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BorgWarner's Leading 48-Volt Technologies Electrify Vehicles for Better Efficiency

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【Summary】 BorgWarner, a global leader in clean and efficient technology solutions for combustion, hybrid and electric vehicles, foresees a global shift in propulsion demands with EVs and hybrid vehicles.

Original Eric Walz    Sep 12, 2017 3:05 PM PT
BorgWarner's Leading 48-Volt Technologies Electrify Vehicles for Better Efficiency

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., — BorgWarner, a global leader in clean and efficient technology solutions for combustion, hybrid and electric vehicles, foresees a global shift in propulsion demands with EVs and hybrid vehicles.

In addition to systems for full hybrid and battery electric vehicles (BEVs), BorgWarner considers 48-volt mild hybrid technologies as a crucial step on the road to delivering the fuel efficiency, features and performance that consumers demand.

The company is predicting 48-volt hybrid technology will form the basis of the future of automotive technology, providing lower fuel consumption and emissions for only minimal costs. Meaning that singular 12-volt automotive systems may come to an end.

48-Volt mild hybrids, which are vehicles equipped with electric motors allowing the internal combustion engine to be turned on and off when coasting or stopped, could reduce the percentage of CO2 emissions by up to 15 percent, capture energy typically lost while braking, provide torque in the low rpm range, and improve the start-stop function allowing a quicker engine start with less vibrations. In addition, the system can significantly reduce NOx emissions, thus minimizing the aftertreatment costs. Fuel economy could also be improved by up to 15 percent in light commercial vehicles.

Bolstered by its 2015 acquisition of Remy International and its agreement to acquire Sevcon later this year, the BorgWarner has been developing one of the broadest ranges of readily available technologies for 48-volt mild hybrids in the industry.

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As a global leader in clean and efficient, automotive technology solutions for combustion, hybrid and electric vehicles, BorgWarner has developed one of the broadest ranges of readily available technologies for 48-volt mild hybrids in the industry.

"We are excited about the demand and opportunity for electrified vehicle technologies – it is a turning point for the industry. We believe 48-volt systems offer the high-volume economics that will get us to the ultimate destination of a cleaner, more energy-efficient world," said James R. Verrier, Chief Executive Officer, BorgWarner. "With our widening breadth of products and deep systems knowledge, BorgWarner can help automakers reach their goals quickly."

25 Million Units by 2027

BorgWarner expects 48-volt systems to capture over 60 percent of the global hybrid vehicle market, with an annualized production rate of roughly 25 million units by 2027. BorgWarner's 48-volt system solutions, which, for example, include eBooster electrically driven compressors and integrated belt alternator starters (iBAS), capture and use waste energy in the most efficient way, providing more power, efficiency and functionality.

Mass production of BorgWarner's eBooster solution is currently ramping up with the innovative system launching first with three global automakers, including Daimler's latest 3.0-liter gasoline engine.

"Operating in multiple 48-volt product areas allows BorgWarner to perfect how the individual technologies function as a system," explains Christopher P. Thomas, Chief Technology Officer, BorgWarner. "For example, our engineers have evaluated a 48-volt system that incorporates an eBooster electrically driven compressor and an iBAS to determine the optimal control strategy to most effectively convert the charge in the battery to the needs of the propulsion system. This results in efficiency gains that enable engine right-sizing and more optimal matching of the turbocharger and driveline components, creating game-changing opportunities for automakers in packaging space, architecture, design and efficiency. Depending on the baseline and application, fuel economy improvements could be as much as 20%."

Powering Electric Superchargers

One of the most exciting new applications for 48 volt systems is powering electric superchargers that spool up to their designed speeds of 130,000 rpm or more in a fraction of a second. Manufacturers are downsizing their internal combustion engines and adding turbochargers to increase power. However, the disadvantage of turbos is that they only work when the flow of exhaust gasses is high.

For example, while idling at a red traffic light, turbos drop to a low rpm. Once the light turns green, they cannot boost engine power until engine revs get high enough to send a healthy stream of gasses out the exhaust manifold, spooling the turbo up to speed. A 48-volt electric supercharger can fill in that gap, increasing engine power from just off idle until engine speeds are high enough to power up the turbo.

BorgWarner has developed one of the broadest ranges of readily available technologies for 48-volt mild hybrids in the industry. The company is showcasing its broad range of combustion, hybrid and electric technologies, including eBooster electrically driven compressors, eAWD electric drive modules, one-way clutches, electric rear drive modules (eRDMs), electric motors, power electronics and efficient transmissions—at the upcoming International Auto Show in Frankfurt, Germany, and the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo in Michigan.

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