MAHLE Range Extender Vehicle
The global automotive industry continues with the development of electric vehicles, but their widespread adoption is being held back by persistently high battery costs and the acknowledged concerns over range anxiety.
MAHLE Powertrain has developed a production feasible solution based on the range extended electric vehicle (REEV) philosophy. Having successfully developed its own Compact Range Extender Engine in-house, a fully functional demonstrator vehicle has now been built to provide convincing proof of this approach. Starting from a clean-sheet, the MAHLE Range Extender has been designed to be light (65 kg including generator) and compact.
Within the relatively small confines of the B-segment donor vehicle engine bay, the MAHLE Powertrain engineers were able to package the entire drivetrain system which comprises of
- Twin-cylinder, gasoline engine (30 kW output) with integrated generator
- Electric traction motor (100 kW peak output)
- Two-speed transmission
- Inverter units for motor and generator
- Associated cooling systems
A 14 kW/h traction battery with integrated charging system was installed under the rear luggage compartment floor and the original fuel tank was reduced to 25 litres to allow re-positioning of the 12V battery beneath the rear passenger seat. The complete system has only added approximately 200 kg to the total vehicle weight (relative to the baseline gasoline donor car).
Initial testing on the in-house chassis dynamometer has verified that the targets set for the vehicle can be readily achieved:
- NEDC CO2 emissions of less than 45 g/km
- An electric driving range of over 60 km
- Combined driving range of up to 500 km
Concerns over possible NVH issues have also been dispelled during the initial demonstration drives. Once the vehicle is travelling above 40 km/h, the range extender engine starting is imperceptible to the vehicle’s occupants, as road and wind noise become predominant. Even at slower speeds the engine noise has been described as barely discernible.
The MAHLE Range Extender vehicle represents a significant step forward in production-feasible REEV technology and clearly demonstrates the broad spectrum of engine and vehicle development skills available within the MAHLE Powertrain organisation.
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