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  • Writer's pictureNATALIA SOUSA

MAHLE at the Aachen Colloquium: Including a battery concept for 90-second charging

MAHLE gave insights into its latest research and development projects at the Aachen Colloquium. Its five lectures focused on technologies for battery electric vehicles and fuel cells. One highlight was the new lithium-carbon battery concept developed by MAHLE Powertrain.

It is designed to enable ultrafast charging of lightweight two-wheeled and small vehicles in under 90 seconds for applications such as urban distribution transport. In addition, the concept is particularly sustainable because it does not require rare raw materials and is fully recyclable. Other projects showcased include transmissions and thermal management systems for electric vehicles and a newly developed air pathway for fuel cell vehicles.

“The mobility transformation is accelerating every day, and we are helping to advance climate-friendly technologies,” says Dr. Martin Berger, Vice President Corporate Research and Advanced Engineering at MAHLE. “MAHLE’s portfolio today is as varied as the future mobility requirements. With the topics we presented at Aachen, we once again demonstrated that we are targeting those areas where zero-carbon mobility needs good ideas.”

The battery concept combines the advantages of supercapacitors and conventional lithium-ion batteries. As a result, lithium-carbon battery technology is not only able to support the ultrafast charging of compact delivery vehicles in inner-city areas, for example. It also has a high power density and is not susceptible to so-called runaway events, in which uncontrolled overheating occurs.

Also at the event in Aachen/Germany, MAHLE’s most prominent business unit, Thermal Management, presented an integrated thermal management system for battery electric vehicles. With this technology, MAHLE can maximize efficiency at the system level, reduce costs, and facilitate the integration of motor, electronics, and battery temperature control into the overall system.

MAHLE Powertrain’s transmission specialists showcased a shiftable high-speed electric drive module with a complex-compound planetary gearset for electric vehicles for the first time in Aachen. The core competence of MAHLE ZG Transmissions lies in the production of innovative transmissions, often for electric or hybridized drive concepts.

MAHLE’s lecture on using additive manufacturing to produce high-performance drive components will kick off the topic of innovative manufacturing processes. 3D printing in metal has enabled MAHLE to print and successfully test components for high-performance sports cars. The advantages of 3D printing are now being incorporated into the development of alternative drives, significantly shortening development times and speeding up prototype production.

Where battery-electric solutions do not deliver, MAHLE has the appropriate fuel cell technologies at the ready. In a further presentation, the company will present concepts for an ideal fuel cell air pathway designed to guarantee a high level of efficiency and maximum durability. MAHLE has been active in production applications involving hydrogen for over a decade and is investing considerable development effort to drive this clean future technology forward. The company is also committed to promoting hydrogen-based technologies at a political level.

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