Vitesco Technologies is to display its system solutions for 48-volt electric drives for two-wheeled vehicles at EICMA 2021 (November 23 to 28). These are designed for a power spectrum of 3 to 7 kW and are the equivalent of light motorcycles and scooters with an engine displacement of up to 150cc.
The system comprises an electric drive control unit (eDCU) and an electric machine with a special inductive rotor position sensor (iRPS), which ensures a high quality of control. Vitesco Technologies is already developing the drive in specific customer projects for volume production.
According to Torsten Bellon, head of non-automotive product line at Vitesco Technologies, “Electrification is progressing, particularly in Asia, where motorised two-wheelers are almost a necessity for many people’s everyday mobility. This trend is no longer limited to China, and the share of electric two-wheeled vehicles is increasing in countries such as India and Vietnam.”
This development is being fueled by a variety of measures by the individual countries, from stricter emission regulations to the establishment of environmental zones in cities, the increase in petrol prices and general subsidies. “And there is also a further change. While electrification in these markets has previously extended almost exclusively to two-wheeled vehicles with less than 3 kW output, there is now an increased trend toward e-motorcycles and scooters with higher performance, also due to falling battery costs. We expect the demand for electric two-wheelers with an output of 3 to 7 kW to increase sharply worldwide, including China, and that this market growth will take off sharply after a certain ‘tipping point’,” emphasizes Bellon.
Expertise in two-wheeled vehicles
Vitesco Technologies has two decades of experience in the two-wheel segment, also has the current technologies of the automotive industry, and electronic control units are the company’s core competencies across all areas. This extensive expertise has been incorporated into the new eDCU, the central control device of the 48-volt system. The controller replaces the conventional engine control unit of a combustion vehicle and includes both the inverter function and additional vehicle functions. “In order to continuously reduce the size and ultimately also the cost of the control unit, we are striving for further integration of the control unit,” emphasises Bellon.
With the iRPS (Inductive Rotor Position Sensor) inductive rotor position sensor, the drive developers also benefited from the company’s broad range of expertise: They were able to access a ready-to-use system developed by the Sensing & Actuation business unit. The iRPS (Inductive Rotor Position Sensor) is another fundamental component of the 48-volt drive. It gives the brushless electric motor the extremely high quality of control required in a fully electric drive to optimally handle challenging driving situations such as stop-and-go traffic or driving at walking pace. The sensor is connected to the motor shaft and can be positioned differently. The very light and compact system with magnet-less technology without rare earths is immune to low-frequency magnetic fields, each pole pair number can be configured accordingly and can be used in an ambient temperature range of minus 40 to plus 150degC.