There is no doubt that in the foreseeable future, electrification will become the only development direction of vehicle power-whether we like it or not, this is an inevitable historical development after all.
For this coming era of electrification, also known as the era of new energy vehicles, we focus more on the structural form of the power supply at the current stage, and propose two development directions of solid-state batteries and fuel cells. As for its driving structure-the motor and the corresponding power management system, there are not many objections. While we pay attention to the cruising range and charging time of an electric vehicle, we selectively ignore the electrification upgrade of the transmission system with the advancement of technology.
In fact, in the era of electrification, the drive system is no less likely to respond to changes in the power source of the electric motor than the power system. On the one hand, the addition of electric motors, especially wheel motors, has changed the Drivetrain of traditional models, and the output characteristics of electric motors will inevitably lead to changes in the final drive and gearbox modules. On the other hand, the power coupling requirements proposed by the power system mainly composed of hybrid power and plug-in hybrid power make the transmission system the primary core component.
Therefore, in the era of electrification in which we can foresee the future, the electrification upgrade of the transmission system has also become an important field that restricts the popularization of new energy vehicle technology.
In the field of transmission system, Dana, founded in 1904, is currently the largest supplier of transmission system in the world. If I put it another way, it may be much more well-known. Its English name DANA always appears in extremely high frequency. In the case of classic off-road vehicle modification, of course, the DANA series axle is still an important symbol for distinguishing Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and Sahara models. Over the past 100 years, Dana has established a market reputation for precision, efficiency and durability in the transmission field of traditional vehicles. It cannot be denied that a sophisticated and efficient transmission system is closely related to the improvement of the economy and driving quality of traditional internal combustion engine-powered vehicles.
After entering the new energy era, Dana has increased the development and promotion of electrified products on the basis of the technical advantages of traditional products. The fields involved have also moved from pure transmission systems to refined fields such as electric drive systems and thermal management systems, and launched Spicer® Electrified™ electric drive systems and Long ® thermal management products. At present, Dana can provide a complete set of drive system solutions and power thermal management solutions for electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles. It is the power system supplier of the mainstream new energy vehicles in China.
It is worth noting that in Dana’s thermal management products, it is further refined to the battery inter-cell (IC) cooling unit, the cooling plate at the bottom of the battery is often used for hard-shell battery components, and the battery cooling device uses refrigerant/coolant heat exchange device, etc. It has further realized the refinement in the field of new energy power industry.
Dana’s electrification development path is divided into two steps.
In the first step, on the basis of the original traditional system, Dana took the lead in launching the Dana electric gearbox, realizing the upgrade from traditional internal combustion engine power to electric power. The launch of the Dana electric gearbox benefits from Dana’s advantages in the transmission field of traditional internal combustion engine-powered vehicles. Due to the constant power and constant torque characteristics of the electric motor, the gearbox replaces the gearbox of the internal combustion engine-powered vehicle, thereby achieving the goal of deceleration and torque increase. effect. In this field, Dana’s accumulated experience in the design and development of precise and efficient transmission systems provides hardware support for the low energy consumption of electric vehicles.
The second part, based on the electric gearbox, realizes the comprehensive expansion in the field of electric drive through acquisition.
In the second half of last year, Dana established a joint venture partnership with Hydro-Quebec. According to the agreement, Dana became the largest shareholder of TM4 under Hydro-Quebec. As the core of this joint venture partnership, TM4 has unique insights in electric motors, generators, power electronic equipment and control systems in the transportation market, permanent magnet motors, thermal management systems, coil windings, motors and inverters. The controller control algorithm is its main core technology. With the completion of this project, Dana also has a complete motor drive system, engineering and manufacturing capabilities, and has become the only supplier that can provide motor drive solutions in the terminal market.
In January of this year, Dana announced the completion of the acquisition of the Italian SME Group. The core strength of SME Group lies in the design, development and production of low-voltage AC induction motors and reluctance synchronous motors, inverters and controllers widely used in off-highway electric vehicles. With the addition of low-voltage motor and inverter technology, Dana Group has further expanded from traditional road vehicles to the demand for electrification development of off-road equipment in the field of electrification. After perfecting SME’s low-voltage motor series, Dana’s current flagship Spicer series electric drive products have also formed a product series consisting of TM4 electric motors and inverters and SME low-voltage motors and inverters. The scope of application has been extended to 250 kW.
Subsequently, Dana completed the acquisition of the Oerlikon Group’s Transmission Systems Division, including its Graziano and Fairfield brands. As a supplier of high-precision gears, planetary drives for wheeled and tracked vehicles, and automotive electrification solutions, Oerlikon Drive Systems has a higher level of electrification solution supply capabilities. With this round of acquisitions, Dana also realized vehicle electrification solutions in the light commercial vehicle market. So far, Dana’s electrification layout is no longer limited to plug-in hybrid or pure electric vehicles as we know it. A complete Dana electrification camp that can provide electric drive solutions for various end markets has been formed. .
As a component supplier, Dana’s electrification strategy has been ahead of auto companies, which also enables Dana to have the ability to implement electrification transformation on the existing model architecture for OEMs. As the cornerstone of the industry, Dana’s first step also gives it more voice in the field of new energy, and the progress of Dana’s technology will also promote the upgrading of new energy technologies. This is also a path of sustainable development.