Ewan has been editor of Retreading Business since 2006 and of Tyre & Rubber Recycling since the magazine was founded. During this period he has become an expert on the global tyre recycling sector. He has many years' experience as an automotive journalist including a period at Tyres & Accessories.
ContiTech at IAA Transportation 22
Continental Offers a Broad Portfolio for Electric Commercial Vehicles at IAA.
Continental Focus on E-Mobility
At this year's IAA TRANSPORTATION, Continental will be presenting (Hall 12, Booth C29) a broad portfolio of products, technologies and digital solutions relating to sustainability, connected commercial vehicles, and data-based services as well as safe and fair transport. Under the motto "Mastering Challenges. Seizing Opportunities. Together." Visitors to the Continental booth can expect to see numerous innovations, including intelligent driver assistance systems and autonomous driving functions, all-around connected components, services for greater compliance, high-performance computing, and sustainable tyres for the commercial vehicle sector. IAA TRANSPORTATION will take place in Hanover, Germany, from September 20 to 25.
For Continental, a sustainable future in freight and passenger transport is already within the company’s grasp today. In recent months, the technology company has received many orders for various vehicle electronics control components in electrically powered commercial vehicles, including DC/DC converters and control components for the charging process and thermal management. “Unlike the passenger car market, the commercial vehicle sector is still on the starting line for the transition to zero-emission mobility,” explains Dr Ismail Dagli, Head of the Smart Mobility business area at Continental. “However, we can clearly see that the market is picking up speed, despite the significant challenges posed by range and the charging infrastructure. In the future, sustainable drives will also become more critical in the light of ambitious climate change mitigation targets and the continuous increase in freight traffic. This makes it all the more necessary for us to support manufacturers with our extensive portfolio for commercial electric vehicles.”
Products, software and services for e-trucks
Far from relying solely on hardware components, Continental follows a holistic approach along the product industrialisation path. The e-mobility experts of the Hanover-based company offer all the steps from a single source, ranging from requirements definition and consulting and design to E/E architecture, software solution development and serial production. Here, the development team can combine the best of two worlds: the knowledge gained over decades in the commercial vehicle sector and the latest findings from development projects relating to electric cars. Continental’s product portfolio for electrically powered commercial vehicles encompasses DC/DC converters and a wide range of control components, including sound modules, intelligent sensors for battery monitoring, battery management systems and charge controllers, high-voltage cables and many more solutions.
Also, Continental engineers are working with Siemens Mobility on another solution – the pantograph for dynamic charging, which means supplying power from overhead lines to charge the e-battery while driving. The National Platform for the Future of Mobility, an innovation initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Transport, recommends equipping 4,000 kilometres of highway with overhead contact line technology by 2030. “This could be an optimal solution for the future, especially for heavy-duty traffic – it avoids long waiting times at charging stations, and the battery can be made much smaller,” says Alex Rupprecht, who is responsible for the development of the pantograph at Continental. “We believe dynamic charging is the clear favourite to significantly reduce CO2 emissions – despite the competition of other technologies using fuels like hydrogen and other synthetic fuels.”
Continental is also highly involved in other usage scenarios as a development partner of vehicle and component manufacturers for electric mobility in passenger cars. For instance, the company developed new sensors to protect e-batteries. The commercial vehicle sector will also benefit from these investments in the future. “We plan to systematically expand our product range in cooperation with our passenger car colleagues since car components can often be used after only slight modifications have been made,” says Ismail Dagli.
Continental not only offers software solutions and E/E architecture design consulting – the technology company also has a broad portfolio of components and solutions for electrically powered commercial vehicles.
Plastic and rubber hardware for e-trucks and e-buses
Truck and bus manufacturers also have reliable e-mobility partners in the Tyres and ContiTech group sectors. Last year, Continental developed the Conti Urban bus tyre, which has an increased load index designed specifically for electric buses in urban traffic. The load-bearing capacity of the tyre is based on the higher vehicle weights of electric buses. Since 2016, Continental has been active in several development partnerships, for instance, with all the relevant manufacturers of commercial vehicles, for tyres designed to meet e-trucks and e-buses.
High-performance plastics developed by ContiTech are also used in the commercial vehicle sector – for example, industry experts are equipping a significant bus manufacturer’s e-buses with axle air springs that meet the high demands of urban traffic in the best possible way. Engine mounts provide even more comfort in the passenger cabin by dampening the vibrations of the electric motor, helping to prevent unpleasant, high-frequency whistling and booming noises. Continental experts are also developing wiring systems for electric vehicles. Electric trucks’ cooling and heating lines can comprise up to 100 individual pipes and hoses, plus many transition elements.