Continental Develops 48-Volt Hybrid System With 30kW Electric Motor

Continental has developed an innovative 48-volt drive system with a 30 kW electric motor and will premiere the powertrain at September’s Frankfurt Auto Show.

According to the company, its cutting-edge drive system includes a 30 kW, water-cooled electric motor positioned between the combustion engine and the transmission. The system also includes power electronics optimized to handle higher-than-standard currents while being more efficient too.

A number of automakers have released 48-volt mild-hybrid vehicles in the past couple of years, but Continental doesn’t view its solution as a “mild-hybrid” as it is able to operate exclusively in electric-only mode at speeds of up to 90 km/h (56 mph). It also says its drive system is considerably cheaper than the high-voltage systems used by most hybrids.

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“Thanks to its broad systems expertise, Continental Powertrain is mastering all variants of the electric drive, from 48-volt systems to hybrid technologies, right through to high-voltage components,” Continental’s powertrain business chief executive Andreas Wolf said. “We offer expertise and state-of-the-art technology from a single source.”

Continental has not yet stated how efficient its hybrid drive system is but says it expects to see a 20 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions than combustion engine cars and a 10 per cent improvement over current 48-volt mild hybrid systems already on the market. The company has previewed the system in a specially-equipped Ford Focus prototype in Germany, but hasn’t said yet which car manufacturers it intends on selling its 48-volt hybrid powertrain to.

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