Schaeffler has developed a new family of oil-cooled electric motors for commercial vehicles with an efficiency of over 97% and a constant drive power of up to 300 kW. In addition, 800 volt water-cooled electric motors can also be seen at the IAA Transportation fair in Hannover.
According to the company, the main feature is the stator bar winding, which is designed to provide particularly high power density for electric motors. According to Scheffler, only a few companies in the world have mastered this winding technology. In combination with “innovative oil cooling”, which is not described in detail, not only high continuous power, but also high drive efficiency must be achieved – with the typical durability requirements of commercial vehicles. However, the supplier does not say when these engines will be installed on production cars for the first time.
The first truck electric motors from Schaeffler will go into series production in 2023. However, these are not oil-cooled motors: the second family of 800-volt water-cooled motors provides a maximum continuous power of 180 kW and a maximum torque of 950 Nm. This order, which will go into series production in 2023, was announced in 2021.
To match 800 volt motors, the supplier is also developing silicon carbide power electronics specifically adapted to the requirements of electric commercial vehicles, which are rated up to 850 volts and 600 amps (peak power) or 400 amps (continuous power) effective current - click here all electrical and mechanical components are also designed for the significantly higher mileage of heavy commercial vehicles. Another important feature is that the power electronics can also be connected to the vehicle's on-board electrical system via a 24V DC connection.
There is a simple reason why Schaeffler develops not only several engine variants, but also entire engine families: With comparatively small production volumes for commercial vehicle drives, these scalable series help to effectively cover all demand-side performance classes – without costly special developments. Therefore, the engines are designed to be used both on and off-road, in all-electric and hybrid drives, as well as in the electric axle and as a central drive.
Next week, Schaeffler will be exhibiting at the IAA Transportation 2022 in Hannover, where it will also be presenting its thermal management solutions for electric commercial vehicles. Schaeffler sees the latter as a "core competency" for electric commercial vehicles.