Continental establishes JV for 48V batteries

Continental establishes JV for 48V batteries

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

The joint venture, in which Continental holds a 60% stake and CITC a 40% stake, will operate globally and supply customers in China and other Asian markets as well as in Europe and North. The company will be headquartered in Changzhou, with operations scheduled to start in mid-2018. The aim is to establish the joint venture among the leading suppliers in the global market for 48V battery systems. 

CITC is part of the Chinese AVIC group and, through its subsidiary CALB (China Aviation Lithium Battery Co., Ltd.), has extensive expertise in the development and production of lithium-ion cells. Through the joint venture, Continental will be able to offer its 48V mild hybrid system, which was launched for the first time at the beginning of 2017, from a single source. The “people’s hybrid” developed by Continental enables a significant reduction of CO2 and pollutant emissions from diesel and gasoline engines at relatively low costs. The joint venture partners expect that as early as 2025, around 14 % of all new vehicles worldwide will be equipped with this mild hybridization.

The joint venture will develop and produce a battery platform for all common 48-volt topologies (P0, P2, Px) up to 25 kW. CALB supplies the battery cells; Continental will contribute the battery management system including the basic software. The integration of the components into battery systems as well as customer-specific development work and vehicle integration are carried out by the joint venture.

The 48V system offers functions previously only available in the more complex high-voltage hybrid systems. This includes switching off the internal combustion engine while sailing (“coasting”), a very fast, comfortable engine start and an effective brake energy recovery (recuperation).

In this technology, the existing 12V vehicle electrical system is supplemented by a 48V vehicle electrical system consisting of three components: a 48V lithium-ion battery, whose performance is of central importance for efficient recuperation, an electric motor with integrated inverter, which replaces the alternator, and a voltage converter (DC/DC converter) for energy exchange between the two vehicle electrical systems. Average fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in real driving situations can be reduced by up to 21% for petrol engines with Continental’s 48V system, and by up to 9% for diesel engines. In diesel engines, emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) can also be significantly reduced. The Continental System went into series production for the first time in models from Renault and Audi in 2017. Further market launches of diesels and petrol engines are imminent in Europe, China and North America, Continental said.

Related articles:

Bosch pulls the plug on battery cell R&D, production

Continental supplies the heart of the 48V system in the new Audi A8

Audi’s flagship sedan A8 comes with 48V primary power system

48V demo vehicle highlights potential of mild hybrid

How 48V technology can reduce fuel consumption by 25%

Industry embraces 48V supply in the aim of bringing down emissions

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