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Continental's New 48V Technology Enables Total Electrification of Hybrid Vehicles!

By Auto Tech Outlook | Friday, July 12, 2019

The all new 48 volt electric motor unit will enable hybrid vehicles to run solely on electric motor up to specific distances without relying on the combustion engines.

FREMONT, CA – The efforts of Continental achieved a significant breakthrough with the development of its all-new 48-volt drive solution. The global tier 1 technology supplier has backed the environment-friendly, and cost-effective 48-volt electrification in gasoline and diesel-fueled vehicles. The powertrain division of Continental showcased its latest innovation at the run-up to IAA 2019.

The development of the full-hybrid vehicle with 48-volt technology has cast aside the doubts shadowing the technology. A hybrid vehicle running on electricity normally leverages high voltage technology, with capabilities of up to 800 volts. The 48-volt hybrid system developed by Continental’s engineers has features similar to any high-voltage electric drive.

The 48-volt high-power electric motor has a peak output of 30 kW, allowing the vehicle to exhibit performance equivalent to a high-voltage technology system. The new product is a giant stride toward all-electric driving. The many years of experience in the industry have enabled Continental to master all the variants of the electric drive system, from high-voltage components to hybrid technologies. Empowered by its extensive expertise, Continental offers state-of-the-art technology to the automotive sector.

The 48-volt high power system comprises an electric motor which comes with power electronics and a battery. It not only reduces fuel consumption but also decreases CO2 emissions by up to 20 percent when compared to combustion engine vehicles of the same capability. Also, 48-volt technology is more cost-effective than conventional high-voltage systems.

The new technology has enabled Continental to realize its objective to achieve the level of efficiency offered by high-voltage vehicle systems. The conventional systems allowed relatively unobtrusive electrification of the powertrain, reducing fuel consumption by boosting the performance of the combustion engine during acceleration, facilitating the recovery of excess kinetic energy through recuperation during deceleration. However, it cannot support complete electrification.

In the new system, Continental has repositioned the powertrain. The electric motor no longer rests on the crankshaft before the engine, but behind it, wedged between the engine and transmission. As a result, the hybrid vehicle can run solely on the electric motor. The new electric motor is water-cooled and produces a peak output of 30kW when compared to conventional units.

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