Oerlikon and Continental in hybrid tie-up

By Sandy Guthrie31 May 2013

From the left, Paolo Mantelli, head of performance automotive at Oerlikon Graziano; Paolo Ramadori,

From the left, Paolo Mantelli, head of performance automotive at Oerlikon Graziano; Paolo Ramadori, chairman and CEO of Oerlikon Graziano; Ralf Schmid, head of research and development at Continental

An agreement to co-operate on the development and marketing of integrated motor and transmission systems for hybrid and electric vehicles has been reached between Oerlikon and Continental.

Swiss-based high-tech industrial group Oerlikon and international automotive supplier Continental said the aim of this collaboration was to improve the efficiency of electrified powertrains further through integrated optimisation of both the electric motor and the transmission.

Ralf Schmid, head of research and development at the Continental powertrain division’s hybrid electric vehicle business unit in Berlin, Germany, said, “Electric drive is a field where integrated system-level optimisation is the only way to offer significantly improved customer benefits – and that is precisely what this co-operation is all about.”

Paolo Mantelli, head of performance automotive at Oerlikon Graziano, added, “The product portfolios and capabilities of Oerlikon and Continental make an excellent match. Our collaboration will allow us significantly to improve the efficiency of the electric powertrain.”

Oerlikon Graziano in Italy is an Oerlikon business unit and part of Oerlikon’s drive system segment, focusing on leading edge transmission systems.

The two companies said that a key aim of development work on hybrid and electric vehicles was improved energy efficiency. They said this was best achieved by optimising efficiency at the overall system level – by integrated optimisation of both the mechanical and the electrical paths.

As an example of this, it said that electrical energy could be more efficiently converted into propulsion if the transmission spread, and the number and placing of shift points were precisely matched to the characteristics of the electric motor. It said that at the same time, this would also lead to a reduction in system costs and weight.

They said that from the earliest stages of product development, the partnership would focus on combining the specific strengths of the two companies. Oerlikon Graziano will contribute its know-how in the development, production and design of high-performance transmissions, while Continental's powertrain division will bring to the table its expertise in the development of conventional, hybrid and all-electric passenger car powertrains.

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