While electric passenger cars are already part of everyday life on our roads, decarbonization of the commercial vehicle sector has only just begun. But electric powertrains are also making rapid advances there, too. Global top 100 automotive supplier Webasto therefore also offers its customers systems for commercial vehicles in addition to passenger car batteries. At IAA Transportation in Hanover (September 20 to 25, Hall H12, Booth B21) the company is showcasing its broad electromobility portfolio.
Standard battery system from Germany
The standard battery system for commercial vehicles combines the price benefits of a scalable mass market product with the tailored fit of a custom solution. Depending on the configuration, the batteries can be utilized in both 400- and 800-volt systems. Each battery pack has a capacity of 35 kWh and up to 18 packs can be interconnected. The standard battery system is produced at the technology plant in Schierling, Germany. Customers include Goldhofer, a manufacturer of vehicles for heavy-duty and special transport applications based in Germany, the French transport company Lohr, and Zeus Electric Chassis from the USA. The latter manufactures electric work trucks for government and corporate fleets. Webasto supplies the battery, thermal management system and so-called Vehicle Interface Box (VIB) – the interface between the vehicle and the battery – for these trucks. “The standard battery from Webasto enables companies like Zeus to enter the electromobility market without having to make major investments in developing their own batteries,” explains Management Board member Marcel Bartling, who is responsible for the electromobility business, among others, at Webasto.
Its robust design also makes the standard battery ideal for use in construction machinery. Diesel vehicles generally have very high fuel consumption, which is why battery-electric models or partially electrified vehicles will be increasingly deployed in this segment in future. Webasto recently teamed up among others with Dutch start-up E.C.E. and converted the first excavators to electric operation.
Alongside the current model, Webasto will also be exhibiting the successor to the popular standard battery system at IAA Transportation. The NextGen Battery further expands on the benefits of the first generation and delivers significantly more energy from the same installation space. The NextGen is expected to be available from 2024.
An example of the passenger car battery, which Webasto manufactures for Hyundai-Kia and other automakers, will also be on display at the booth.
New alternative interface
In addition to the VIB, Webasto has offered the Vehicle Interface Gateway (VIG) since June. This can be used to control up to nine battery packs in a 400-volt system and up to 18 in an 800-volt system, up to a total capacity of 630 kWh. The VIG is used by Turkey’s leading bus manufacturer Otokar, for example. The almost 19 meter long e-Kent C passenger bus, which will be driving to IAA Transportation, is fitted with 16 battery packs from Webasto. The maximum power is 410 Kilowatts (557 PS).
Heating and cooling solutions for the traction battery
The Webasto eBTM 2.0 is a stand-alone thermal management unit for traction batteries. It guarantees optimal functionality of the water-cooled battery packs fitted to electric utility vehicles, even under warm or extremely cold ambient conditions, thereby ensuring the best performance from the battery cells over the long term. Pre-conditioning is used to achieve optimum battery cell temperature during charging phases or before operation. Thermal management is crucial for maintaining battery life and functionality. Here, Webasto offers solutions for standard batteries as well as customer-specific developments for OEM projects.
With the High-Voltage Heater (HVH), Webasto also has a powerful heating system for hybrid and electric vehicles in its portfolio. The device provides pleasant interior temperatures and preheats the battery to get the most out of its performance. Thanks to efficient thin film resistive heating layer technology, the HVH converts the stored electrical energy into heat with almost no losses and with an efficiency of more than 95 percent.
Alongside its battery systems, Webasto is also exhibiting the Webasto Unite charging station, which offers a charging capacity of up to 22 kW, at IAA Transportation. The wallbox is suitable for both stand-alone and cluster mode operation. Local load management prevents network overloads. Thanks to GDPR-compliant real-time transmission of charging data to the Webasto Charge Connect backend system, the Webasto Unite charging station is online at all times. A bidirectional DC wallbox for OEM customers will also be on display at the Webasto booth.
E-mobility success story
The massive investments in e-mobility and the transformation course the company has embarked upon are beginning to pay off for Webasto: Webasto has recently received several large-volume battery orders for passenger cars – including from a German manufacturer – in addition to the increased demand from the commercial vehicle sector. “With a doubling of sales in this segment and healthy order books, we have taken a very large step closer to our goal of making electromobility Webasto’s second strong pillar. We are planning to reach the one billion euro sales mark by 2025 at the latest,” commented Dr. Holger Engelmann, Chairman of the Management Board of Webasto SE, at the 2022 annual press conference.