The German automotive-parts manufacturer Mahle (www.mahle.com
) has developed a fully integrated and modular hybrid drive that can be tailored to suit a wide range of vehicle applications.
The Mahle Modular Hybrid Powertrain (MMHP) is a fully integrated ‘plug-in’ hybrid drive that incorporates a highly efficient two- or three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine “featuring the latest technologies”.
The company says that — compared with established hybrid technologies — its unit is more cost-efficient, more compact and lighter, adding that the engine was designed exclusively for hybrid applications and benefits from the latest innovations, including the Mahle Jet Ignition (MJI) system.
This consists of a small pre-chamber and a conventional spark plug that is fitted within the engine’s combustion chamber and generates ‘hot radical jets’ that allow the use of a high compression ratio and a high exhaust-gas recirculation rate, leading to reduced fuel consumption.
Meanwhile, the use of port fuel injection, a single overhead camshaft without variable valve timing control, and simple two-valve per cylinder technology helps to minimise costs.
Martin Berger, a director at Mahle Powertrain, said: “In order to avoid penalties, vehicle manufacturers must comply with the EU’s legislative target of fleet average CO2 emissions of 59.4g/km by 2030.
“Electrification is leading the way as the industry’s chosen technology to achieve this.
“The advancement of hybrid technology is crucial for the industry as a whole to achieve future emissions targets.
“As a result of the focus on reduced emissions and strict schedules, new vehicle and technology development must occur within a much tighter timeframe.
“The Mahle Modular Hybrid Powertrain offers vehicle manufacturers a low-cost and quick off-the-shelf solution.”
The dual-mode hybrid arrangement has been selected for the MMHP, as it combines the best features of both series and parallel hybrid architectures and allows for flexible vehicle operation, while providing optimal NVH (noise vibration and harshness) behaviour.
When battery SOC (state of charge) is high, the vehicle can operate as a pure EV, whereas when SOC is low and at slow driving speeds, it can switch to series hybrid mode.
At higher vehicle speeds, however, the combustion engine can be connected directly to the wheels in a parallel hybrid arrangement.