Plug-in Hybrids Too Expensive? Continental Has an Answer for That

Discussion in 'In the News' started by Carcus, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    [​IMG] Continental’s all-new modular HEV/PHEV electrified drivetrain... A better mousetrap?

    Carcus – CleanMPG – December 12, 2019

    [​IMG]
    Cost-effective and compact hybrid transmission solution with integrated electric motors.​

    The Continental Vitesco Technologies cost-effective PHEV prototype offers the driver the same standard of comfortable driving and shifting that until now has been associated with plug-in hybrids equipped with a conventional 6-speed automatic transmission. And yet a DHT transmission with Vitesco technology has only four mechanical gears and has no mechanical synchromesh systems, auxiliary hydraulics or start clutch. Moving off (in 1st and 2nd gear) and reversing are handled by the electric drive motor, while synchronization is performed by a starter-alternator that also provides fast and smooth starting of the internal combustion engine. The reassignment of functions makes it possible to reduce the number of mechanical components in the transmission, which also saves space, weight and costs. This makes the DHT a natural choice for front transverse mounting in compact segment vehicles, where installation space is always a challenge.

    Combined with a low-cost port-injection gas engine and all-electric-capable electric drive, DHT technology clears the way for affordable, economical and comfortable vehicles capable of performing a wide range of daily trips in all-electric mode, with zero local emissions. The DHT for cost-effective PHEVs is designed for speeds of up to 74 mph in all-electric mode, and up to 99 mph in hybrid mode.

    This new PHEV solution draws on Vitesco Technologies’ wide-ranging systems expertise in powertrain design and electric drive technology. Quiet shifting offered by the DHT despite its simple dog-clutch design is based on the dynamic capability of the electric motors and control technology. DHT technology offers inroads to a lower cost PHEV platform and is another step towards systematic electrification.

    BTW, Continental Automotive was involved with the production of the GM Volt -- so maybe they've been studying the big cheese long enough to come up with a better mouse trap?
     
    xcel and BillLin like this.
  2. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Where does the cost saving come in?
     
    xcel likes this.
  3. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    "The reassignment of functions makes it possible to reduce the number of mechanical components in the transmission, which also saves space, weight and costs."
     
    BillLin and xcel like this.
  4. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Another potential savings is the way Toyota is doing the batteries in the Prius Prime (and I presume Rav4 prime(?)) --- no liquid cooling (only forced cabin air) along with light duty cycles -- they've got enough confidence to give out a 10/150k warranty on the battery.

    So maybe you end up with a Volt-ish type vechicle that actually comes in comfortably under $30,000*.

    /* the Prius Prime is close, .. but performance needs to come up and cost needs to come down in order to get more widespread acceptance (imo, .. europe/china, ... US fuel still too cheap)
     
    BillLin and xcel like this.
  5. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Isn't that a tiny portion of the cost of a PHEV?

    To me, the cost of the Prime is okay already. Or are you saying under $30k without incentives? As for the performance, what's lacking? Passing performance is good, though all the passing zones around my area are long gone. Merge onto the highway acceleration is good. How fast do you want it to be? sub-7 second 0-60? sub-6 second?

    I have to say I'm very satisfied with handling of the Prime as well. On a recent trip on the NJ turnpike, some yahoo in a black suv was doing high speed weaving between cars and cut us off to pass someone on the right. I swear they would have hit me had I not braked and moved onto the clear shoulder. I had seen a black shape coming toward me through my peripheral vision a few feet to my left and I was fully aware of the same normal speed traffic ahead and to the left in the 2nd lane. I was fully recovered and back in the right lane within seconds of the initial triggering event. Shocked my wife who was watching videos on her phone. It was all over by the time she looked up.
     
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Carcus:

    It appears from the vague description(s) that Continental mated the Hyundai Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) within a two motor transmission while allowing first and second "gear???" to run off the single MG2 motor alone. I am not seeing much gained here vs the simpler Toyota HSD solution. The Inverter/Transverters costs the same as you have to bring down or scale up voltages to reduce current, an 80 to 120 hp traction motor is surely inside as is a 10 to 40 hp continuous charging/starter motor.

