Continental has entered an agreement with Oerlikon to collaborate on the development and marketing of integrated motor and transmission systems for hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs), the two automotive suppliers said in a joint press release.
The aim of this collaboration is to further improve the efficiency of electrified powertrains through integrated optimization of both the electric motor and the transmission. "Electric drive is a field where integrated system-level optimization is the only way to offer significantly improved customer benefits," says Ralf Schmid, Head of Research and Development at the Continental Powertrain Division's Hybrid Electric Vehicle Business Unit in Berlin. " Our collaboration will allow us to significantly improve the efficiency of the electric powertrain," comments Paolo Mantelli, Head of Performance Automotive at Oerlikon Graziano Spa in Italy, an Oerlikon Business Unit and part of Oerlikon's Drive System Segment, focusing on leading edge transmission systems.
System-level approach delivers improved customer benefits
One key aim of development work on hybrid and electric vehicles is improved energy efficiency. This is best achieved by optimizing efficiency at the overall system level, in other words by integrated optimization of both the mechanical and the electrical paths. For example, electrical energy can be more efficiently converted into propulsion if the transmission spread and the number and placing of shift points are precisely matched to the characteristics of the electric motor. At the same time this will also lead to a reduction in system costs and weight.
Oerlikon Graziano SpA will contribute its know-how in the development, production and design of high-performance transmissions, while Continental's Powertrain Division will bring to the table its proven expertise in the development of conventional, hybrid and all-electric passenger car powertrains.
An expanding portfolio of systems for electric powertrains
Continental develops and manufactures a full spectrum of systems and modules for electric powertrains. As well as all types of electric motor, the product range also includes power electronics systems and the battery. The partnership with Oerlikon will extend this portfolio to include high-performance mechanical transmission systems. Continental is also a leading player in the field of electrical energy storage, where SK Continental E-motion - a company jointly formed and managed by Continental and SK Innovation (South Korea) - has been developing, producing and marketing state-of-the-art lithium ion-based battery technology since the beginning of this year.