Mobility Solutions

Optimized auxiliary systems reduce consumption Bosch raises efficiency of small electric motors

  • More than 100 electric motors in a premium-class vehicle
  • Electric motors becoming smaller, lighter, and more powerful
  • Bosch NSA basic motor some 40 percent lighter than its predecessor
  • Increasing use of low-wear, brushless motors
  • Hybrid and electric vehicles as drivers of further electrification
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  • September 13, 2011
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Press releases

press release

The automotive industry is pursuing the goal of making driving as economical and clean as possible. Besides the drivetrain, a car’s many electric motors offer another way to reduce fuel consumption and hence the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2). These small electric motors open and close the windows, adjust the position of the seats, operate the steering, cool the internal-combustion engine, and power the interior blowers and the windshield wipers. Some of today’s premium vehicles feature over 100 electric motors carrying out a variety of functions. “In recent years, Bosch has managed to further reduce the weight of small electric motors and improve their efficiency,” says Dr. Udo Wolz, president of Bosch’s Electrical Drives division. “The new NSA basic motor, for example, is 40 percent smaller and lighter than its predecessor and can be put to work in a variety of places across the car.”

When used for comfort and convenience systems in the vehicle’s interior, an important development goal is to make the motors as quiet as possible. Motors that run a lot of the time, such as blowers, also need to be highly efficient. Bosch uses not only ferrite magnets but also high-energy neodymium magnets. The result of intensive research, these produce stronger magnetic fields, which means motors have high torque even at low speeds. This makes them especially quiet.

Thanks to their modular design, NSA motors can be quickly and easily modified to perform a wide variety of tasks. Besides gearless motors and a broad range of geared motors, a range of sensors and electronic components are available to expand the functionality specific to the application. The new FPx series of window motors are a good example. They are extremely compact; fitting them to all four vehicle doors entails a weight reduction of some 600 grams compared to the previous generation. Pinch protection is provided for by an integrated closing force limiter.

High efficiency for air supply applications
Brushless motors are ideal for the highly efficient operation of air fans. They require ten percent less energy, are practically wear-free, and their speed is infinitely variable. Bosch started offering engine cooling fans with this kind of motor in 2001. Today they are fitted to around 15 percent of all new vehicles in Europe – and this share will rise further in coming years.

Interior blowers are smaller but are among the most heavily used in-car features. Bosch is currently developing the AirMax ECo2 fan module, which features a brushless motor and an optimized, highly efficient fan wheel. The result is impressive: these components make the new fan module some 20 percent smaller and up to 40 percent lighter. It will go into series production in 2013.

New wiper motor saves space and weight
In 2011, Bosch was the first company to start mass production of a new drive technology for wiper systems. This is an electronically controlled dual-motor system that drives the wipers directly. It is the first design to do away with rodding entirely. Compared with standard rodding-based systems, it requires up to 75 percent less space and is over a kilogram lighter. This new solution equips each wiper arm with its own compact motor, with the arm itself being mounted directly on the driveshaft. The space this frees up can be used by automakers to house other systems, such as head-up displays or airbags for pedestrians.

Electrification opens up new applications
In order to further reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, automakers are increasingly replacing the car’s mechanical or hydraulic systems with electric drives. One example is steering. Unlike the conventional hydraulic approach, electric steering needs no servicing and operates only when needed. Over 100 kilometers, this saves up to 0.3 liters of fuel. Bosch supplies the electric motors, while the joint venture ZF Lenksysteme supplies complete steering systems.

A second example is the thermal management for internal-combustion engines, for which Bosch manufactures electrical auxiliary water pumps and valves. These help to keep cooling water at the optimum temperature. Their high efficiency, ease of diagnostic analysis, and demand-dependent controllability also make the new brushless pumps from Bosch ideal for intercooling and turbocharger cooling – and for cooling components in hybrid and electric vehicles, such as the battery, the electric drive, and the power electronics.

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Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2015, its sales came to 41.7 billion euros, or 59 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector combines the group’s expertise in three mobility domains – automation, electrification, and connectivity – and offers its customers integrated mobility solutions. Its main areas of activity are injection technology and powertrain peripherals for internal-combustion engines, diverse solutions for powertrain electrification, vehicle safety systems, driver-assistance and automated functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, repair-shop concepts, and technology and services for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch is synonymous with important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

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PI7491 - September 13, 2011

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