Vitesco Technologies, a leading international provider of modern drive technologies and solutions for e-mobility, is also focusing on electrification in the two-wheel sector. In addition to its experience in this market, the company can also draw on its extensive expertise and series products in the automotive sector. At the world’s most important motorcycle trade fair, EICMA (November 23–28, November 23–24, trade visitor days), Vitesco Technologies will be presenting its broad range of innovations in two-wheeled vehicles: From all-electric drives for light motorcycles and scooters to the demo version of a hybrid motorcycle and other electrification solutions to emission-reducing systems for a wide range of two-wheeled and powersports applications.
48-volt drive targets Asian high-volume markets
The 48-volt system which Vitesco Technologies is presenting in Milan for the first time is designed for a performance range of 3 to 7 kW, the electrified equivalent of smaller motorized two-wheelers in the performance class of up to 150 cc which play a central role in everyday mobility in Asian countries in particular. The electronic control unit of the system, an eDCU (electric drive control unit), contains the inverter function and additional vehicle functions. The electric motor is equipped with a robust inductive rotor position sensor (iRPS). This sensor system guarantees a high quality of control, ensuring that the electric drive can handle even the most challenging driving situations. Vitesco Technologies is already developing the 48-volt system for volume production (for further details, see separate press release).
Hybrid system enables all-electric driving and enhances driving pleasure
Unlike the 3 to 7 kW segment, where Vitesco Technologies is expecting a very dynamic move to all-electric drives in the near future, the company assumes that hybrid solutions will play an important role in a transition phase for larger motorcycles – because future CO2 limits can no longer be achieved solely by means of measures aimed at the combustion engine. In the demo vehicle for a hybrid motorcycle presented in Milan, the additional electric motor is a standard belt-driven 48-volt starter generator from the automotive sector, where Vitesco Technologies has been using 48-volt hybridization since 2016. The starter generator also makes it possible to drive shorter distances purely electrically, especially in urban traffic. It also makes riding fun because it noticeably improves performance, especially on medium-sized motorcycles.
A PDCU (Powertrain Domain Control Unit) handles the very demanding control strategy in hybrid systems. This master controller controls the 48-volt machine, communicates with the M4C engine control unit of the combustion engine, and coordinates the two drive types: It decides when to drive electrically, when to use the conventional drive and when to use both, and also ensures harmonious transitions between the drive modes. Another innovation in the hybrid motorcycle is an intelligent actuator (Smart Transmission Actuator), which can switch the transmission independently and without actuating the clutch. With such automated manual transmissions, high CO2 savings can be achieved because the electronic control system can perform the gear change at an optimum time for fuel economy.
Wide range of electrification from start-stop functionality to high-performance drives
Two further EICMA exhibits demonstrate the span of Vitesco Technologies’ electrification range: An integrated starter generator control unit (ISG) and the EMR3 (Electronics Motor Reducer 3rd Generation) integrated axle drive.
With the starter generator control unit, a start-stop function can be integrated into two-wheelers with a cubic capacity of up to 250 cc with minimal effort. For this, the 12-volt alternator present in the system is modified so that it functions not only as a generator but also as an actuator to start the combustion engine. This means that the starter can be omitted. The actuator can also be used to increase the power in certain driving situations.
The third generation of the EMR (Electronics Motor Reducer), which Vitesco Technologies has been using as standard in numerous passenger car models since 2019, is a highly integrated, compact and lightweight unit comprising an electric motor, power electronics (inverter) and reduction gear. It is suitable for performance-oriented three or four-wheeled electric vehicles, such as side-by-side models, and also for rickshaws. Vitesco Technologies recently announced its first use outside of the passenger car sector: Thanks to the EMR3 drive, the high-performance three-wheeler Twike 5, which is to go into limited production from mid-2022, will accelerate to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, reach a peak of 190 km/h, and get by with a combined consumption of only 6.9 kWh per 100 kilometers (according to current simulations, for further details, see separate press release)
New solutions for classic drives and high-end motorcycles
After Vitesco Technologies has made smaller single-cylinder gasoline engines Bluetooth compatible with the M4L_BLE engine control unit integrated in the throttle valve plugs, the company is now presenting another M4 variant with a special functional feature: The M4REK uses electric gas, which means that the throttle valve is no longer operated by bowden cable, but electronically controlled (“drive-by-wire”). This gives engine management full control over the air path, which means that all parameters can now be optimally aligned for reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The ultracompact control unit which integrates electric gas and engine management in a single unit, also enables different driving modes such as “Eco” or “Sport.”
In the high-end segment, Vitesco Technologies has set an industry benchmark with its M4C engine control systems (for one or two cylinders) and M4D (up to four cylinders), which offer a wide range of functions in a very small space. In Milan, the company is now also presenting further developments for this segment. With the Smart Transmission Actuator, manual transmission can also be automated for motorcycles. Another new addition is an electronically controlled double throttle body (Electronic Throttle Body, Twin Parallel). This electric gas system moves both throttle valves with just one drive unit, and its extremely compact design makes it particularly interesting for twin engines. High performance in small spaces also makes the METALIT® catalyst carriers (LS design/PE design) on display at EICMA stand out: These ensure effective exhaust-gas aftertreatment thanks to their flow-optimized designs.
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