Published on July 18th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Continental has installed a new hybrid 48V system in a Ford Focus

This prototype is a soft hybrid solution.

Continental Powertrain Motor MMP-537 Foto:

With the new 48-volt high-power technology,this hybrid system enables the same functionality as previous, full-hybridvehicles. The key component here is a new, water-cooled electric motor, thepeak output of which was doubled to 30 kW in comparison with that usedpreviously. Electric-only driving is therefore possible up to a speed range of80 to 90 km/h.

The developers were able to achieve a 100percent increase in power while maintaining the diameter of the motor. Overall,48-volt high-power technology requires only slightly more installation spacethan the previous system. The difference in weight is also minimal.

However, the electric motor is not the onlynew component of the 48-volt high-power technology. The integrated powerelectronics also uses a new technology that now enables it to handlesignificantly higher currents. The innovations of the new 48-volt high-powertechnology result in a level of electrical efficiency that surpasses theprevious system by almost 10 percent. And during recuperation (the recovery ofexcess kinetic energy when the vehicle decelerates), the new technology is muchmore effective than was previously the case, because the losses incurred in theelectric drive system has been halved.

The 48-volt high-power technology therefore provides all the benefits of a conventional, full-hybrid vehicle with a high-voltage system – significantly lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions as well as optimized driving efficiency and drivability. There is also another argument in favor of the new hybrid solution from Continental, which is its relatively low costs. This is the key to making cheap hybrid vehicles available and achieving high market penetration.

The reason for this is that a 48-volt system requires considerably less effort in terms of insulation protection, electrical components are smaller and cheaper, and even the design can be made significantly more compact, because smaller gaps are required between the individual components than is the case with high-voltage technology.

Continental is showcasing the new 48-volt high-power technology, which is also ready for series development, in a Ford Focus test vehicle. “With the new hybrid system, we are making the most of what is currently technologically possible for a 48-volt system,” said Stephan Rebhan.

With the 48-volt high-power technology, Continental is playing a leading role in terms of performance, power density and efficiency. Full hybridization is made possible – all without the effort and costs involved in a high-voltage system.

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