Downsized electric motor and battery
Due to the reduced torque and speed requirements of the electric motor, the CVT4EV enables manufacturers to reduce the size and the active parts of the electric machine, thus also reducing costs. Such downsized electric machines combined with a continuously variable transmission can deliver the same performance but with higher efficiency compared to current high revolution electric motors. This allows manufacturers to use smaller batteries and further optimize the balance between battery capacity and driving range. The thermal management system can also be downsized as the cooling capacity required for the electric system is reduced. The smaller battery size also reduces the amount of CO2 required for production, which decreases the break-even mileage where the electric vehicle starts to represent a smaller environmental footprint than an internal combustion engine-based vehicle.
In order to further improve the efficiency of electric powertrains, there is a great opportunity to use a smaller CVT system, when compared to CVTs for internal combustion engines, in which the conventional hydraulic actuation is replaced by a dedicated electro-hydraulic system. Additionally, the combination of a downsized electric motor and smaller CVT system presents a solution with a reduced environmental impact. Expenses for the CVT can be compensated within the entire powertrain by the lower cost of the battery, electric motor, and thermal management systems.
The CVT4EV provides additional cost benefits for car manufacturers due to its versatility. The CVT4EV makes a single powertrain suitable for a wide variety of applications, be it a mid-size car, sports car, or light commercial vehicle. This single platform solution includes one CVT4EV module, an inverter, an electric motor, and a final drive with a ratio adapted to the vehicle. This results in reduced costs and complexity in the development, production, and aftermarket services for applications and vehicles, providing major advantages for car manufacturers. The variability also offers an enhanced user experience thanks to the availability of various exciting driving modes, for example uphill mode, highway, or individual mode to either provide fun to drive or useful extra functionalities. This possibility is also a way for brands to differentiate themselves by offering a typical driving behavior related to their brand throughout the vehicle range. As a result, the driving experience for the end user is still linked to the car brand.
Unlike alternative multi-stage solutions for electric vehicles, the CVT4EV introduces fewer restrictions on torque and revs. It offers completely smooth shifting without jerks - a feature that is a must for electric vehicles. Extra measures to mask shift shocks are therefore not necessary. In addition, the potentially larger ratio range of the CVT reduces the revs of the electric motor, resulting in an even smoother and silent ride.