Technology Extending the Range of Electric Vehicles from Schaeffler

Technology Extending the Range of Electric Vehicles from Schaeffler
Technology Extending the Range of Electric Vehicles from Schaeffler

📩 03/10/2023 11:58

With intelligent and highly integrated thermal management components and systems, Schaeffler increases the range of electric vehicles by up to 50 kilometers. Global automotive and industry supplier Schaeffler's innovative systems increase the range of electric vehicles and enable the vehicle's comfort features to be used without sacrificing range. The brand's high-efficiency wheel and transmission bearings significantly reduce friction and therefore energy loss. Intelligent and highly integrated thermal management components and systems also increase the range by up to 50 kilometres.

While the number of electric vehicles on the roads around the world is increasing day by day, the short range of these vehicles creates concern for drivers. One of the most basic ways to extend the range of electric vehicles is to reduce friction loss. To prevent this loss, Schaeffler significantly reduces friction with the high-efficiency transmission bearings it developed, providing energy savings of up to 50 watts compared to conventional bearings. While this saving directly affects the range, it can also be used to heat the side mirrors or steering wheel in winter cold without reducing the vehicle range. Schaeffler also provides ideal load distribution with transmission bearings specially produced to suit the high rotation speeds of input shafts in electrically driven transmissions.

Saving on vehicle production costs Stating that they have developed solutions to address drivers' concerns about range, Schaeffler Automotive Technologies CEO Matthias Zink said, “Our wide range of components and systems for fully electric powertrains and smart technical solutions enable electric vehicles to be more efficient in daily use by reducing their power consumption and extending their range.” . Thus, drivers do not need to charge their vehicles frequently. "Depending on the design of the vehicle, vehicle manufacturers can shrink the battery with savings in power consumption, thus saving on the production costs of the vehicle," he said.

Establishes solution partnerships with manufacturers

Schaeffler also establishes solution partnerships with manufacturers who want to extend the range even further with TriFinity wheel bearings. Wheel bearings, used as part of the chassis of electric vehicles, guide the drive shaft and axles and support the wheels so that they can rotate with minimum resistance even when exposed to high mechanical load.

Reduces friction loss by 67 percent

Wheel bearings are subjected to extraordinary forces during normal driving. Moreover, the bearings are in constant motion, rotating approximately 180 million times for every 100 thousand kilometers traveled. Schaeffler TriFinity wheel bearings reduce friction loss by a whopping 67 percent compared to ordinary wheel bearings. In other words, at full charge, an electric SUV with a 120-kWh battery capacity gains over 20 watts, corresponding to approximately 200 extra kilometers in range. This 200 watt saving allows it to be used to heat the driver and passenger seats without sacrificing range in winter.

10 percent weight savings

Seat heating systems in electric vehicles consume approximately 100 watts per seat during the intense heating process. Producing a profitable and permanent method, TriFinity wheel bearings provide a weight saving of around 10 percent, although they are the same size as standard double-row ball bearings. It also offers long-lasting use. Moreover, it can carry more axle load with its higher strength rate of more than 20 percent. Thus, it provides a great advantage in heavier electric vehicles.

“We prevent range problems with thermal management”

Efficient thermal management plays a big role in increasing the range of electric vehicles. Schaeffler increases the efficiency of the range with the integrated thermal management system it developed by using CO₂ as a refrigerant in the heat pump. Noting that they have been providing thermal management solutions since 2011, Schaeffler E-Mobility President Dr. Jochen Schröder said, “Especially in electric vehicles, thermal management has a decisive effect on features that customers care about, such as range and comfort. For this reason, it becomes one of the important points of competition among automotive manufacturers. “In this direction, we are developing a wide range of solutions, from integrated thermal management systems consisting of efficient and very useful components to 4-in-1 e-axles that combine the engine, transmission, power electronics and thermal management modules in a single optimized unit,” he said.

Does not require additional cable and hose connections

Schaeffler integrates the thermal management system, which is considered a separate component as standard, into the drive components of the 4-in-1 e-axle and the classic 3-in-1 e-axle, making it a whole. In this way, unlike decentralized thermal management systems, additional cable and hose connections are made unnecessary, thus reducing energy loss. Since the number of parts is reduced, the unit becomes lighter and assembly becomes easier for vehicle manufacturers. This fully integrated solution increases the range and shortens charging time by balancing the temperature of the powertrain, including the battery, at the ideal temperature. It also ensures the comfort of the vehicle's passengers and the ideal ambient temperature. Thanks to the perfect interaction of the four subsystems, the 4-in-1 e-axle system can save a compact electric vehicle with 75-kWh power an additional 100 kWh of power for every 1 kilometers traveled. This corresponds to a total range increase of approximately 7 percent, in other words, approximately 36 kilometers.

Converts air and waste heat into thermal energy

Schaeffler is also working on a new heat pump to be used as a separate component on its own. The heat pump converts the air and waste heat around the motor, power electronics and battery into thermal energy, that is, usable heat. In this way, the battery-saving system provides efficiency, especially in cold winter months. Compared to a 75-kWh battery-powered compact car with a decentralized heat management system, a vehicle with the same features using a 4-in-1 e-axle and heat pump system can consume approximately 100 kWh less energy per 4 kilometers. This corresponds to a 17 percent increase in range, that is, 48 ​​kilometers.

Investing in the protection of the world and the future

Energy savings achieved with heat pump; It can also be used for comfort and safety features such as seat and steering wheel, side mirror or rear window heating. These features consume approximately 410 watts of power. The Schaeffler heat pump system uses naturally occurring and less environmentally harmful refrigerant carbon dioxide instead of standard refrigerant. This non-flammable carbon dioxide does not damage the ozone layer because its greenhouse gas potential is low. For vehicle manufacturers and owners, this feature means investing in the protection and future of the world.