Systems expertise is a crucial success factor in electrification

This point was a key focus when MAHLE Management Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Arnd Franz, recently spoke at a pre-IAA Mobility Tech Day event at Stuggart’s Hydrogen Test Center.
At the Center, which is owned by the MAHLE Group, Arnd noted that the interaction of the individual components in electric drives is much more complex than in internal combustion engines while stating MAHLE is set to position itself as “the system champion in e-mobility.”
Also at the event, MAHLE presented a new technology kit for electric motors that it explains combines the advantages of the benchmark SCT and MCT electric motors.
MAHLE states that what it calls “the perfect motor” combines permanently high peak power, contactless and thus wear-free power transmission, the elimination of rare earths, and the highest efficiency.
In addition, MAHLE has developed a new thermal management module that brings together essential thermal management components.
MAHLE explains this reduces installation space, development effort and costs, and makes the complete system significantly more efficient with up to 20 percent more cruising range reportedly possible, which means the battery needs to be charged less often.
MAHLE presented both products to a broad audience for the first time at the IAA Mobility show in September, which also provided a focus on components for green combustion engines.
As a global partner to automobile manufacturers, the Stuttgart-based technology group says it focuses on the needs of the global markets with an open approach to technology.

Electrification and thermal management as well as highly efficient, sustainable internal combustion engines are the strategic focus here.
“Electrification is the topic of the future for MAHLE,” Arnd said.
Battery electric vehicles offer MAHLE a sales potential almost three times higher than vehicles with combustion engines.
In this area, the Group is focusing on electric drives and intelligent charging. The aim is to increase cruising range and performance, as well as to advance fast-charging capability and charging convenience.
In the past two years, MAHLE has introduced two highly innovative electric motors: the MCT (Magnet-free Contactless Transmitter), which operates contactless and without rare earths, and the endurance champion SCT (Superior Continuous Torque) electric motor.
Now, for the first time, the Group is combining the characteristics of the two concepts in a technology kit.
“With this unique construction kit for electric motors, we can offer our customers customised solutions,” Arnd said.
In terms of charging infrastructure, MAHLE is focusing on wireless charging in addition to wired solutions for long-term parkers (MAHLE chargeBIG) – a convenient and promising alternative for e-vehicles.
Together with SIEMENS, MAHLE is developing a complete system comprising infrastructure and automotive engineering in order to set standards for inductive charging systems.

During the Tech Day event, the automotive supplier unveiled a new automated positioning system for this charging technology, in which the vehicle detects the induction surface in the ground and provides positioning assistance to the driver.
The Group is also working on innovative products for independent workshops in the service and spare parts business.
The latest example is a new vehicle- and manufacturer-independent battery diagnostic solution for electric vehicles, which MAHLE will launch in the current year.
E-HEALTH Charge combines charging and diagnostics and provides reliable information about the “health” of the high-voltage battery. The measurement takes less than 15 minutes.
Efficient thermal management is what makes efficient e-mobility possible in the first place.
Heating and cooling in vehicles is an essential technology field for electrification and a core business of MAHLE.
“MAHLE has excellent expertise in both areas-electrification and thermal management. This enables thermal systems solutions for battery electric vehicles, hybrids and conventionally driven vehicles,” Arnd said.
In the case of the e-car, key end customer acceptance factors depend on thermal management, such as the service life of the battery, cruising range of the e-car, performance of the drive system and fast-charging capability.
This significantly increases the complexity of the system. To reduce this complexity again while increasing efficiency, MAHLE says it has developed a new thermal management module.

It combines, for example, a heat exchanger, coolant pumps, condenser, chiller, sensors and valves in one unit.
This reduces installation space, development effort and costs. At the same time, the complete system becomes significantly more efficient, delivering up to 20 percent more cruising range with the MAHLE module in a system network with a heat pump compared to a pure electric heater architecture. The higher cooling performance also improves fast charging capability.
For combustion engines, MAHLE says it remains a reliable supplier to its customers as long as there is demand on the global markets.
The Group states it is using its expertise in combustion engines to pave the way for sustainable fuels in the engine side.
For example, hydrogen engines are a quick way to decarbonise propulsion, especially for heavy-duty commercial vehicles and off-highway applications.
MAHLE recently received the first series order from DEUTZ for components to be used in stationary engines, and other applications are planned.

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