    Continental spent quite a bit of $s to develop the 48-V systems used in some overseas VW/Audi's and FCA products here and it is not gaining traction as it saves little fuel and the $1k upcharge was not worth the 5 to 10 percent efficiency gain. Especially when $2.5k gets us to an HSD or an HSD equipped Prime PHEV with 50+ or more percent increase in efficiency. I can pickup a new 2020 Toyota Prius Prime for less than $20k in less than 10-minutes and that is today. VW is surely going to equip their Golf/Jetta sized vehicles with the Continental system in the future but there will be an up charge and I bet it is in the $2.5 to $3k range for the HEV w/ a 1.5k Li-Ion traction battery and $5k for the PHEV incl. 10 kWh pack for 30 to 40-miles of all-electric range.

    I would love to see this on a future VW Jetta mated to their efficient and powerful 1.4l TSI for example at a low cost. They could atkinsonize the 1.4L TSI further as they have 40+ hp on tap from the Hybrid electric drivetrain to keep power the same or even provide a boost into the 200 hp range for a short period.

    I formatted the excellent story for the home page and am now spreading the link around the web to gain some additional traction. :)

    Great find!

    Wayne
     
    BillLin and Carcus like this.
  7. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    I'm talking (and I think Continental is talking) about comfortably under $30,000 before any incentives. Something like a Versa or Corolla. A 15-ish kWh (usable) pack. $27,000 or so... perhaps even under $25,000 (before incentives).

    The charge depleted (hybrid) mpg won't be anything special. Probably in the upper 30's or very low 40's. But who cares? This setup would use somewhere around 1/3 to 1/4 of the petrol of an ICE compact car. If you're living in France (today's price US $6.33/gallon). That's a big deal. Might be enough to keep the yellow vested protests down.*

    /*there really needs to be a viable option for the working class besides "take the bus"
    //from the press release, it does appear they are targeting compact class, inexpensive, (not turbo or even direct injection -- i.e. NOT chasing further Atkinsination {not sure that's a word}, just trying to keep costs down -- making the most of the 'right sized' HV battery)
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
    xcel and BillLin like this.
  8. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    Toyota is probably paying 2 to 4 times more per kWh than Tesla for the battery in the Prime. The heat tolerant chemistries for air cooled packs cost more. The inverter and motors are liquid cooled, so adding the battery onto that isn't a major expense. There is also packaging advantages to liquid cooling. Ford has opted to use liquid cooling for the Escape and Explorer, both the hybrids and PHEVs.

    Nearly all hybrids in CARB states had a 10yr/150k mile warranty on the battery since at least 2004. It is an expansion of the emissions warranty. We'll see more manufacturers extend such warranties as the Tier 3 emission rollout continues. The federal emission warranty isn't being extended, but manufacturers get credits for certifying the emission system for 150k miles. http://www.meca.org/regulation/epa-tier-3-and-california-lev-iii-rulemakings

    The important question for PHEVs is whether the warranty covers capacity loss. If not, a Prime could be down to a half its EV range, but if the battery is good enough for emissions during hybrid use, then tough luck.
     
    BillLin and xcel like this.
  9. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Got a link for that "2 to 4 times more" exclusive info?

    /Speaking of Tesla, ... They've got a revolving door in the General Council position (3 in the last year), not to mention losing the co-founder/Chief Technology Officer. ... meanwhile there are lawsuits looming over battery management issues.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
    BillLin and xcel like this.
  10. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    I guess I should have specified 'Vitesco" instead of Continental. Vitesco was spun off as an independent this year.

    "As a former division of parent company Continental AG, Vitesco Technologies is one of the few automotive systems suppliers to offer complete electrification systems from a single source. The company's portfolio ranges from 48-volt EV technologies and key components for hybrid drives to full battery-electric drive systems.

    "We will be focusing our investment strategy even more heavily on electrified and all-electric technologies and channeling more internal resources into these areas. In doing so, we are significantly strengthening our existing high level of electronics expertise." CEO Wolf said.

