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THK EV prototype highlights a range of advanced technologies

Japanese technology company THK unveiled its advanced LSR-05 electric prototype at the recent 2023 Japan Mobility Show. Beyond a design study, the LSR-05 is a fully functional prototype vehicle developed to highlight a range of advanced technologies developed by THK for application across the global automotive industry.

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The LSR-05 is a crossover four-seater coupe that features a four-wheel steering system through the integration of two THK original 93 kW (800V) variable-flux in-wheel electric motors in the rear and a 220 kW (800V) electric motor in the front. The platform integrates several key THK technologies that drive ride comfort and handling stability including active suspension, MR fluid active dampers, and electric brakes. The LSR-05 also features a contactless power transfer system.

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  • Variable Magnetic Flux In-Wheel Motor: enemo. This inner rotor-type in-wheel motor increases reliability due to driving the left and right wheels independently. In addition, both high-torque and high-speed rotation are enabled thanks to a variable magnetic flux system that utilizes a highly rigid THK ball screw/spline. Furthermore, assembling the THK curved guide into the rear steering enables four-wheel steering, which features a large steering angle and contributes to a precise driving line.

  • Active Level Control Suspension: ALCS. This system enables vehicle height adjustments and stability control inputs based on road surface conditions. This is achieved by operating a THK ball screw/spline which lowers the height of the vehicle to reduce air resistance when driving at high speeds and improve power supply efficiency when using contactless charging. The system can also raise the height of the vehicle when off-roading or when driving over uneven surfaces.

  • MR Fluid Active Damper Tube: MRDT. THK offers seismic isolation technology with a lineup of rotary dampers that utilize ball screws and a viscous element that absorb and dampen vehicle inputs. By combining this technology with MR fluid, the damping power of the suspension can be controlled electronically to absorb vibrations and used in conjunction with the ALCS, which controls vehicle height.

  • Contactless Power Supply: CLPS. Through the DWPT (dynamic wireless power transfer) method, a power transmitter is embedded in the ground, and a power receiver is installed in the vehicle. Lowering the height of the vehicle with the ALCS increases charging efficiency, enabling power receivers to ultimately be smaller and more lightweight. Contactless charging has the potential to increase driving distances, even with shortened charging times and smaller battery packs.

  • Electric Service Brake: ESB. This system controls four brakes independently through biwiring (electric control). The system contributes to significant vehicle weight reduction and packaging size by utilizing a highly rigid THK ball screw inside the brake actuator.

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