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Schaeffler unveils new four-wheel drive, battery electric vehicle

Schaeffler unveils new four-wheel drive, battery electric vehicle Precision bearings and automotive component supplier The Schaeffler Group has unveiled its latest electric vehicle concept, a four-wheel drive battery-electric vehicle (BEV) based on a Skoda Octavia Scout. The new ACTIVeDRIVE, which will be showcased for the first time at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2011, complements two other existing vehicle concepts from Schaeffler. This new trio of vehicles includes the ACTIVeDRIVE, the Schaeffler Hybrid and the CO2ncept-10%, which together represent Schaeffler's future strategy and product portfolio for the automotive industry.

As Prof. Dr.-Ing Peter Gutzmer, President Technical Development at Schaeffler commented: "These three cars are full of ideas and function as platforms for the testing of various components and systems under realistic conditions."

Innovative design

The innovation behind the ACTIVeDRIVE is its active electric differential (eDifferential), which is installed on both the front and rear axles. This component combines the electric drive with the option of wheel-selectable drive power control. This enables torque vectoring (torque distribution between the right and left wheel), which enhances driving dynamics, safety and comfort.

"The eDifferential enables active intervention in driving dynamics via well-directed power supply - rather than braking intervention and therefore power reduction, as is the case with ESP (Electronic Stability Programme). The active electric differential significantly improves power transmission when driving on surfaces with different friction coefficients. Furthermore, it assists steering and has a clearly positive effect on driving dynamics, safety and comfort. In addition, the use of two eDifferentials enables the longitudinal distribution of drive torques," explains Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gutzmer. The possibility of active longitudinal and lateral distribution of drive torque makes the eDifferential an ideal platform for innovative vehicle dynamics control systems.
 
Actively controlled torque distribution enables torque vectoring, which means that the vehicle can be controlled virtually without the use of steering and braking by using a wheel-selective flow of forces. "This means that the potential fields of application for the eDifferential range from sports cars with extremely high driving dynamics, to conventional passenger cars and agricultural vehicles," explains Dr. Tomas Smetana, Senior Manager Advance Development Power Transmission Systems at Schaeffler Automotive.
 
The eDifferential system integrates two water-cooled permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM) of different dimensions, a planetary gear, a gearbox for active torque distribution, and a central element: Schaeffler's lightweight differential. The electric motors were developed by Schaeffler's IDAM (INA Drives & Mechatronics) division.

The larger PMSM, which delivers up to 105kW and 170Nm, is the primary drive. The second PMSM controls torque distribution and is only required to deliver a 5kW output in order to generate up to 2,000Nm of torque difference to the axle.

Other novel features of the ACTIVeDRIVE include an integrated electromechanical parking lock; a new forced lubrication system for the gearbox that requires no oil pump; sheet metal planetary carriers; and various high speed, friction-optimised bearing solutions. The electronic controls for the ACTIVeDRIVE are supplied by AFT (Atlas Fahrzeugtechnik GmbH), Schaeffler's automotive drive train mechatronics and vehicle testing division.
 
Due to the use of two active electric differentials, the four-wheel drive ACTIVeDRIVE has an overall output of up to 210kW. Fitted in the cardan shaft tunnel, in front of the rear axle, are Lithium-ion batteries, which have a capacity of 18kWh. These function as energy storage devices for the vehicle.

Due to its performance and traction capacity, the 1,900kg test platform accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in just 8.5 seconds. The vehicle has an electronic maximum speed regulation of 150km/h. In this configuration, the vehicle's cruise range is up to 100km.

The CO2ncept-10%

Based on a Porsche Cayenne, Schaeffler's CO2ncept-10% vehicle impressively demonstrates the improvements that can be achieved through consistent, detailed work on vehicles that are powered by internal combustion engines. In the case of the CO2ncept-10%, these optimisation measures cover detailed solutions that are already available on the market or close to series production, but do not touch or alter the basic vehicle configuration. Furthermore, the optimisation of the classic drive train also includes the use of electrical components rather than the previous hydraulically-actuated elements.

Based on a compact Vauxhall Corsa, the Schaeffler Hybrid serves as a vehicle of 'ideas' and a practical test lab for various hybrid solutions. This versatile, variable advance development project enables practical comparisons of a wide range of electric mobility options. The driving modes represented on the vehicle range from conventional operation using an internal combustion engine, to parallel and serial hybrid operating modes using a range extender, as well as all-electric driving modes.

Together, the ACTIVeDRIVE, CO2ncept-10% and Schaeffler Hybrid, provide an overview of Schaeffler's broad automotive product portfolio, which ranges from energy-efficient solutions for conventional internal combustion engines, through to systems for hybrid vehicles and all-electric vehicles.
 

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