At the SAE World Congress in Detroit last week, FEV showed off what it calls an "innovative" new plug-in hybrid transmission. The reason for that moniker is that the system does away with the need for a torque converter while offering two speeds, which makes it particularly good during launch. If the electric motor is used to get going, once up to speed, the engine kicks in for "efficient highway driving" and the system is capable of both electronic boost as well as capturing regenerative braking energy.

FEV's Jochen Wolschendorf, executive vp and and chief sales officer for FEV, told AutoblogGreen that this parallel hybrid system was developed for an unnamed customer and is running in test vehicles today, but he couldn't tell us who is interested in this technology. He did say that the two main benefits are that this transmission is "much more compact and less costly." These benefits were made possible because FEV started the design process by using a "clean sheet approach" that did away with any unnecessary complexity, according to the official announcement. It's also ten percent lighter than "a similar dual-clutch transmission" and FEV is hinting that it could be perfect for a higher-end vehicle since it was put through "FEV's extreme dynamic 'Nurburgring' test cycle for sports car performance." Anyone want to try and guess which company is behind this tech?
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FEV exhibits innovative plug-in hybrid transmission at SAE World Congress

Downsizing, hybridization requires new thinking in transmission development and FEV's transmission development capability delivers

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., April 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- FEV North America, Inc. a leading developer of advanced powertrain and vehicle system technologies will be exhibiting its most recent transmission design advancements at the SAE World Congress, April 8 – 10, 2014 at Cobo Center in Detroit, Mich.

Engine downsizing for increased fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, either alone or as part of an extended range hybrid system, has led to challenges for transmission developers who are being asked to provide higher levels of capability in a smaller package that can be used in a downsized engine compartment. At the same time, it is desirable to reduce mechanical complexity and increase robustness. FEV has used a clean sheet approach to develop a transmission with such capability.

The plug-in hybrid transmission's capabilities include 2-speed pure electric driving mode, use as an ICE range extender in parallel mode for efficient highway driving, and a highly flexible eCVT mode (power split) that features excellent launch performance without clutch slippage. The transmission does not use a torque converter and includes only one electric machine.

FEV's transmission design process was supported by advanced CAE methods. The TCU software was developed in-house; the calibration was optimized via FEV's proprietary TOPexpert tool chain. The result is a state-of-the-art transmission that is low in complexity, yet enables a high degree of vehicle functionality including the following:

Electric drive mode with two ratios
Full hybrid functionality including e-boost and regen
Superior launch performance using either ICE or e-motor
Creep behavior similar to conventional automatic transmissions
Excellent fuel economy enabled by elimination of torque converter and use of a highly efficient parallel mode of operation

Use of FEV's systematic development process and CAE methods resulted in a transmission that is 10 percent lighter, shorter and less costly to manufacture than a similar dual-clutch transmission. The transmission is package-neutral and offers very low complexity and a high degree of robustness. Testing included putting the transmission through FEV's extreme dynamic "Nurburgring" test cycle for sports car performance.

About FEV
The FEV Group is an internationally recognized powertrain and vehicle engineering company that supplies the global transportation industry. FEV offers a complete range of engineering services, providing support across the globe to customers in the design, analysis, prototyping, powertrain and transmission development, as well as vehicle integration, calibration and homologation for advanced internal combustion gasoline-, diesel-, and alternative-fueled powertrains. FEV also designs, develops and prototypes advanced vehicle / powertrain electronic control systems and hybrid-electric engine concepts that address future emission and fuel economy standards. The company has expanded its engineering capabilities to include full vehicle systems and now offers broad expertise in electronics, telematics and infotainment system engineering. The FEV Test Systems division is a global supplier of advanced test cell, instrumentation and test equipment. The FEV Group employs a staff of over 2,800 highly skilled specialists at advanced technical centers on three continents. FEV North America, Inc. employs over 450 personnel in its Technical Center in Auburn Hills, MI.

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