Eaton has developed several components designed to improve efficiency of electric, hybrid and conventional vehicles and showcased the new technologies at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show in Hannover, Germany.
4-Speed Transmission for Electric Vehicles
The company has developed a 4-speed transmission for electric vehicles designed to meet growing demand in delivery and bus segments. The 4-speed transmission was designed to address an issue related to single-speed (direct-drive) drives – contradictory requirements for high efficiency at top speeds and increased torque at launch and low speeds.
The automated manual transmission has a torque capacity up to 885 lbs.-ft. and electric gearshaft actuation that enables original equipment manufacturers to use smaller, more efficient motors. The fine-pitch helical gears offer smooth, low-noise operation, and the AMT shifting strategy is designed for maximum efficiency, which extends range and battery life.
The system is designed to improve performance in areas of range, grade performance, acceleration, and efficiency in the medium-duty and bus electric vehicle commercial markets. It is also a plus for applications that require low-noise operations and low emissions, including refuse, utility trucks, dump trucks, and emergency vehicles, according to Eaton.
“Eaton has been in the hybrid transmission business for 15 years, and we have more than two billion miles of reliable, efficient operation of hybrid transmission-equipped trucks and buses on the road,” said Scott Adams, senior vice president, eMobility, Eaton. “Our 4-speed transmission provides uncompromised launch ability on grades and always keeps the electric motor operating in its most efficient region.”
Mild Hybrid Electrically Regenerative Accessory Drive
Eaton also revealed that it is developing a 48-volt, mile hybrid electrically regenerative accessory drive. It features a 48-volt motor that can charge a vehicle’s batteries and run the air conditioner and replace the alternator in linehaul commercial vehicles.
“The 48-volt mild hybrid redefines traditional belt-mounted accessories to save fuel and reduce emissions in several ways. Enabling start/stop and engine-off coasting saves fuel while driving,” said Jeffrey Lowinger, president, eMobility, Eaton. “A regenerative system captures energy while driving and is used to keep the sleeper cab comfortable overnight without idling the engine. We think it is an efficient and cost-effective solution for our linehaul customers.”
The 48-volt mild hybrid drive improves fuel efficiency by mounting the accessories on the transmission, delivering up to 2% annual fuel savings compared with a baseline truck equipped with an Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies Endurant 12-speed automated manual transmission by eliminating the alternator and implementing engine-off coasting.
Exhaust Gas Recirculation Pump
To help save fuel and meet stringent emissions standards, Eaton is also developing an exhaust gas recirculation pump for heavy-duty diesel engines.
Eaton’s positive-displacement TVS EGR pump enables the use of a high efficiency turbo to lower engine pumping losses and increase fuel economy. The TVS EGR pump is driven by a 48-volt electric motor, making it completely independent from engine speed and more controllable than comparable pump-less EGR systems.
The TVS EGR pump currently is in the prototype stage and is undergoing evaluation with heavy-duty commercial vehicle engine manufacturers that have requested the technology. A preliminary production start date has been set but not announced publicly.
“We are leveraging the precision air control of our twin-vortices (TVS) pump technology to allow a high volume of exhaust gas recirculation to dilute air mixture with low pumping loss, while also lowering in-cylinder temperatures,” stated an Eaton release. “This allows an improvement in fuel economy, while at the same time lowering harmful NOx emissions.”