Sales of conventional hybrids may be flat, but electrification is steadily creeping into ICE vehicles through the rear door, so to speak. Auto supply giant Bosch has developed a hybrid powertrain that it says costs just a fraction of today’s hybrid systems. “The boost recuperation system is the hybrid for everyone,” says Bosch Board Member Dr. Rolf Bulander.
Unlike conventional 400-volt hybrids, Bosch’s new system runs at 48 volts, and can therefore make do with less expensive components. Instead of a large electric motor, it uses the generator to support the combustion engine with up to 10 kW of power. The lithium-ion battery is also significantly smaller than in a typical hybrid.
According to Bosch, its new system not only improves fuel efficiency by around 15 percent, but gives the vehicle more dynamic acceleration. The electrical powertrain provides the combustion engine with an additional 150 Newton-meters of support during acceleration.
Bosch expects some 4 million new vehicles worldwide to be equipped with this type of hybrid powertrain in 2020.
The new hybrid system makes it possible to equip compact cars with a remote-controlled parking assistant, a feature currently found only in higher-end vehicles. Bosch’s automatic parking assistant can steer a vehicle into the tightest of parking spaces, using ultrasonic sensors. Drivers can even operate the parking assistant from outside the vehicle using a smartphone app.