MAHLE Electronics—the key to integrated systems solutions

With the acquisition of the electronics specialist Nagares SA, MAHLE has further strengthened its competence in products for the e-mobility sector and is now in a position to offer integrated systems solutions across the broad product portfolio of electric drives, auxiliary components, and thermal management.

MAHLE develops both hardware and software in-house for complex controls tasks and also manufactures its own control units. The same applies to power electronics for hybrid systems and purely electric drives, in both the low-voltage range up to 48 volts and the high-voltage range. This makes MAHLE a single-source supplier of integrated systems solutions with compatible mechanical and electronic components.

MAHLE Electronics: product portfolio for electric vehicles

In electric and fuel cell vehicles, the optimization of the heating system is essential in order to improve cruising range, efficiency, comfort and service life of the complete system. Due to efficiency, electrically driven cars do not generate sufficient waste heat to enable rapid heating of the vehicle cabin. To keep the windows clear and ensure optimal  thermal comfort, additional heating can be provided with high voltage PTC heaters. This technology can also be used for battery heating, to ensure that the high voltage battery operates within its temperature range.

Another requirement for battery-powered electric vehicles is to minimize electrical energy consumption in order to optimize the vehicle's cruising range. In this complete system, high-performance electronic components from MAHLE ensure high efficiency and thereby increase the operating range of electric vehicles.

Voltage converters are the link between the high-voltage (HV) drive train battery and the existing 12-volt low-voltage system. These DC-DC converters not only have to ensure high reliability in the car, they also need to score with efficiency and high power density. Based on specialized components developed in-house, MAHLE offers systems solutions that can be used both as a stand-alone unit and as a module in integrated concepts, covering a wide voltage range.

MAHLE has developed an interface module within the charging structure of electric vehicles. This specific component placed between the power mains and the charger power stage works closely with the latter and unites a configurable EMI filter, protection devices and sensors to ensure high flexibility, maximum efficiency and user safety during the charging process. The configurable EMI filter enables compatibility with single- and three-phase mains configuration.

By sensing the mains currents and voltages and reporting the values to the charger control unit it is part of the power factor correction system for high charging efficiency. A residual current detector and earth quality measurement device provide user safety to the highest degree. The communication with the ECU is ensured through BUS communication.

Battery-management systems from MAHLE monitor and control temperatures, voltages, charge states, and charging and discharging processes for lithium-ion cells. They ensure reliable, trouble-free functionality and optimal performance of automotive traction batteries, even under peak currents. Thick-film resistors on a ceramic substrate make the system extremely robust and rugged.