    Vitesco Technologies recorded sales of EUR 7.7 billion in 2018 and employs more than 40,000 employees worldwide. The company is headquartered in Regensburg, Germany."
    Continental AG Powertrain Arm Rebrands as Vitesco Technologies, Supplying Electric Drive Units to Hyundai and Groupe PSA
    https://www.futurecar.com/3548/Cont...lectric-Drive-Units-to-Hyundai-and-Groupe-PSA

    /the above article is on a different drive-train, .. but does show Vitesco to be a big established company with big established auto manufacturer connections in place
     
    BillLin and xcel like this.
  11. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Carcus:

    I wonder why Continental would issue a release on their website for a company they just sold off? Something seems irregular about that.

    Wayne
     
    BillLin likes this.
  12. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I think the cost-saving is for the OEM who wants to design a hybrid car around it. Cost savings to consumers is yet TBD. :)
     
    xcel, Trollbait and BillLin like this.
  13. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    On further reading. ..

    Looks like Vitesco (formerly Continental's drivetrain division) was supposed to be an IPO, .. or partial IPO. Continental backed off of that and now they call it a Parent/Spin-off relationship --- whatever that is --- well above my paygrade to figure that one out. Perhaps it is maneuvering before they get waist deep into China ? --- who knows?

    Is this symptomatic of the automotive transition we are in? Nobody (including the OEMs) really knows what we're going to end up with. So they (the OEMs) are reluctant to commit big money to battery plants, and now, perhaps -- are also reluctant to commit big money to new drivetrains in general. So they would rather just keep "farming that out" ... at least until the lithium dust settles ?

    /continental AG stock price which peaked at close to $31 in Jan '18, is now down to around $13.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/joecor...s-shelves-plans-for-partial-ipo/#4608c6033dae
     
    BillLin and xcel like this.
  14. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    While Continental systems are usually destined for VW/Audi/Porsche, I am not seeing a peep about an HEV/PHEV using this system. If there is one thing the Passat in particular could use, its an efficient drivetrain now that TDI is gone. Any efficient drivetrain in fact as its 174 hp and 206 lb-ft. of torque 2.0L TSI with a 23/34/27 mpg city/highway/combined rating is two generations behind the standard bearers. Those stalwarts being the Camry, Accord, Altima, Sonata, Optima...

    Wayne
     
    BillLin likes this.
  15. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    I saw a report of Continental working on a two to three speed transmission for a BEV, without any peep on such a product in an available car yet. Then reports from them on their mild hybrid system were coming out years before they appeared in any car.
     
    xcel and BillLin like this.
  16. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I think the American and Asian manufacturers want to "grow their own".
    But this Continental technology looks pretty good. Maybe a high-performance VW BEV ( hatch? ) could benefit from a
    two-or-three speed trans.
     
    BillLin and xcel like this.
  17. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    Ford and GM already have capable hybrid systems for a PHEV, and many of the Asian companies without a system of their own have ties to Toyota. So less of "grow their own" as opposed to already got it.
    I think the goal of the trans is to allow a smaller, cheaper motor.
     
    EdwinTheMagnificent, xcel and BillLin like this.
  18. litesong

    litesong litesong

    No. Its to get better efficiency on the highway. As long as electric charging stations demand to charge four times (more?) the true cost of electricity, gouging road travelers so electricity is more expensive than gasoline, there is NEED for a transmission that will stretch kW-hrs AND reduce COST OF MILES TRAVELED. Electric motors are far more efficient than ICE motors & charging companies jump into the fray, to make sure they, not the travelers, benefit from EV motor efficiency. If the situation isn't corrected, it'll be a long time till I get an EV for long range distances.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
    BillLin and xcel like this.
  19. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    I will post the whole thing tomorrow but I thought the all-new 2020 Audi Q5, A7 and A8 TFSI e PHEVs would be the first to use Continental’s PHEV system. Audi is mating their hybrid motor/system to their own DCT. Both could be Continental systems however.

    2020 Audi Q5 TFSI e PHEV-20

    [​IMG]

    Wayne

    #AUDI #TFSIe
     
    BillLin likes this.

Share This Page