Standout 48-Volt Axle Technology at NAIAS in Detroit
As German Manufacturer SeeBig Potential Promise in U.S.
Germany’s Schaeffler AG and its U.S. affiliates are promoting driveline equipment to reduce fuel consumption “while increasing comfort and driving dynamics,” emphasizing in particular a 48-volt system with an electric rear axle to aid the internal combustion engine that drives a hybrid vehicle’s front wheels at NAIAS, this month’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit..
The company described the “Schaeffler High Performance 48 Volt” technology as a mild hybrid design: “a trailblazer in hybridization, as it is more economical than plug-in hybrids with high voltage.”
Schaeffler touts no fewer than five designs allowing for optimal placement of the vehicle’s electric motor. In one, designated P4, the electric motor and associated power electronics are integrated into a single unit on the rear axle. “Twenty kilowatts of purely electric power is thus permanently available.”
Wheel Hub Drives for Battery EVs
Schaeffler is also promoting innovative solutions all-electric vehicles, including a wheel hub drive demonstrating “the possibilities of a complete redesign of the bodywork and interior.”
“In wheel hub drives, all necessary components, such as the electric motor, the power electronics, brakes and cooling, are located within the wheel rim,” states a release. “This saves space that can be used for new interior design concepts.
‘Obvious Application in Self-Driving Taxis’
“The wheel hub drive has an obvious application in self-driving taxis or nimble, autonomously driven passenger cars which will transport residents of large cities over short distances in the future.
Schaeffler says its new products are “tailor-made for the mobility of tomorrow” in North America: “a range of solutions, from purely electric drives for urban vehicles to powertrain and chassis concepts for SUVs and light duty vehicles,” according to Schaeffler AG CEO Klaus Rosenfeld in one of several NAIAS announcements.
Compact Dynamics Acquired Late in 2016
The company is talking up automotive digitization at NAIAS too.
Schaeffler last month announced the acquisition of 51% of the shares of Starnberg, Germany-based Compact Dynamics GmbH, a manufacturer of high-performance electric motors, and forged a cooperation agreement for power electronics and the integration of power electronics components will seller Semikron International.
Jeff Hemphill is Schaeffler Americas CTO. Sebastian Wielgos leads the e-wheel drive development program.
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Source: Schaeffler Group USA with Fleets & Fuels follow-up