Mahle Unveils New Electric Concept Vehicle for Urban Driving

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MAHLE has developed a highly efficient 48-volt vehicle concept for urban mobility, which can be transferred to a wide range of platforms owing to its modular approach. // Photograph Courtesy of MAHLE

Mahle, an international development partner and supplier to the automotive industry with offices in Farmington Hills and Troy, unveiled its new electric mobility concept vehicle today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The vehicle, known as MEET (Mahle Efficient Electric Transport), is designed for the urban driver, combining efficiency, comfort, and driving pleasure – all at an affordable price.

The vehicle makes use of an innovative twin-power drive unit, using two electric motors, the transmission, and a 48-volt electronics system.

In urban traffic, maximum speed is not what counts. With a top performance of 40 to 60 kilowatts — depending on the model of the motor — the vehicle, Mahler officials say, is very zippy in relevant speed ranges.

The basic model accelerates from 0 to 50 km/h in five seconds. When using the new Mahle motors, each with a peak power of 30 kilowatts, the time drops to less than three seconds.

Officials say, the maneuvering and parking are supported by the torque vectoring functionality of the twin-power drive unit and is rendered exceptionally agile thanks to the selective wheel-torque output of the two electric motors.

Personalized heating and cooling are produced exactly where it is needed. Innovative heating elements in the form of thin, flexible films produce surface heating with direct contact to the occupants.

Despite its technical sophistication, it is an affordable vehicle concept. There are several reasons for this, officials say:

  • MEET is a platform concept. The modular approach can be flexible and transferred to a range of vehicle concepts.
  • Economies of scale are generated. For example, the modular drive unit also may be easily used as an e-axle in a 48-volt hybrid system. In addition, Mahle believes that all the technologies in MEET can be carried over into large-scale production.

The 48-volt approach requires fewer safety measures in comparison with high-voltage systems, reducing the cost of the drive by 25 percent.

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