Schaeffler's 48-volt products pave the way for further cost-effective increases in efficiency with a view towards the CAFE standards in 2025


DETROIT and HERZOGENAURACH, Germany--Dec. 19, 2013: The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) has long been established as the automotive sector's way of ushering in the new year. In 2014, the Detroit show is taking place from January 13 to 26. As a supplier to the industrial and automotive sectors, Schaeffler's focus in the capital of the USA's automotive industry is on the CAFE standards. CAFE stands for Corporate Average Fuel Economy and describes the USA's increasingly restrictive legal regulations for "fleet consumption" with regard to the targets set for 2020 and 2025.

During a press conference on Monday, January 13 at 7:20 a.m. (ET), Klaus Rosenfeld, CEO of Schaeffler AG, and Prof. Peter Gutzmer, CTO of Schaeffler AG, will provide a company overview and update on the latest innovations. The press conference will take place at Cobo Center, room 360, (Ambassador Ballroom), level 3, immediately after the VDA press conference (The German Association of the Automotive Industry) at 7 a.m.

With the Efficient Future Mobility North America demonstration vehicle on display at its trade show booth, Schaeffler will be showing how the use of selected products can enable a popular American SUV to meet the CAFE requirements for the year 2020 in a cost-effective way. The experts at Schaeffler's three North American R&D centers in Troy, Mich., Fort Mill, S.C. and Wooster, Ohio outfitted the mid-size SUV-based concept vehicle for exemplary levels of efficiency by carrying out holistic, detailed work on the powertrain. A total fuel savings of more than 15 percent – for both urban and highway driving profiles – was verified in real driving operation using a range of solutions that are close to volume production status.

Schaeffler's broad range of innovative products for powertrain and chassis applications makes the company an important and capable partner for the global automobile industry, especially when it comes to efficient mobility.

"Meticulously detailed work and new solutions for powertrains based on internal combustion engines still offer significant potential for reducing fuel consumption and emissions," explains Prof. Peter Gutzmer, CTO at Schaeffler AG. "And the electrification of the powertrain additionally helps to operate the internal combustion engine in its optimum range and to compensate for weak starting performance, so hybridization will continue to make rapid advances. Start-stop systems are becoming increasingly widespread and are set to develop from conventional starters into systems that can even provide features previously only available in hybrid vehicles. And energy recuperation will become more and more of an issue as the performance of on-board electric systems and equipment increases – after all, a reduction in the vehicle's fuel consumption and CO2 emissions can also be achieved if this energy is used to drive the vehicle".

Accordingly, Schaeffler's product range also includes a large number of innovations for the electrification of the powertrain. This encompasses comfortable and high-performance engine start-stop functions, hybrid clutches, hybrid modules, and drives for hybrid and electric vehicles.

Many of Schaeffler's ideas for hybrid vehicles with a high-performance low-voltage power system are bundled together in Schaeffler's 48 V System exhibit. These ideas also demonstrate how the CAFE standards for 2025 can potentially be fulfilled in a cost-effective way. The central element is a 48-volt drive module.

"The use of a 48-volt solution provides an ideal entry-level hybridization that makes it possible to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to a further 15 percent thanks to significant energy recuperation," explains Schaeffler CTO Prof. Peter Gutzmer. "This entry-level hybridization is thus an economically attractive option that offers the essential advantages of a hybrid vehicle."

Automobile manufacturers who decide to install a second low-voltage on-board electric system (in addition to the standard 12 V system) can also integrate other suitable innovations into the vehicle. These include high-performance, rapid-reaction actuators that allow the roll stiffness or ground clearance to be regulated, which has a positive effect on factors such as the vehicle's aerodynamics and thus on its fuel consumption.

Visitors taking a closer look at the Schaeffler innovations on display in Detroit will quickly understand why Schaeffler is one of the most in-demand suppliers of expertise to the automotive industry worldwide when it comes to efficient mobility today and in the future.

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