Project compAUX


What is the problem/issue being addressed?

Nowadays, the vast majority of commercial vehicles is solely powered by diesel engines. This is due to specific requirements on power take-off (PTO) and performance characteristics of the drive source. Due to their better degree of efficiency and high torque at low speeds, diesel engines have become increasingly popular with manufacturers of buses, trucks, construction equipment and agricultural vehicles. The ongoing diesel emissions scandal completely reversed the image of diesel engines. Due to the nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions, highly polluting diesel cars are now considered as urgent public health issue. On the other hand, road transport is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, producing around 15% of the EU’s CO2 emissions. As commercial vehicles are responsible for around a quarter of CO2 emissions from road transport, the European Commission has started to introduce new, stricter regulations for vehicle manufacturers of heavy-duty vehicles (coaches, buses, trucks) and non-road mobile machinery (excavators, bulldozers, front loaders). Binding emission limits were already introduced for light and heavy-duty vehicles. From 2025 onwards, manufacturers will have to meet 15% reduction targets set for the fleet-wide average CO2 emissions. Otherwise, financial penalties will be imposed if the CO2 targets are not met. Environmental requirements for agricultural and forestry tractors, and two or three-wheeled vehicles will be included in future regulations.

Why is it important for society?

In order to achieve these European environmental policy goals, the commercial vehicle industry must rethink its approach. It is clear that these goals cannot be achieved without innovative solutions in the auxiliary equipment sector. Therefore, efficient and flexible solutions for pneumatic and hydraulic applications are needed. Especially in commercial vehicles, mainly hydraulic but also pneumatic systems play a fundamental role. Both the tipping device of an excavator and the lifting platform of a truck are based on hydraulics. Hydraulics/pneumatics are also used in the area of braking and steering systems. The conflict between environmental and economic objectives will only be resolved if the total cost of ownership (TCO) of future commercial vehicles is in the same range of today’s diesel or gasoline engines. Therefore, the manufacturers of buses, trucks and non-road mobile machinery are in intense competition and have an urgent business and product need to accelerate the innovation cycle and to find auxiliary drives for their applications.

What are the overall objectives?

By addressing these needs, manufacturers envisage the same problem: auxiliaries like air compressors (required for the braking systems) and power steering pumps are designed for diesel or gasoline engines. Currently there are no auxiliary drives that meet the specific efficiency requirements of all-electric, hybrid and fossil-fuelled vehicles. The objectives of the innovation project are aligned with the overall strategy of MOTEG for the next two years, namely validate, upscale and commercialise innovative solutions for auxiliary equipment based on electrical machines for commercial vehicles. Strategically, MOTEG GmbH decided to narrow its attention to the hydraulic pump and air compressor applications, as these two product lines have a very wide range of use cases, e.g. as a power steering aid, brake booster, tilting device of an excavator or the lifting platform of a truck in the automotive segment for buses, trucks, construction vehicles and agricultural machinery. Our vision is to become the leading supplier in Europe (and beyond) for auxiliaries, regardless of whether they are all-electric, hybrid or commercial vehicles with combustion engines. Therefore, the primary goal for this innovation project is to develop the company for high growth by scaling our solution into European markets.

Progress beyond the state of the art, expected results until the end of the project and potential impacts (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The auxiliaries are an essential component within the energy balance of a commercial vehicle. The heart of each auxiliary unit is the drive. This is largely responsible for energy efficiency, weight, installation space and operating volume. Most existing auxiliary units are designed for partial electrification via a low voltage system driven by a V-belt via an internal combustion engine. Leaving this general energy supply channel offers enormous possibilities for energy saving. The focus of the solution developed by MOTEG is the development of a new electric permanent magnet motor that sets new standards worldwide with regard to energy efficiency, weight, installation space, noise and provides the needed flexibility in hydraulic pump and pneumatic compressor applications for commercial vehicle manufacturers. It is generally known that electric drives have a much higher efficiency than combustion engines. Compared to other available products on the market, which are mostly powered by asynchronous motors, MOTEG units are up to 2-times smaller, 2-times lighter and are more energy efficient. Using it in electric air-compressors or electric power steering pumps, the customer will not only save valuable space and weight but also money due to our optional individual demand-oriented control and maintenance concept.

MOTEG solutions are increasingly conquering the fields of application in which high efficiency is of paramount importance. Due to the particularly high degree of efficiency in the full and partial load range, the drive of driven machines with a quadratically decreasing torque curve (e.g. pump drives) becomes economical. Our permanent-magnet synchronous motors achieve efficiency class IE4 (Premium efficiency, IEC 60034-30:2008 standard was published by the International Electrotechnical Commission) without any additional mass expenditure and are characterized by multiple savings effects:

  • high efficiency during operation (saving of up to 50% electrical energy),
  • less material during production due to compact design (copper, grey cast iron, aluminum, etc.)
  • up to 100% longer durability in comparison to competitive solutions
  • best power to weight ratio in its class

A direct quantification of our contribution can be assessed through comparison of performance of compAUX series with the state-of-the-art equipment and scaling this quantification with the sales plan over the next couple years. MOTEG’s compAUX dual package could achieve energy savings of 114 Wh/km in field tests in electric city buses. At a typical bus mileage of 50,000 km/year, we arrive at an energy saving of 5,700 kWh/year. Multiplying this figure by an emission coefficient for the generation of electrical energy according to the German electricity mix of 2018 of 510 g CO2/kWh, we arrive at a CO2 savings potential of 2,907 kg CO2/year and vehicle. Multiplication of this number with the number of MOTEG-Units sold per year leads to CO2 saving potential of 130.815.000 kg CO2/year in 2024 just through operation of our efficient equipment. Cumulatively this results in an enormous emission reduction.