The high-tech enterprise Rheinmetall has won a major order worth over a quarter billion euros in the electromobility domain from a premium German automaker. Rheinmetall will be equipping the new 900-volt generation of electrically powered vehicles with a new type of contactor. Rheinmetall won the order in the face of stiff competition from Asia, establishing itself as a global market leader for contactors for this future voltage class.
Starting in 2025, Rheinmetall will supply tens of millions of these contactors for the automaker’s new vehicle platform. Rheinmetall is thus widening its lead in the new world of 900V technology, making the vehicles safer to operate.
Contactors make switching electric vehicles on and off safe, assuring efficient, risk-free operation. This is particularly important in emergency situations, e.g., in case of an accident or short circuit due to a system failure. The new 900V technology will substantially improve the efficiency of the next generation of battery-powered vehicles, by enabling faster charging and enhanced range. This will make the 900V class the standard for future electric vehicles.
However, increasing the voltage from 450V to 900V poses challenges for the design of the contactors, particularly with respect to the cut-off performance under high short circuit currents. Rheinmetall’s new product platform combines very low weight with high performance. Moreover, low contact resistances guarantee low power losses. The contactors function without volatile quenching gases, thus reducing production costs, assuring longer lifetimes compared to competitors, as well as enabling higher operating temperatures and have a significantly lower risk of bursting.
This large-scale business emphasizes once again Rheinmetall’s tremendous innovative strength and successful technological transformation from the conventional internal combustion engine to the electromobility of tomorrow.