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MOTEG-Reimagining Mobility with worldwide highly innovative auxiliary components for commercial vehicles

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - comAUX (MOTEG-Reimagining Mobility with worldwide highly innovative auxiliary components for commercial vehicles)

Reporting period: 2020-09-01 to 2021-08-31

Nowadays, the vast majority of commercial vehicles is solely powered by diesel engines. This is due to specific requirements on power take-off (PTO) and performance characteristics of the drive source. Due to their better degree of efficiency and high torque at low speeds, diesel engines have become increasingly popular with manufacturers of buses, trucks, construction equipment and agricultural vehicles. The ongoing diesel emissions scandal completely reversed the image of diesel engines. Due to the nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions, highly polluting diesel cars are now considered as urgent public health issue.
On the other hand, road transport is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, producing around 15% of the EU's CO2 emissions. As commercial vehicles are responsible for around a quarter of CO2 emissions from road transport, the European Commission has started to introduce new, stricter regulations for vehicle manufacturers of heavy-duty vehicles (coaches, buses, trucks) and non-road mobile machinery (excavators, bulldozers, front loaders). Binding emission limits were already introduced for light and heavy-duty vehicles. From 2025 onwards, manufacturers will have to meet 15% reduction targets set for the fleet-wide average CO2 emissions. Otherwise, financial penalties will be imposed if the CO2 targets are not met. Environmental requirements for agricultural and forestry tractors, and two or three-wheeled vehicles will be included in future regulations.
In order to achieve these European environmental policy goals, the commercial vehicle industry must rethink its approach. It is clear that these goals cannot be achieved without innovative solutions in the auxiliary equipment sector. Therefore, efficient and flexible solutions for pneumatic and hydraulic applications are needed. Especially in commercial vehicles, mainly hydraulic but also pneumatic systems play a fundamental role. Both the tipping device of an excavator and the lifting platform of a truck are based on hydraulics. Hydraulics/pneumatics are also used in the area of braking and steering systems. The conflict between environmental and economic objectives will only be resolved if the total cost of ownership (TCO) of future commercial vehicles is in the same range of today's diesel or gasoline engines. Therefore, the manufacturers of buses, trucks and non-road mobile machinery are in intense competition and have an urgent business and product need to accelerate the innovation cycle and to find auxiliary drives for their applications.
By addressing these needs, manufacturers envisage the same problem: auxiliaries like air compressors (required for the braking systems) and power steering pumps are designed for diesel or gasoline engines. Currently there are no auxiliary drives that meet the specific efficiency requirements of all-electric, hybrid and fossil-fuelled vehicles. The objectives of the innovation project are validate, upscale and commercialise innovative solutions for auxiliary equipment based on electrical machines for commercial vehicles. Strategically, MOTEG GmbH decided to narrow its attention to the hydraulic pump and air compressor applications, as these two product lines have a very wide range of use cases, e.g. as a power steering aid, brake booster, tilting device of an excavator or the lifting platform of a truck in the automotive segment for buses, trucks, construction vehicles and agricultural machinery. Our vision is to become the leading supplier in Europe (and beyond) for auxiliaries, regardless of whether they are all-electric, hybrid or commercial vehicles with combustion engines.
In the development & demonstration we had to realise that the market for CompAUX 400V, products for battery electric vehicles is developing much faster than we originally expected. Product maturity was successfully demonstrated with testing and quality assurance activities with customers, while marketing activities were ramped up to support sales activities. As a result of Covid-19, MOTEG focused on online marketing activities and carried out a re-branding of the company and a project campaign. The successful design of these activities resulted in 8 customers already being won for series production of CompAUX 400V.
The market for the CompAUX 24/48V series (products for hybrid vehicles and combustion engines), on the other hand, is developing more slowly than expected. Contact has been made with potential test customers, but their internal project progress - the overall economic environment in the wake of the CORONA pandemic must also be taken into account here - makes testing still impossible. Progress is currently heavily dependent on clients.
Furthermore, a move to new production facilities took place in order to be able to scale production. The original plan was to certify MOTEG according to ITAF 16949 and ISO 14001. After a thorough review with clients and customers, we are pursuing a different strategy, as after implementing all quality assurance measures in accordance with the above-mentioned certificates, the sales price for our products would increase by about 35%. In order to continue to offer customers the best possible quality level, MOTEG will establish the MAQMSR (MINIMUM AUTOMOTIVE QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS).
The heart of each auxiliary unit is the drive. This is largely responsible for energy efficiency, weight, installation space and operating volume. Most existing auxiliary units are designed for partial electrification via a low voltage system driven by a V-belt via an internal combustion engine. The focus of the solution developed by MOTEG is the development of a new electric permanent magnet motor that sets new standards worldwide with regard to energy efficiency, weight, installation space, noise and provides the needed flexibility in hydraulic pump and pneumatic compressor applications for commercial vehicle manufacturers. It is generally known that electric drives have a much higher efficiency than combustion engines. Compared to other available products on the market, which are mostly powered by asynchronous motors, MOTEG units are up to 2-times smaller, 2-times lighter and are more energy efficient. Using it in electric air-compressors or electric power steering pumps, the customer will not only save valuable space and weight but also money due to our optional individual demand-oriented control and maintenance concept.
A direct quantification of our contribution can be assessed through comparison of performance of compAUX series with the state-of-the-art equipment and scaling this quantification with the sales plan over the next couple years. MOTEG's compAUX dual package could achieve energy savings of 114 Wh/km in field tests in electric city buses. At a typical bus mileage of 50,000 km/year, we arrive at an energy saving of 5,700 kWh/year. Multiplying this figure by an emission coefficient for the generation of electrical energy according to the German electricity mix of 2018 of 510 g CO2/kWh, we arrive at a CO2 savings potential of 2,907 kg CO2/year and vehicle. Multiplication of this number with the number of MOTEG-Units sold per year leads to CO2 saving potential of 130.815.000 kg CO2/year in 2024 just through operation of our efficient equipment. Cumulatively this results in an enormous emission reduction.
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