MAHLE developing efficient electric motors for auto industry
MAHLE is developing high-voltage traction motors for fully electrified vehicles (EVs) as well as 48-V drive motors for new-generation hybrids.
J.D. Kehoe, Director of Product Development, Filtration and Engine Peripherals for MAHLE Filter Systems in North America, said greater internal combustion engine (ICE) downsizing, 48-V hybridization, and electric traction motors are all affecting powertrain development.
MAHLE produces high-voltage and low-voltage traction motors for full-sized vehicles, as well as for off-road two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive leisure vehicles.
“Downsized internal combustion engines, with higher compression, advanced combustion, high boost, and electrified turbocharger actuation will be part of the automotive landscape for decades to come,” Kehoe said. “Smaller engines, for example, are expected to deliver 300 hp and 30 mpg with a third less displacement.”
Kehoe noted that 48-V electrical systems also are gaining acceptance. To meet the challenge, MAHLE says it has developed electrified heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and electric auxiliary components such as electric oil coolers and hydraulic pumps.
MAHLE’s 48-V drive systems are supplied with integrated electronics to govern a typical output of 14 kW (19 hp) and have been demonstrated on passenger vehicles such as the SMART.
The company’s high-voltage traction motors for automobiles employ embedded permanent magnet (IPM) technology. The motors are liquid-cooled and are governed by MAHLE-designed-and-patented liquid-cooled controllers. Manufacturers may specify voltages from 200 to 400 V, based on a motor’s battery pack. Power delivered by each motor, up to 100 kW (134 hp), will depend on vehicle design.
MAHLE also offers higher-voltage IPM motors that operate in the 400-800-V range, with up to 96% efficiency and peak power output up to 180 kW, or 240 hp. The design is flexible and adaptable to customer requirements.