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[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]

ZF showcases mSTARS electric axle system for axle hybrids or fully electric vehicles

June 23, 2017

ZF is using its plug-in Vision Zero concept vehicle to showcase a number of new safety and zero local emissions technologies. The vehicle features a 150 kW electric axle drive system for dynamic acceleration. The entire propulsion system, including the integrated power electronics, is housed in an innovative, space-saving modular ZF rear axle system called mSTARS (modular Semi-Trailing Arm Rear Suspension).

This modular axle system makes it easier to electrify volume production vehicle platforms—even existing ones as demonstrated in the Vision Zero Vehicle. The system offers vehicle manufacturers the opportunity to respond to a diverse range of market requirements using just one car platform variant.

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Continental supplying transmission control unit, sensor cluster and software for Great Wall 7DCT

May 24, 2017

Continental is supplying the transmission control unit (TCU), sensor cluster unit (SUU), and application software for Great Wall Motor’s (GWM) seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (7DCT). The new 7DCT transmission is Great Wall’s first in-house developed automatic transmission; the new GWM luxury brand “WEY” now is equipped with this this newly-developed 7DCT.

Dual clutch transmissions (DCTs) have become popular in the Chinese automobile market, because drivers benefit from improved fuel efficiency, smooth gear shifting and increased overall vehicle performance. Most manufacturers of the popular sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are concentrating on improving driving dynamics by using automated transmissions. DCTs are particularly suited for this goal as they provide an uninterrupted power flow even during shifting.

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IAV 8-speed hybrid dual-clutch tranmission can reduce fuel consumption 18% over 6DCT

May 05, 2017

IAV has developed a high-power, high-torque eight-speed hybrid dual-clutch transmission (8H-DCT) that is capable of reducing fuel consumption by up to 18% in the NEDC over a conventional six-speed dual-clutch transmission (6DCT) due to its high number of speeds and integrated hybrid functionality. A further advantage of the IAV 8H-DCT450 lies in its extremely small package requirement.

IAV said that its design target was maximum efficiency at all operating points and in all driving situations; the high number of speeds plays a key part here. The unit makes optimum use of the map range when the combustion engine is the main source of propulsion, said Dr. Jörg Müller, head of the Transmission, E-Motor and Hybrid Systems department at IAV. “This alone cuts fuel consumption in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) by 4.3 percent over a six-speed transmission.

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IAV says new version of modular electric drive can boost range 5-10% vs system with fixed transmission ratio

May 04, 2017

IAV presented a new version of its modular electric drive concept at the Vienna Motor Symposium. Combining a 50 kW (continuous) / 80 kW (maximum) e-motor and transmission, the modular drive unit can support electrification solutions in vehicle classes A to D. The unit represents a further development of a solution IAV presented in 2010. IAV’s aim is to deliver a high level of ride comfort, efficiency and compact packaging at a competitive cost.

Many of today’s electric drives use a combination of an e-motor and transmission with fixed gear ratio. Although solutions of this type are relatively simple in terms of structure, they can be challenged to meet the full range of use cases, IAV says. For example, high hill-climbing performance and maximum efficiency demand very different transmission ratios. To address this, IAV chose a modular concept based on an e-motor and a transmission with one to three speeds.

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Blue Bird first to offer school buses with Allison Transmission’s FuelSense 2.0 to optimize fuel economy

May 02, 2017

Blue Bird Corporation is offering a new product for their new buses ordered on or after 1 May 2017 with Allison transmissions: FuelSense 2.0, featuring DynActive Shifting. This is a software upgrade to the previous FuelSense offering, which allows fleets to optimize fuel economy and performance to their specific needs.

FuelSense 2.0 has packages tailored to different driving conditions that Blue Bird school buses face daily. The new FuelSense 2.0 technology uses DynActive Shifting to provide an infinitely variable combination of shift points, and uses a learning algorithm to continuously find the ideal balance of fuel economy and performance. It provides maximum value for applications with heavy start-stop needs, such as school buses.

