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Continental Supplying the Complete Electric Drive for Planned Volume Production Electric Vehicles

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One of the first electric drive systems which will be produced in high volumes for electric vehicles. Click to enlarge.

Continental’s Powertrain Division is developing and producing the complete electrical drive train, including the control system, for the electric vehicles of an as yet unnamed car manufacturer, which should be available in large numbers on the Europe market from the start of 2011.

Continental Powertrain has developed low-cost, production-ready drive components and complete systems for electrifying the drive train. The core components are the energy storage unit (i.e. the battery), the power electronics and the electric motor.

Second-generation power electronics take some 30% less space. Click to enlarge.

The technology to be used for the power electronics is already second generation, taking up some 30% less space than its predecessor and making it significantly easier to install in the vehicle; it is also less expensive to produce. The main tasks of the power electronics include converting the direct current from the battery into alternating current both for the electric motor to use and for controlling it.

During recuperation (or brake-energy regeneration), i.e. when generating electricity, this process works in reverse and the regenerated energy is stored in the battery. A DC/DC converter, integrated into the power electronics housing, converts the battery voltage for use in the standard vehicle power supply and vice versa.

Continental is supplying an externally excited synchronous machine as the electric motor in the package together with the speed-transforming transmission and engine management system. This type of motor offers a broad power bandwidth and high efficiency, resulting in fuel consumption benefits in realistic driving cycles which include both urban and inter-city journeys; it also has safety advantages. Motors with outputs of 60 kW (90 bhp) and 120 kW (163 bhp) are currently under development.


Henry Gibson

The size and price of the motors and electronics will make electric cars continue to be too expensive. Then the expensive Lion batteries are added to completly kill the deal. Even 60 horsepower is not needed on most trips except for ego trips. ..HG..

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