At the CTI Symposium in Berlin, Vitesco Technologies, Continental’s powertrain division, presented a cost-effective and compact hybrid transmission solution with Dedicated Hybrid Transmission (DHT).
The component can be used, for example, for plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV), but also for full hybrids (HEV). In order to reduce costs and thus make hybrid vehicles cheaper, Vitesco has, according to its own statements, “moved away from the usual approach to the powertrain” and redistributed the previous functions of the transmission. The integrated electric motor is used consistently, which greatly simplifies the transmission design and thus makes it cheaper.
The aim was to give the driver the same driving and shifting comfort as in a current PHEV with six-speed automatic transmission. However, the new hybrid transmission only requires four mechanical gears, and there is no synchronisation mechanism for gear changes, no auxiliary hydraulics or no starting clutch. This has reduced the required installation space, weight and costs.
Starting in first, second and reverse gear is managed by the electric motor. A newly developed starter generator not only starts the combustion engine, which gives it its name but also synchronizes it with the electric drive. With very precise control, the electric motor also supports shifting so that shifting is quiet and comfortable despite the simple claw clutches.
According to Vitesco, the DHT does not have to be combined with a complex combustion engine for optimum results. For cost reasons, a simple petrol engine concept such as an intake manifold injector is also possible. Thus, the “complete electric driving capability of the electric drive […] results in an affordable, economical, comfortable vehicle that can cover many everyday distances purely electrically and thus locally emission-free”. Due to its compact design, the drive is also suitable for front-transverse installation in the C segment.
“So far it has not been possible to tap the full potential of plug-in hybrids and full hybrids for reducing CO2 emissions because the expensive powertrain of these vehicles puts them out of reach for many customers,” says Stephan Rebhan, Head of Technology & Innovation at Vitesco Technologies. “We have identified further potential here which our DHT technology for cost-effective PHEVs is designed to leverage. With a view to cutting CO2 emissions, PHEVs are a form of electric mobility which deserves to become much more successful in the future.”
Vitesco does not mention exact performance data of the electric machine in the communication. The DHT is designed for purely electric driving at up to 120 km/h, in hybrid mode up to 160 km/h is possible.
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