Mahle has developed a 48-volt vehicle concept for urban mobility, which it states can be transferred to a wide range of platforms owing to its modular approach. “MEET” (Mahle Efficient Electric Transport) will debut at the 2017 Frankfurt IAA next month.
Mahle says that the concept is its answer to increasing urbanization, a shortage of parking spaces, and a move away from the conventional buyer model to car sharing schemes. Designed around a brief that called for a ‘compact and agile, convenient, intuitive, connected, and particularly efficient—but still economically viable’ vehicle, MEET is built around a ‘highly efficient’ 48-volt vehicle concept
The Mahle IPM (Interior Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor) traction drive is a combination of a synchronous motor with permanent magnets, and integrated 48-volt electronics. To begin with, the MEET demonstrator vehicle was equipped with a Mahle drive unit consisting of two motors, each with 14kW of mechanical continuous output and 36Nm of torque. The model to be unveiled at the IAA is the next evolution of the concept. The revised concept is now powered by upgraded motors, boasting 20kW and 80Nm per motor. The motors drive the rear wheels via a central transmission.
Mahle states that MEETs modular structure can be easily modified according to the application, for example for other performance levels. The emerging existance of 48-volt architecture in hybrid vehicles allows for an easier and more cost-effective integration, for instance as a drive unit/ electric axis or for an electric all-wheel system.
The unit also brings benefits in terms of vehicle dynamics, increasing maneuverability and agility, through a torque vectoring functionality. As a result of the wide speed range of the motors, a gearbox is not necessary; increasing efficiency through the elimination of switching losses.