In a world first, at the 67th IAA International Motor Show for commercial vehicles in Hanover (September 20-27) Valeo has unveiled a revolutionary rooftop air-conditioning system for electric buses.
In urban driving conditions in winter, a bus operating in all-electric mode uses similar amounts of energy to heat the cabin as it does to drive. To solve this conundrum, Valeo has created a system based on heat pump technology.
The Valeo REVO-E pro air-conditioning system features a fully automatic de-icing mode that keeps the heat pump operating at temperatures as low as -15deg C. Not only does it deliver highly efficient heating, it has a very positive impact on the electric bus’ driving range.
Banking on innovation
Innovation is a cornerstone of Valeo’s strategy, with R&D drawing a budget approaching 1.9 billion euros in 2017, i.e., nearly 12 percent of the Group’s OEM sales. In 2017, Valeo filed more than 2,000 patents worldwide and for the second year in a row took first place in the intellectual property institute (INPI) ranking of French companies filing patents in France. Innovation is clearly instrumental in driving Valeo’s growth, with products introduced less than three years ago representing 50 percent of order intake in 2017.
Valeo’s approach to innovation starts with a detailed worldwide analysis of major trends in society (demographics, population aging, urbanization, shifts in mobility needs) over a timeframe of 30 to 50 years, providing input for drawing up a detailed 10-year technology roadmap.
Teams at Valeo’s 20 research centres and 35 development centres worldwide harness and continually enrich the most advanced skills in areas such as artificial intelligence, deep learning and big data, working with an agile, flexible startup spirit to design and develop innovative new technological solutions. Valeo also fields a network of 1,000 experts on key subjects, tasked with specifying and sharing best practices in innovation and design.
Across a wide ecosystem spanning universities, laboratories, companies in other industry sectors and startups, Valeo leverages cooperative innovation to diversify its sources of inspiration and streamline its development cycles. The company estimates that there are around 30,000 startups whose work in relevant areas may hold particular interest.