In addition to the electric motor, power electronics and transmission components that are often combined into one component, the 4-in-1 system also includes thermal management. The high degree of integration is intended, among other things, to save space and weight. The thermal management system is particularly effective, allowing the electric vehicle to travel further on a single battery charge, as well as charge faster. Energy consumption should be reduced by up to 14% by using a drive - on the one hand. On the other hand, waste heat is recovered thanks to the new heat pump. Expenses should also be ten percent lower.
Thermal management of the entire electric drive is very important - since there is no waste heat from the internal combustion engine, and the drive is very efficient, the heat in the electric vehicle must be directed in the right direction. The heat is needed to heat the passenger compartment or the battery. If the available heat cannot be used, it must be generated from the battery energy, which increases the consumption.
“The thermal management system has a significant impact on the efficiency and comfort of a vehicle,” says Jochen Schröder, Head of Electric Vehicles at Schaeffler. With a 4-in-1 E-axis, "this creates a highly integrated and compact complete system that requires significantly less space than non-integrated solutions."
Because no extra hoses and cables are needed, less energy is wasted as heat. “Besides the compact design, the biggest advantage of the 4-in-1 system is the optimized interaction of the individual subsystems,” says Schroeder. When designing, engineers consider both the thermal behavior of individual drive components, such as the electric motor or power electronics, as well as the most efficient and comprehensive temperature management of the entire vehicle so as not to disperse waste. Heat from the electric motor and power electronics through the radiator, but use it to heat the passenger compartment.