Vitesco Technologies, the powertrain business of German parts maker Continental, has unveiled a new compact transmission for PHEVs.
As a PHEV contains two separate power sources, the additional complexity can raise costs to a level that prohibits significant market penetration, says Vitesco. To solve the problem, the company has created the DHT transmission.
The DHT transmission has only four mechanical gears and no mechanical synchromesh systems, auxiliary hydraulics, or start clutch. The new transmission expands the role played by the e-motor, which no longer simply acts as a means of propulsion and energy recuperation. Instead, the e-motor handles both reversing and acceleration in first and second gear, while a starter-alternator performs the synchronization that starts the internal combustion engine.
This reassignment of functions makes it possible to reduce the number of mechanical components in the transmission, which Vitesco says saves space, weight, and costs. Vitesco also notes this reduction in parts and size makes the DHT a good choice for front transverse mounting in compact segment vehicles.
“So far it has not been possible to tap the full potential of plug-in hybrids and full hybrids for reducing CO2 emissions because the expensive powertrain of these vehicles puts them out of reach for many customers,” says Stephan Rebhan, Head of Technology & Innovation at Vitesco. “We have identified further potential here which our DHT technology for cost-effective PHEVs is designed to leverage.”