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Dana showcasing electrified technologies at Auto Shanghai

April 20, 2017

At Auto Shanghai 2017, Dana Incorporated is showcasing select technologies from its Spicer Electrified portfolio of fully integrated motor, control, and e-drive technologies, as well as thermal-management products for electric and hybrid vehicles.

On display is Dana’s new Spicer electric motor-driven gearbox, which is specifically engineered to deliver better acceleration and higher torque in high-speed battery electric vehicles (BEV). Additionally, Dana’s new Spicer Electrified e-axles for electric transit buses and city delivery vehicles feature a fully integrated motor and gear box and leverage the company’s experience in chassis drivetrain applications. These e-axles are planned for launch in 2018.

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GKN Driveline presents fully integrated compact eDrive system in Shanghai; less weight, lower cost, easier integration

April 19, 2017

GKN Driveline has presented an advanced technology concept for a fully integrated, compact eDrive system at the 2017 Auto Shanghai motor show. All of the components of GKN’s eDrive system are contained within a bespoke housing, resulting in optimized packaging and greatly simplifying the integration process for car manufacturers. The system generates a maximum 65kW of power and can deliver up to 2,000 N·m of torque to the rear wheels.

GKN’s complete eDrive system packages the water-cooled electric motor, power inverter and single-speed eAxle reduction gearbox within a single casing. The all-in-one eDrive system replaces external wiring with a bus bar to eliminate unnecessary mechanical interfaces. The close proximity of the components results in improvements in both mechanical and electrical efficiency compared to today’s technology.

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Extensive rollout for GM 9-speed transmission in China

February 14, 2017

General Motors said it will rapidly and extensively deploy its new nine-speed automatic transmission in China, which is debuting in a high-volume SUV later this year. The state-of-the-art transmission, which optimizes efficiency, performance and refinement, will be adopted in 13 models in China from the Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac brands by 2020.

The new nine-speed automatic offers a fuel efficiency improvement of up to 2% compared to a six-speed transmission. It supports stop/start technology, which further helps save fuel by allowing the engine to shut down in certain stop-and-go driving conditions. It was developed globally and tested in various road conditions worldwide, including China.

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Valeo to form transmission JV with S. Korean partner Pyeong Hwa Group; torque converters and CVTs; boosting sales to Hyundai-Kia

February 07, 2017

France-based Valeo has signed an agreement with its long-standing South Korean partner Pyeong Hwa Group to create a 50/50 joint venture for transmissions; the new company will be called Valeo-Kapec. The partners intend for Valeo-Kapec to become the world leader in torque converters and CVTs.

Each partner will contribute to this Joint-Venture its respective torque Ccnverter business, located for Valeo at Nanjing (China), Atsugi (Japan), San Luis Potosi (Mexico) and Troy (USA) and located for Kapec in Daegu, Waegwan and Seongju (South Korea).

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NSK demonstrates transmission-equipped wheel hub motor

January 30, 2017

NSK Ltd. has successfully demonstrated the first transmission-equipped wheel hub motor, designed to improve the environmental performance, safety, and comfort of automobiles. Building on the knowledge it has gained from the prototype wheel hub motor it developed, NSK is aiming to commercialize wheel hub components such as the hub unit bearing with built-in speed reducer, the one-way clutch unit, the miniature cage and roller bearing, and the anti-corrosion bearing.

In-wheel motors that can work with various drive systems independent of the body structure of automobiles are attracting interest as next-generation electric drive devices. An in-wheel motor located near the wheel can reduce the weight of the vehicle, control the drive force of each wheel for improved torque vectoring, and enable the expansion of the size of the cabin space, thereby improving environmental performance, safety, and comfort.

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GKN Driveline providing eTransmission to StreetScooter electric vans

January 20, 2017

GKN Driveline is supplying its innovative electric drive technology to StreetScooter, the electric vehicle company owned by Deutsche Post DHL Group. GKN’s Family 2 eTransmission system transmits torque from the eMotor to the wheels of a new StreetScooter zero-emission pure electric van.

