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If everyone drives a car, is our air still going to be clean?

0.005 millimeters ...                                               
If we were to split a human hair a hundred times, this would be the same as the tolerance for the jet needle in our piezo injector. With this ultimate precision, engines not only gain increased power capacity but also operate with improved fuel economy.   

There are two decisive stimuli for the advancement of drive technologies. Firstly, active climate protection, including in particular reducing CO2 and exhaust emissions. And secondly, the increasing need for individual mobility, which results in various requirements on vehicles and drive systems.

 Under the guiding concept of “Clean Power,” the Powertrain division is developing innovative solutions both for gasoline and diesel engines and for electrical drive systems. These not only make driving more environmentally friendly and affordable, they also enhance comfort and the pleasure of driving.

How can the conventional combustion engine be operated even more efficiently?

In the next ten years, gasoline and diesel engines will continue to be the standard drive unit for around 95 percent of all new vehicles. The ongoing development and improvement of the conventional powertrain are therefore important tasks for us.

On the gasoline engine, consumptionreducing direct injection is gaining in popularity – and is increasingly used in combination with exhaust turbocharging and a reduced cylinder capacity.

In diesel engines, key factors in boosting efficiency include greater injection pressures and even more effective preparation of the air–fuel mixture. We rely on piezo injectors and will achieve even better values with the coming generations. 

These technologies are complemented by innovations for exhaust gas aftertreatment. In addition, our fuel-efficient transmission control units, needs-based fuel supply units, and our entire portfolio of sensors and actuators reduce vehicle emissions.

How can we bring electrification onto the market?

All-electric vehicles are still niche products. It is all the more important to introduce electrical energy as part of the drive system into series production in other ways, because, in the long term, electrification will make an indispensable contribution to more efficient driving with lower emissions.

Continental sees the solutions for the mass market in scalable hybridization or “electrification to order” and therefore offers a technology portfolio that manufacturers can use to hybridize vehicles at between 12 and 400 volts with a transparent cost–benefit ratio.

One of Continental’s focal points here is the new “48 Volt Eco Drive” system, which supplements the conventional 12-volt onboard power supply with a 48-volt energy accumulator. This electrification of the drivetrain bridges the gap between low-end hybridization, based on present-day 12-volt stop-start systems, and the more sophisticated high-voltage hybrid solutions. The “48 Volt Eco Drive” system is easy to install, while also offering many of the functions and fuel economy benefits that were previously confined to mild hybrids, with their higher voltage level.

What do we mean by electrification to order?

The Powertrain division offers a comprehensive technology portfolio that allows manufacturers to take a flexible approach to electrifying existing vehicles – from start-stop to 48-volt and hybrid technologies through to components and systems for electric vehicles.

Electrification to order
› is guided by the needs of the motorist

› fulfills the requirements of vehicle manufacturers

› is the path to electric mobility under a clear political framework

5 business units
Engine Systems, e.g. engine management systems and fuel components; products for exhaust gas aftertreatment for commercial vehicles; turbochargers
Transmission, e.g. control systems for transmissions: stepped automatic transmissions, double clutch transmissions, automated manual transmissions, continuously variable automatic transmissions
Sensors & Actuators, e.g. actuators, electric pumps, components and modules for emissions control, sensors
Hybrid Electric Vehicle, e.g. power electronics, electric motors, energy storage systems, power net systems
Fuel Supply, e.g. fuel feed units, fuel level sensors, fuel pumps, control electronics for fuel pumps