From sprint to marathon – electromobility as (r)evolution

The vision is sustainable mobility, with automobiles that operate in a carbon-neutral way. But how is this green future coming along? More than ten years after the Tesla Roadster came out of the starting blocks for a glorious sprint, even optimists are now gearing up for a marathon. The early days are history, and today we face new challenges.

CTI Symposia – pacemakers of progress
Innovations need a forum where they can be presented and discussed. Our CTI Symposia put the full spectrum of powertrain electrification on the agenda for an international audience on three continents. They catch new trends early, and track them carefully. Leading suppliers and OEMs present their development findings in dedicated sessions, while prominent guests explain their point of view in the plenum and take part in the discussion. The road may still be long, but the fast pace of progress is undiminished.

One level higher – from a scalable DCT building set to the DHTplus
Last year Magna presented the DHTeco family, which comprises a 2+4-speed DHT (EM / ICE) base transmission and derivatives with an identical gear set layout for conventional and 48V applications in the cost sensitive market for 230/300 Nm system torque. This year, Dr Sebastian Idler (Magna Powertrain, Germany) will present an upmarket DHT line called DHTplus. The new system takes segment-specific requirements into account, but continues the concept of DHT system integration on the basis of a unified, scalable DCT building set. The DHTplus is designed for hybrid applications up to 400 Nm ICE torque, and offers electric boosting capacity up to 500 Nm system torque. The DHTplus has five mechanical gears; the 120 kW e-machine replaces the launch gear and optionally, the reverse gear. The DHTplus has a shorter installation length than a 7-speed 48V hybrid transmission. To meet requirements in higher vehicle segments, it offers additional functionalities – essentially by installing a C0 coupling. Meaningful benefits include the crawler functionality with approx. 40% more electric low speed manoeuvring torque, ICE start at any speed, e-drive power-shift, and charge during standstill and creeping. The EM can also be disconnected for efficient ICE-only cruising. What the DHTplus has in common with the DHTeco is its consistent system approach for advanced dedicated hybrid operation, combined with DCT advantages such as proven functionality and scalability. In addition to these aspects, Dr Sebastian Idler will also focus on detailed solutions for optimal efficiency and performance in all-electric, hybrid and ICE driving modes.

Obviously more efficient – flat wire motors for NEV powertrains
Diesel or petrol? When it comes to ICEs, the number of variants is fairly easy to manage. But with electric motors, NEV powertrain designers have a wide range of alternatives at their disposal. Accordingly, Jing Chen (Zhejiang Founder Motor, China) will begin with an overview of the available designs (PSM/ASM, high/low voltage, air/water/oil cooling, single tooth/distributed winding, round/flat wire motor). He will describe their respective advantages and disadvantages, and will recommend suitable applications. As a propulsion solution for NEVs, flat wire motors have obvious advantages. Their slot fill factor is higher than in round wire motors, increasing power density and overall efficiency. Since the windings are more closely arranged, heat dissipation is faster and the stator temperature is reduced.

Jing Chen will also discuss the inherent technical challenges of flat wire motors, such as their efficiency and thermal behaviour at high speeds. The FDM 220 flat wire platform motor he will present offers excellent levels of performance, efficiency and reliability. Power output and heat dissipation have been increased significantly. Maximum efficiency stands at 97.5%, while NEDC cycle average efficiency is above 94%. To back his view that flat wire motors are an emerging technology with high development potential, Jing Chen will also share information ranging from structural details up to the highly-automated manufacturing process.

Double benefit – hybrid solutions for modern stepped planetary automatics
Over the last five years, many transmission builders have invested heavily in state-of-the-art stepped planetary automatics. In the light of electrification and parallel powertrain hybridisation, their efforts are now proving doubly useful. “This re-use can save transmission builders hundreds of millions of euros”, says Chris Shamie (Schaeffler Group, USA) in his presentation.
The parallel hybrid options he will present deliver CO2 reductions while simultaneously increasing potential for vehicle performance. The technology spectrum comprises P2 hybrid modules for rear wheel drive, and P1/P2 hybrid modules for front wheel drive.

The efficiency of a series-production P2 rear wheel drive has been confirmed by validated fuel economy improvements. The speaker’s presentation of the new modular front wheel drive solution for 48V P1 or high-voltage P2 solutions promises to be of particular interest. The space-neutral P1 solution enables developers to hybridise even vehicles whose frame-rail constraints have so far prevented it. In general, axial space claims are far lower when hybridising stepped planetary automatics. The approach increases efficiency without sacrificing performance, and also reduces development costs by re-using existing, modern planetary transmissions.

