Transmission specialist Oerlikon Graziano, part of Oerlikon’s Drive System Segment, with its Business Unit Performance Automotive, focusing on high performance automotive and electric vehicle applications, has developed a new electric transmission, the 4SED (4 Speed Electric Drive). This new compact, lightweight transmission boasts increased efficiency, seamlessly smooth shifting and a scalable design, making it suitable for a wide range of vehicle types. A 4SED has been fitted to a Mercedes Vito minibus and wil be on show at Cenex LCV 2014, from September 10 to 11.
“We have been at the forefront of automotive transmission technology, since developing and supplying our first complete gearbox in 1996, and of the electric market, with the production of the first electric axle for the golf cart market,” says Oerlikon Graziano’s Head of Performance Automotive, Paolo Mantelli. “Together with our controlled company VOCIS Ltd, contributing state of the art control software, a variety of business opportunities and potential supplier-partners connections are opened. We intend to be a key partner developer/manufacturer of Zero Emissions Driveline Systems for all the OEMs playing in this increasingly relevant automotive sector.”
Oerlikon Graziano’s four-speed seamless shift electric transmission - called 4SED - has a very simple design. By using two small electric motors instead of a single large unit, and by providing four ratios, the motors run close to their peak efficiency for more of the time, and shifts are accomplished without interrupting the drive. Overall energy consumption is reduced by up to 15% compared to a single speed transmission, which translates into increased range or improved performance. The technology is scalable to suit a wide range of different vehicle types, urban electric cars, high performance cars, hybrid 4WD applications, electric city buses and trucks. It is suitable also for applications with 48V motors, allowing significant cost savings and reducing risks of high voltage.
A 4SED has been fitted to an electric Mercedes Vito minibus demonstrator and is currently touring renowned European vehicle manufacturers and events to showcase its unique features. Initial customer feedback is very positive, especially for its smoothness in the shifting function and its wide scalability through different platforms and performance requirements.
“Our focus is on developing integrated powertain solutions, aimed at maximizing performance and efficiency,” continues Mantelli. “4SED is truly innovative, it is seamless, it is clutch-less and it needs no synchronizer.”