Volkswagen Group Technology entwickelt Gesamtantriebssystem für E-Autos. Foto: Volkswagen AG

From a single source: Volkswagen Technology Powerhouse develops complete drive system for e-cars

At Tech Day 2023, Volkswagen Group Technology gave an outlook on upcoming e-car innovations in the areas of battery, charging and e-components. The focus: the e-drive system of the future. To this end, Volkswagen is taking all the central components into its own hands and, in addition to the battery and the e-motor, is now also developing the pulse inverter and thermal management itself. The Volkswagen drive system from a single source offers considerable efficiency and cost advantages: Up to 20 percent more efficiency is possible simply by optimally matching the individual components.

“Our goal is to be the technology leader in e-mobility as well. That is why we are also relying on our internal competencies and, after the battery cell and the e-motor, are taking on the development of pulse inverters and thermal management. This makes the Volkswagen Group one of the very few car manufacturers in the world that will be able to offer a holistically optimised overall system in the future. With this know-how, we will contribute to the Group and its brands becoming the technology leader in the e-car sector,” said Thomas Schmall, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group responsible for Technology.

Pulse inverter and thermal management

The pulse inverter is the brain of the electric powertrain and largely responsible for efficiency and performance. For the first pulse inverter “designed by Volkswagen”, the developers have redesigned this core component in hardware and software from scratch. Thanks to the modular design principle, the entire range from entry-level engines to sports cars with 500 kW and more power can be realised in future. The technology is currently being developed to production maturity and can already be used with the next MEB generation.

Volkswagen is working on completely new thermal management solutions. Where today a multitude of individual modules and long hose connections are used, in future an extremely compact, integrated thermal module will take over. It controls the entire climate control system, including the high-voltage battery, and thus has a major influence on the range and fast-charging capability of the vehicle. The new all-in-one module is significantly lighter, more robust and more efficient than today’s systems. The development of all central e-drive components focuses not only on efficiency but also on scalability – because high economies of scale reduce costs.

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