GKN’s system has an output torque of up to 2000 N·m in a compact package with superior noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics and efficiency. The interface enables the electric drive to pair easily with different electric motor designs to simplify integration and application engineering. Other applications for the system include the Fiat 500e city EV and the Citroen Berlingo Electric light commercial vehicle.

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Oerlikon Graziano unveils new EV transmission, modular FWD hybrid transmission concept

December 10, 2016

Oerlikon Drive Systems Segment’s transmission specialist brand, Oerlikon Graziano, introduced a new EV transmission and the concept of a new modular front-wheel drive hybrid transmission at the 2016 CTI Symposium and Transmission Expo in Berlin this past week.

The new entry in the electric vehicle range of products of Oerlikon Graziano is a single-speed transmission for a battery electric vehicle designed for a maximum input torque of 270 N·m (199 lb-ft) and max input speed of 14000 rpm. A new lubrication concept guarantees maximum flexibility in term of installation angle to allow the highest level of compatibility with different vehicle layouts. The transmission features a compact design (150 mm (5.91 inches) center distance input shaft) focused on weight optimization.

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New Lexus LC 500h with Multi Stage Hybrid System

December 08, 2016

Following the world premiere of the V8-powered LC 500 at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January 2016, Lexus introduced its hybrid variant, the new LC 500h. (Earlier post.) The LC is a new flagship 2+2 performance coupe for Lexus’ global model range, and will go on sale in the US in Spring 2017.

The LC 500h is the first model to feature the new Multi Stage Hybrid system. (Earlier post.) Adding a multi stage shift device to the 3.5-liter V6 hybrid powertrain delivers greater torque, more usable power across a wider range of engine speeds and rhythmic, linear acceleration that gives the driver the sensation of working with a 10-speed automatic gearbox.

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Chevrolet’s 1st 9-speed automatic to debut in 2017 Malibu; available in 2017 Cruze Diesel and 2018 Equinox

December 06, 2016

Chevrolet’s first nine-speed automatic transmission makes its debut in the 2017 Malibu and will be available in the 2017 Cruze Diesel and 2018 Equinox, with another Chevrolet model to follow by the end of 2017. The new, General Motors-developed Hydra-Matic 9T50 nine-speed is paired with the available 2.0L Turbo engine in the Malibu, contributing to an EPA-estimated 33 mpg highway (7.12 l/100 km)—a 3% increase over the 2016 model with the eight-speed automatic.

The new nine-speed has a wider 7.6:1 overall ratio compared to the eight-speed transmission, with a “deep” 4.69 first gear that supports excellent off-the-line acceleration and a “tall” 0.62 top gear for low-rpm highway cruising. That balance optimizes acceleration and fuel economy and reduces engine noise during cruising.

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Toyota unveils new TNGA-based engines and transmissions and improved hybrid systems; deployment begins in 2017

In Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation unveiled new advanced engines and transmissions and further evolved hybrid systems based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). Toyota intends to deploy these new powertrain units in a rapidly broadening range of vehicle models, starting in 2017. The new units will feature in 60% or more of vehicles sold annually in Japan, United States, Europe and China in 2021, reducing CO2 emissions in those markets by 15% or more.

Within the five years to the end of 2021, Toyota plans to introduce 17 versions of nine new engines; 10 versions of four transmissions, including multi-geared automatic transmissions and a new kind of continuously variable transmission; and 10 versions of six hybrid systems.

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BorgWarner launches its first integrated electric drive module for the EV market; first application in China

November 16, 2016

BorgWarner will launch an electric drive module (eDM) with integrated eGearDrive transmission in two pure electric vehicles from a major Chinese automaker. Production is expected to begin in summer 2017. This is the first electric drive module from BorgWarner following its acquisition of Remy in 2015. (Earlier post.)

BorgWarner’s eDM provides primary or secondary propulsion for pure electric or P4-type hybrid vehicles. The integrated design of the electric motor and transmission enables weight, cost and space savings. Since both functions are combined into one housing, installation is also easier.

