## BMW and DaimlerChrysler to Partner on Mild Hybrid Drive for RWD Premium Segment

##### 01 March 2007

The BMW Group and DaimlerChrysler AG are expanding their collaboration in hybrid drive systems and will participate as equal partners in the development of a mild hybrid module for rear-wheel-drive premium segment cars.

Both carmakers plan to commercialize the new module within the next three years. This new collaboration between BMW and DaimlerChrysler extends the cooperation at the Hybrid Development Center in Troy, Michigan—which also includes GM—on the development of the two-mode full hybrid systems.

In July 2006, Dr. Weber said that DaimlerChrysler would commercialize an S-class mild hybrid in 2008, and that further mild-hybrid models are in development for subsequent years. (Earlier post.)

Earlier, at the 2005 Frankfurt auto show, DaimlerChrysler introduced gasoline and diesel Mercedes mild-hybrid concept cars based on the S-Class. The “Direct Hybrid” was a V6 gasoline hybrid that uses spray-guided direct injection (GDI) to optimize efficiency of the engine (related post). The “Bluetec Hybrid” used a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system to meet future diesel emissions requirements. Both use the same mild hybrid transmission.

The core of that mild hybrid system was a 6-kW electric motor installed between the engine and the 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission’s converter. Depending on the driving situation, it functions as a starter or a generator, and provides a tractive boost on startup—up to 250 Nm—and at other points during operation.(Earlier post.)

The decision to jointly develop hybrid drive components will allow DaimlerChrysler and BMW to extend their range of drive systems for rear-wheel-drive premium segment cars. Both manufacturers will benefit from the pooling of development capacity, which will make for faster commercialization, and from improved cost efficiencies due to higher unit volumes. The components will be individually adapted by the two companies to the different character of the two brands.

Cooperation in the field of innovative drive systems makes good sense not only from a technical but also from an economic standpoint. It will help to strengthen the competitiveness of two German manufacturers whose requirements in the premium segment are very similar. This is a segment where rapid commercialization of drive technologies offering high efficiency, performance and comfort is particularly important.

—Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler

This collaboration will allow us to broaden our technological base in the area of future hybrid drive systems for the premium class and will allow the two companies to pool their innovative resources. The distinct identities of the different brands will not be affected, since the relevant technologies will be tailored to fit the specific character of the different vehicles.

—Dr Klaus Draeger, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG

Both technically and geographically, the core development work on the proposed mild hybrid module will take place in Germany, at the relevant engine and drivetrain development sites. A common project framework will ensure close integration of the development teams and will harness the combined knowledge base of both manufacturers.

Are you kidding me? Just now you want to develop a hybrid for integration in 3 years? Shame on you.

MB and BMW - usually arch-rivals - are only co-operating on this because of looming legislation mandating fleet average emissions of 130 gCO2/km by MY2012. Bottom line: hybrids are an expensive proposition.

While neither the S-Class not the 7 series will ever be that frugal, improving their fuel economy is not just a matter of good PR but a way to limit the number of small econoboxes that must be sold at a low margin (or a loss) to compensate.

It's not yet clear how the EU will compute fleet average CO2 emissions. On past form, it may decide to do so across all vehicles sold throughout the EU in a given calendar year by members of the manufacturers' associations ACEA, JAMA and KAMA. If the target is not met, there will presumably be fines or other repercussions, which would then be levied on these associations. Their respective members would have to figure out amongst themselves how the pain would be distributed - preferably using a formula that is negotiated well ahead of time.

This would provide greater flexibility than applying the limit more narrowly by brand, by corporation or by member state.

are we entering into a period of mild climate change! I agree with the previous post ,shame on you, lets see some of that famous german engineering used for the good of the planet!

Andrichrose -

it's not as if the Germans have been sitting on their thumbs lately, given their continuous improvements of diesel injection, GDI, fully variable valvetrains, DSG, CVT etc.

Electric hybrids are one area where they are lagging, but that may have more to do with the cost/benefit analysis of that particular fuel economy measure than anything else. Keep in mind that the Audi Duo flopped badly in the 1990s and put the entire German auto industry off electric hybrids for a decade.

Of course, regardless of what the engine designers come up with, the vehicles keep getting bigger, heavier and more luxurious. This has nullified most of the efficiency gains achieved in the prime mover over the past decade or two.

Availablity of betteries and motors is diffetrent around the world and so he progress is different too.

A milk design can be sold in much larger numbers and bottom line effect fleet average co2 much more then limited numbers of full hybrids.

It also gives a company a good learning curve to work on mild first.

And they are behind Ford and GM on this learning curve-

Do not underestimate European automotive engineering. When these guys stop f%$&ing around with diesels, they will start f%$&ing around with hybrids. God speed to American automotive to compete with them.

Andrey -

European car makers aren't going to stop diesel R&D just because you, Mr. Andrey, happen not to like such engines. Fact is, a continent that has almost depleted its domestic oil resources and doesn't have the military might/political will to secure resources overseas needs to pay attention to high fuel economy, even if that means accepting lower air quality. Wrt real-world fuel economy, modern diesels really are every bit as good as electric hybrids but manufacturers can actually turn a profit on them.

Besides, any engine with a turbocharger can be considered an ICE-gas turbine "hybrid". You could say the gas turbine uses a somewhat inefficient pneumatic transmission to make its contribution to shaft work. Since virtually all diesel engines these days are turbocharged and, turbocharged gasoline engines are gaining market share in Europe, you could say "hybrids" already enjoy over 50% market share in the EU. Compared to what, 2%, in the US.

Btw, engines with regular superchargers are not considered hybrids, whereas those with pressure wave superchargers are (granted, there haven't been any in production since the 1980s). Turbocompound systems such as those sold by Scania are actually double hybrids.

Rafael:

Diesel engines, including light duty automotive, are near their theoretical efficiency limits. No further R&D will yield any meaningful reduction in oil consumption. Time to move on to something radical, unless you like where you are right now.

Combining diesel with hybrid and topping off with a bio-sourced component in the fuel is probably what's going to have to happen. I don't really see it as a choice between regular diesel and hybrid gasoline, there's no reason for that in Europe - it's about getting the transportation as efficient as possible using the best available technology and for Europe so far that's been diesel whereas in North America we have a real taste for artificially cheap gasoline and previous diesel failures, so car companies need gasoline hybrids for the marketing more than anything.

Andrey -

I agree that diesels alone will not solve the problem, if only because every gallon of oil also contains a similar amount of base gasoline. In other words, we have to find ways to make gasoline ICEs more efficient and also look for ways to get away from crude oil altogether.

Since that isn't going to happen overnight, simply deploying what's already proven and available at least buys more time for whatever the breakthrough turns out to be. It's no use shooting for the moon and never getting an inch closer.

Need the motor and batteries to built a motorcycle