CTI Symposia – a popular platform for OEMs
Leading OEMs have also confirmed their participation at CTI SYMPOSIUM Germany. We are pleased that BMW, Mercedes and Volvo will be among the brands presenting their latest developments.

In 2020/21, BMW will launch its new iX3. The company’s first e-SUV will compete with the Jaguar I-PACE, the Mercedes EQC and the Audi e-tron. In keeping with BMW’s ‘Power of Choice’ strategy, the all-electric iX3 will complement existing X3 family drive options. In his lecture, Dr Edmund Bauchrowitz (BMW, Germany) will take a closer look at the technical details of the advanced electric drive system. In the fifth-generation BMW eDrive, rear wheel drive is provided by a highly integrated e-axle developed in house by BMW; the transmission, e-machine and power electronics all share a single housing. The EM has a maximum output of 210kW / 286PS and a maximum torque rating of 400 Nm. Power density is 30% higher than earlier BMW pure electric drives. Motor efficiency is 93%, and the battery has a net capacity of 74 kWh for ranges of up to 460 km under WLTP. Interestingly, no magnets – and hence no rare earths – are required to produce the motor.

The second generation of the familiar 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with ISG based on 48V is the first member of the new ‘art’ (Architecture of Rear-wheel Transmission) modular system for longitudinally mounted transmissions at Mercedes-Benz. As Marcus Sommer (Mercedes Benz, Germany) will explain in his talk, in this upgrade of the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission the integrated starter generator (ISG) is now part of the transmission, not the engine. This helps designers to implement solutions that will meet package specifications for a standard front end, with the corresponding fixed geometry points. It also means developers can use the same specifications across the whole rear-wheel drive vehicle platform, regardless of engine choice. Building on the current concept of a modular automatic transmission with a longitudinal build, the redesign of the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with torque converter pursues several objectives. The transmission helps reduce fuel consumption, weight and friction losses in the various vehicle model series, and also promotes drivetrain modularisation and electrification to ensure consistency across all longitudinal powertrains.

From race to road – how sport enables e-drive tech transfers
In addition to competing for business in the markets, many automobile brands also seek to compete on the racetrack. Besides enhancing their company’s image, the aim is also to transfer technology from racing to production vehicles. The FIA ​​Formula E championship for all-electric racing cars has been held annually since 2014/15 and now features well-known OEMs such as Audi, BMW, DS, Mercedes, Jaguar, Nissan and Porsche. On 13 August 2020, the sixth season ended with the final race in Berlin. Compact Dynamics has been involved as a supplier for more than five years.

In his impulse speech, Oliver Blamberger (CEO, Compact Dynamics, Germany) will explain the objectives of his company’s commitment. “Together with our parent company Schaeffler, Compact Dynamics has developed and installed a dedicated ‘Race to Road Strategy‘ to support series projects with innovative technology”. In addition to Formula E, Compact Dynamics has also gained racing experience in Formula 1 and the World Endurance Championship (WEC). As of 2022, the company will be the exclusive series supplier for the newly developed hybrid system at the FIA ​​World Rally Championship (WRC).

After his talk, Oliver Blamberger will take part in the expert discussion on ‘Formula E and its Impact on E-Mobility’. His fellow participants will include Gerd Mäuser (Jaguar Racing, Great Britain) and Lucas Di Grassi (FIA Formula E World Champion, Roborace, Great Britain). Jaguar has fielded its own team in the Formula E championship since the 2016/17 season. Last year, the company surprised everyone by launching the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY, where drivers compete in an optimised version of Jaguar’s first all-electric road vehicle. Brazilian racing driver Lucas Di Grassi has been in Formula E non-stop from the beginning, and won the Drivers’ Title in 2016/17. He has more points and more podium places than any other driver in the history of the electric series. In 2016, Di Grassi was vice champion in the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship (WEC).

When three participants bring so much competence, experience and enthusiasm to the table, the audience can look forward to a thrilling discussion about motorsport without the roaring engines or the smell of high-octane fuel – and its benefits for the road-going electric vehicles of tomorrow.

CTI SYMPOSIUM GERMANY DIGITAL EDITION – a really good live platform
This year, CTI SYMPOSIUM GERMANY will take place as a top quality, inspiring online event that offers you multiple ways to interact and communicate with speakers, attendees, and exhibitors, including live video calls. Besides acting as a digital exhibition hall, the SYMPOSIUM DIGITAL EXPO will also act as your platform for new products, live presentations, 1on1 meetings and much more besides. The substantial reduction in fees is not just extremely budget friendly, it also means more colleagues can participate. Best of all, there’s no travelling: all you do is log in. Save time and money with a convenient online event that adapts to your individual schedule, and reduces your carbon footprint too. Be there – be a pioneer!