Automotive Engineering - April 2021 - 28

POWERTRAIN SUPPLIER INSIGHTS

Actuating hybrid and
EV efficiency
More sophisticated driveline-disconnect systems are part of the electrifiedvehicle future, says the head of controls at Stoneridge.

28 April 2021

In EV applications
there is a focus on
not allowing the
traction motor to 'drag'
with the wheels when it
is not in use, explained
Jim Zizelman.

" Our actuators...are 'application
agnostic' for broad use, with
minor change, in conventional or
electrified drivelines. "
impact in our actuators. And we can reduce the noise
of de-connection using software solutions. The goal is
always to be X-dB lower than the competition, "
Zizelman asserted.
Stoneridge's current portfolio includes customizable ECUs, electronic shift-by-wire modules, and even
a new onboard camera system, MirrorEye, designed
to replace conventional exterior mirrors on trucks.
" Consider what the cameras in ADAS see, perhaps
some instability due to the road, can be communicated back into the vehicle's control system, "
Zizelman noted. " It would then call on actuators to
perhaps connect a drive axle, or adjust the inter-axle
torque balance. "
AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING

STONERIDGE

A

xle-disconnect systems have been a fuel-efficiency enabler
in recent years, delivering improvements of up to 10% in
all-wheel drive and four-wheel-drive cars and light trucks,
depending on vehicle application. Reducing driveline parasitics by decoupling one set of drive wheels when they're not needed, pays overall efficiency benefits regardless of powertrain type.
Electrified vehicles are expected be a significant growth opportunity
for disconnect technologies such as actuators, explained Jim
Zizelman, president of the Control Devices division at Stoneridge.
The Novi, Michigan-based company develops control and sensing
solutions for automotive, commercial and off-highway vehicles.
" Almost one third of our actuation business today is on hybrids
and battery-electric vehicles [BEV], " he told Automotive Engineering.
Actuators are typically unsung devices in the driveline space. They
ensure the electro-mechanical " handshake " that swiftly links frontand rear-axle drive modules to the transmission and helps provide
front/rear and wheel-to-wheel torque splits, depending on system
configuration. Stoneridge actuators are used in a " broad array " of
vehicles, said Zizelman, who joined the company in 2020 after more
than 25 years in powertrain and electronics at Delphi and most recently Aptiv, where he was VP engineering.
" We've been pushing hard to be ready for the electrification transition, " he said. " We design our actuators and disconnection technologies in a platform sense. They're 'application agnostic' for
broad use with minor change, in conventional or electric drivelines. "
The various applications present Stoneridge design engineers with
equivalent forces and loads. " In terms of the fundamentals - achieving an easy, smooth, quiet engagement and disconnect - our customers have the same requirements in both their conventional and
electric platforms, " Zizelman said.
More hybrid applications for actuation are emerging as OEMs devise ways to decouple the electric and ICE sections of their drivelines.
In EV applications there is a focus on not allowing the traction motor
to 'drag' with the wheels when the motor is not in use. " In a two-motor or even four-motor application, it's inefficient to turn that motor
over if you're not using it, " he explained.
Stoneridge is also involved in several programs involving what
Zizelman calls " innovative driveline technologies, " such new approaches to vehicle torque transmission. " If a new transmission design can help reduce the battery pack size and allow use of smaller
motors in order to gain 'electric fuel economy,' that's extremely important, " he said. He noted the battle for reducing NVH is increasingly acute in BEV drivelines, and it has Stoneridge focused on ensuring silky, silent engagement and re-engagement.
" On the hardware side, for example, we can reduce the mass of

by Lindsay Brooke



Automotive Engineering - April 2021

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