Hybrid Drive Challenges:
The battle beneath the bonnet

Until recently, most automobiles held few surprises in store under the bonnet. Conventional drives with a combustion engine were still the norm – but not any more.

Stricter CO2 targets are setting the pace

The next few years could see dozens of different drive train architectures competing with each other. The key driver is the need to meet ever-stricter CO2 ceilings by electrifying drivetrains everywhere – from small cars to premium SUVs.

The CTI SYMPOSIUM CHINA has answers 

How to master and leverage this electrified drivetrain diversity is just one of the interesting topics speakers will be addressing at the upcoming CTI SYMPOSIUM CHINA. Hybrid concepts will have their own dedicated session, with seven specialist lectures.

Drivetrain electrification – diversity leads the field

Let’s face it: when it comes to automobiles, people have very specific expectations. And their wishes and needs are far too diverse for any one hybrid drivetrain architecture to cover. Now, or any time soon.

On the one hand, vehicle manufacturers have a keen interest in flexible, scalable solutions for different markets and vehicle classes. On the other hand, the brand’s unique DNA always needs to reflect in the driver experience. All without neglecting CO2 reduction requirements, obviously.

A fully scalable approach resolves the conflicts

Until recently, the key factor for automobile performance was the combustion engine at its heart. But now electrified drivetrains are opening up totally new avenues and opportunities.

In his lecture, Dr Carsten Bünder (Magna Powertrain, Deutschland) will present an innovative holistic approach. The eDrive demo vehicle contains multiple variants of electrified drives, enabling one-stop testing and comparisons.

Full scalability and greater individuality are no longer opposites. Instead of just focussing on efficiency, the industry is now addressing modularity and scalability in a holistic way that factors in CO2 reductions, performance and driving dynamics too. To show this more clearly, Dr Carsten Bündner will present realistic performance simulations for different scales of drivetrain architectures.

Next-generation eDrive: integration at the highest level

For Masashi Aikawa (GKN Driveline, Japan), the defining topic ­for tomorrow’s electric drives is also the greatest challenge: system integration. Which factors support progress towards high-level integration? What are the general parameters, drivers and ground-breakers? Masashi Aikawa will start by analysing the status quo, then present a study of how the next generation design might look. Examples in his outlook will include ultra-compact build volumes, sandwich construction and innovations in NVH performance.

Hybrid drives don’t have to be expensive

For hybrid automobiles to succeed in mass markets, they need to be affordable. In his lecture, Dr Jörg Gindele (Magna Powertrain, Germany) will present a strategy for achieving that goal. He will also expand the familiar concept of Dedicated Hybrid Transmission (DHT) to cover hybrid drives as a complete system.

In this Dedicated Hybrid Powertrain (DHP) all components, – i.e. the combustion engine, the entire e-Drive plus the control and temp management systems as well as the transmission – form a fully integrated system. All units are carefully tailored to meet the requirements of their overall system. More simple technical solutions are desirable; these could include trimming the technical outlay for smaller combustion engines, or reducing transmission ratio counts.

As a result, per-unit production costs for hybrid drivetrains could match or even beat those of conventional drives. In his lecture, Dr Jörg Gindele will substantiate this view and show the potential efficiency gains from integrating components into a Dedicated Hybrid Powertrain (DDP).

Electrified automated manual transmission (eAMT): a smart solution for compact cars

One goal must be to make electrified drives available in all vehicle classes, right down to compact passenger cars. Dr Florian Mühlfeld (ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Deutschland) will present an eAMT concept that can make an important contribution. It ticks all the boxes with minimal outlay, and minimises development and production costs by using existing manual shift transmissions. This automated transmission is compact and light, cuts fuel consumption with electronically optimised shift points, and enables full hybrid functionality.

The high shift comfort of the eAMT deserves a special mention. The intelligent electric drive management minimises system-related power lag when shifting. Depending on the system design, even AT-level shifts are possible without affecting vehicle acceleration.

The CTI SYMPOSIUM CHINA in Shanghai – right time, right place 

When it comes to electromobility, the world looks to China as the pacemaker and key market.

Currently, the ambitious targets and legislation for New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) are fuelling plenty of discussion.

The upcoming CTI SYMPOSIUM CHINA (18 – 20 September) will place special emphasis on NEV challenges and solutions. The symposium is a highly regarded specialist forum for Intelligent Electrified Drivetrains – and a fascinating platform for people who wish to exchange ideas and opinions in depth, and network with experts from around the world.


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