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Hybrid car showcases efficient motor and bearing technologies

26 June, 2010

The German bearings group Schaeffler has developed a demonstration hybrid electric vehicle that will allow it to compare various vehicle configurations under different driving conditions. The demonstration car, based on a Vauxhall Corsa, incorporates a central electric motor and two wheel hub motors, and technologies from all of Schaeffler’s brands, which include INA, FAG, LuK, IDAM and AFT.

“Being able to demonstrate and compare the various concepts of conventional and electric or hybrid vehicles, as well as realistic testing, played a decisive role in implementing the Schaeffler Hybrid,” says Dr Peter Gutzmer, Schaeffler’s board member responsible for technical development. “Each of the various elements can be switched on or off to simulate a wide range of different driving conditions. These options range from classic operation using a combustion engine, through to parallel hybrid or serial hybrid operation, or on an electric motor-only basis.”

The low-noise 50kW wheel-hub motors, which can deliver about 530Nm of torque, incorporate wheel bearings, drives and brakes.

Schaeffler’s IDAM (INA Drives & Mechatronics) division developed the central, liquid-cooled motor which is rated at 50kW, 95Nm. This is connected to an automated manual transmission using a toothed chain that drives the front wheels. The transmission includes LuK clutches matched to the requirements of hybrid vehicles.

The vehicle (shown above) also incorporates a volume-produced combustion engine that can power the vehicle or be coupled for use as a range extender. The car’s 16kWh lithium-ion battery (400V, 400A) can be charged using energy recovery, a range extender or an external power supply.

“The Schaeffler Hybrid will not go into volume production,” says Gutzmer. “Rather it serves as a vehicle of ideas. For example, with our ‘CO2ncept-10%’ vehicle, which is based on a Porsche Cayenne, we successfully demonstrated the advantages of reducing both the fuel consumption and emissions by reducing friction in the drive train. With the Schaeffler Hybrid, we want to demonstrate that the Schaeffler Group takes a holistic approach to mobility and offers innovative products for e-mobility solutions in its portfolio.”




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