan said, “In order to comply with the EU's CO2 emission limits in the future, it will be particularly important to master the costs that currently prevent hybrid electric motors from taking up more market shares.” sums it up.