Valeo and Dana collaborate on 48V systems for electric vehicles

08 October 2019

Valeo and Dana collaborate on 48V systems for electric vehicles

8 October 2019

Automotive industry suppliers Valeo and Dana Incorporated have announced a global collaboration to develop and supply 48-volt hybrid and electric-vehicle systems. The first systems will feature in the series production of a major European carmaker in early 2020.

The joint development will provide customers with complete electromechanical systems for low-speed electric vehicles as well as hybrid all-wheel-drive applications for light vehicles weighing up to 2.5 tons. The low-voltage (<60V) configuration of the system reduces both costs and maintenance.

The systems will be equipped with an electrified gearbox designed by Dana and an electric motor and inverter developed by Valeo. The inverter acts as the “brain” of the electric vehicle by enabling it to generate voltage and alternating currents from a power source of a different voltage or frequency.

Affordable electrification

A 48-volt system is the secret behind Volvo’s electric-only announcement, but whether Volvo or BMW – or another carmaker – will be the first to feature the new system developed by Dana and Valeo is not yet known.

‘Our collaboration with Valeo enables us to deliver a complete 48-volt electric vehicle e-propulsion system that immediately meets the needs of customers,’ said Bob Pyle, president of Light Vehicle Driveline Technologies for Dana Incorporated. ‘Dana continues to expand its offerings for hybrid and electric vehicles to offer a complete range of turn-key solutions for the rapidly changing mobility market,’ Pyle added.

Xavier Dupont, president of Valeo's Powertrain Systems business group, commented: ‘Combining Dana's e-Gearbox mechanisms with Valeo's 48-volt systems, the end-to-end solutions developed through the partnership will contribute to the rise of affordable vehicle electrification. This undertaking strengthens Valeo's leading position in low-voltage electrification, a technology that will be featured in one third of cars manufactured worldwide by 2030.’

Spurring on China

The electrified revolution in China, (the market is expected to leap 300%, surging from just over half a million vehicles last year to more than two million annual sales by 2020) is being spurred on by 48-volt hybrid electrical systems as they help carmakers in China meet the government's strict fuel economy targets.

JLR recently opened its first engine plant outside Britain in China, and BMW is looking to further increase the range of the its electric vehicles as it looks to compete against the longer-range Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3. The German luxury carmaker will not replace the i3 battery electric vehicle (BEV) but plans to release plug-in hybrid versions of its best-selling models and 13 BEVs by 2023. The new range of BEVs will kick off with the iNext model, announced for 2021.