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Ricardo’s low-cost, fuel-efficient automatic transmission concept for motorcycles

November 07, 2016

Ricardo has developed and demonstrated an advanced and cost-effective motorcycle Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) concept that offers the comfort and convenience of automatic and semi-automatic operation with better-than-manual fuel efficiency.

Manual transmissions predominate in almost all non-scooter two-wheeler categories; automated alternatives can be expensive and bring efficiency penalties. BY contrast, the Ricardo concept avoids these drawbacks and is comparatively simple to integrate into an existing product range.

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VanDyne SuperTurbo and Allison Transmission collaborating to maximize benefits of downspeeding, supercharging and turbo compounding

October 12, 2016

VanDyne SuperTurbo Inc. and Allison Transmission Inc. are collaborating to co-develop a vehicle demonstrator. The companies plan to leverage the unique performance benefits of VanDyne’s mechanically driven turbocharger in combination with Allison’s TC10 transmission in a Class 8 tractor.

Through the deployment of advanced control techniques, the two technologies will maximize the benefits of engine downspeeding, efficient supercharging and turbo compounding. The primary objective of the collaboration is to demonstrate how these two products, when paired with an intelligently controlled vehicle, can reduce carbon dioxide emissions and improve fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance.

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Jaguar Land Rover expanding Ingenium powertrain family; new gasoline engine, TRANSCEND transmission

September 12, 2016

This week, Jaguar Land Rover will expand its Ingenium powertrain family (earlier post), unveiling new technologies for both current and future vehicles. The new additions will support the company’s long-term commitment to reduce vehicle emissions and improve fuel economy across its range through the introduction of more efficient engines along with alternative powertrains, lighter vehicles and improved vehicle energy conservation.

At the heart of its low-emissions strategy, the new four-cylinder Ingenium gasoline engine is now in production at Jaguar Land Rover’s £1-billion (US$1.33-billion) Engine Manufacturing Centre. Designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK, these engines will deliver up to 25% more power than the engines they replace and offer fuel consumption reductions of up to 15%.

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Kia introducing its first FWD 8-speed automatic

September 06, 2016

Kia Motors has revealed some details of its advanced new eight-speed automatic transmission (8AT), engineered for use in front-wheel drive vehicles.

Kia developed the new front-wheel drive 8AT (FWD 8AT) in-house; the new FWD 8AT occupies the same space as a conventional six-speed automatic transmission, and weighs 3.5 kg less. Under development since 2012, the development program for the breakthrough transmission led Kia to patent 143 new technologies to ensure a high level of performance and efficiency in a compact structure.

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Xtrac introduces Integrated Lightweight Electric Vehicle (ILEV) transmission system; torque vectoring with dual motors

July 13, 2016

Xtrac has introduced its P1227 gearbox family, developed to address the growing market requirement for single-speed, lightweight and power-dense electric vehicle (EV) transmissions. It offers a range of installation possibilities for fast and powerful electric supercars with front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive configuration.

The new transmission system can be integrated with motors supplied by BorgWarner, GKN and YASA, all of which worked with Xtrac on the integration of their technology into this transmission. The dual electric motors of the transmission system also provide an inherent torque vectoring capabilities.

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Torotrak outlines advances in its full-toroidal traction-drive CVT using PitchSteer; EV applications as well

June 24, 2016

At the 2016 International VDI Congress “Drivetrain for Vehicles” in Friedrichshafen, Germany, John Fuller, Director of Concepts & IP for Torotrak Group, presented and discussed the company’s latest advances to optimize its full-toroidal variator technology for the light vehicle market as applied in continuously variable transmissions (CVTs).

Torotrak’s main drive CVTs combine its full toroidal traction drive variator with other conventional transmission components. By combining its extensive experience in main drive and auxiliary drive transmissions, Torotrak has designed a variator concept with ratio spread of up to 12, operated by a low cost actuation system.

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