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Eaton Develops Hybrid and Emissions Reduction Components


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Heavy Duty Trucking (HDT)  /  September 19, 2018

Eaton has developed several components designed to improve efficiency of electric, hybrid and conventional vehicles and showcased the new technologies at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show in Hannover, Germany.

4-Speed Transmission for Electric Vehicles

The company has developed a 4-speed transmission for electric vehicles designed to meet growing demand in delivery and bus segments. The 4-speed transmission was designed to address an issue related to single-speed (direct-drive) drives – contradictory requirements for high efficiency at top speeds and increased torque at launch and low speeds.

The automated manual transmission has a torque capacity up to 885 lbs.-ft. and electric gearshaft actuation that enables original equipment manufacturers to use smaller, more efficient motors. The fine-pitch helical gears offer smooth, low-noise operation, and the AMT shifting strategy is designed for maximum efficiency, which extends range and battery life.

The system is designed to improve performance in areas of range, grade performance, acceleration, and efficiency in the medium-duty and bus electric vehicle commercial markets. It is also a plus for applications that require low-noise operations and low emissions, including refuse, utility trucks, dump trucks, and emergency vehicles, according to Eaton.

“Eaton has been in the hybrid transmission business for 15 years, and we have more than two billion miles of reliable, efficient operation of hybrid transmission-equipped trucks and buses on the road,” said Scott Adams, senior vice president, eMobility, Eaton. “Our 4-speed transmission provides uncompromised launch ability on grades and always keeps the electric motor operating in its most efficient region.”

Mild Hybrid Electrically Regenerative

Accessory Drive

Eaton also revealed that it is developing a 48-volt, mile hybrid electrically regenerative accessory drive. It features a 48-volt motor that can charge a vehicle’s batteries and run the air conditioner and replace the alternator in linehaul commercial vehicles.

“The 48-volt mild hybrid redefines traditional belt-mounted accessories to save fuel and reduce emissions in several ways. Enabling start/stop and engine-off coasting saves fuel while driving,” said Jeffrey Lowinger, president, eMobility, Eaton. “A regenerative system captures energy while driving and is used to keep the sleeper cab comfortable overnight without idling the engine. We think it is an efficient and cost-effective solution for our linehaul customers.”

The 48-volt mild hybrid drive improves fuel efficiency by mounting the accessories on the transmission, delivering up to 2% annual fuel savings compared with a baseline truck equipped with an Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies Endurant 12-speed automated manual transmission by eliminating the alternator and implementing engine-off coasting.

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Pump

To help save fuel and meet stringent emissions standards, Eaton is also developing an exhaust gas recirculation pump for heavy-duty diesel engines.

Eaton’s positive-displacement TVS EGR pump enables the use of a high efficiency turbo to lower engine pumping losses and increase fuel economy. The TVS EGR pump is driven by a 48-volt electric motor, making it completely independent from engine speed and more controllable than comparable pump-less EGR systems.

The TVS EGR pump currently is in the prototype stage and is undergoing evaluation with heavy-duty commercial vehicle engine manufacturers that have requested the technology. A preliminary production start date has been set but not announced publicly.

“We are leveraging the precision air control of our twin-vortices (TVS) pump technology to allow a high volume of exhaust gas recirculation to dilute air mixture with low pumping loss, while also lowering in-cylinder temperatures,” stated an Eaton release. “This allows an improvement in fuel economy, while at the same time lowering harmful NOx emissions.”



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Mild hybrid aims to create long-haul fuel savings

Jim Mele, Fleet Owner  /  September 25, 2018

Eaton's 48-volt system should offer significant fuel savings by removing accessory parasitic power drains while also providing engine-off AC when drivers are off duty.

HANOVER, Germany. Calling it a mild hybrid, Eaton is working on the development of an integrated system that bolts on to a heavy-duty transmission PTO replacing belt-driven accessories with electrically driven air conditioner compressor, alternator, starter and invertor to capture and store electric power. The 48-volt system should offer significant fuel savings by removing accessory parasitic power drains while also providing engine-off AC when drivers are off duty. The company introduced the new mild hybrid system, which is still in the prototype phase, at the 2018 IAA commercial vehicle show.

The single transmission-mounted package replaces a traditional starter motor with an electric motor designed for automatic engine stop/start functionality.  When paired with Eaton’s 12-speed automated HD transmission, it can generate electric power for storage in batteries when a truck enters neutral coast modes. That stored power can also run an integrated AC compressor, providing cooling when the engine is off, either when coasting or parked. 

Fuel savings estimates for the hybrid range from 3% to 7%, according to Matt Nolan, global product strategy manager for Eaton’s eMobility division. The prototype could move to U.S. production by 2021, he said. The 48-volt transmission-mounted system can also provide 24- and 12-volt power for vehicle electric loads, and reduces overall weight up to 50 lbs. by reducing or eliminating cables and harnesses, according to Eaton.

In other IAA news, Eaton also introduced a 4-speed transmission for electric medium-duty trucks and buses. Unlike single- and 2-speed drives commonly used in electric commercial vehicle applications, the new 4-speed is intended to offer both high efficiency at top speeds and increased torque for launch and low speeds. With a torque capacity of 885 lbs.-ft, it does not have a clutch and uses gearing optimized for electric motor performance.

Schedule to enter production later this year, the 4-speed transmission has shown a 20 to 30% efficiency improvement over single-speed drives and a 10 to 15% improvement over 2-speed transmissions, according to Eaton.  Truck applications include medium-duty refuse collection, utility trucks and other medium-duty commercial vehicles with GVWs up to 18 tons, the company said at the European introduction.

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