Major Research Project „Drive Train 2025“ Launched
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has awarded approximately four million euros of funding to a project that aims to produce vehicle drive trains in a more efficient and resource-friendly manner
No matter how many alternative technologies may exist: the combustion engine will be around for a while yet. In view of climate change, it is therefore essential to produce vehicle drive trains as energy- and resource-efficient as possible. The researchers involved in the project have identified considerable potential for this: “We will be able to reduce the energy required for production by around one fifth”, predicts project coordinator Thilo Grove from the Institute of Production Engineering and Machine Tools (IFW). “In addition, our drive trains are friction-optimised and lighter than previous versions, which will reduce CO2 emissions by about seven percent.”
To achieve this ambitious goal, engineers from three institutes at Leibniz University Hannover will be working together. In addition to the IFW, the Institute of Technical Combustion, the Institute of Machine Elements and Engineering Design, as well as various industry partners are involved in the project. The project is led by Volkswagen AG, other industry partners include Bosch, DMG Mori, Ecoroll, Gehring Technologies, and Gühring. Among other things, they will ensure that all project outcomes can be used in industrial production from the start. An online analysis of ecological parameters will allow for a transparent evaluation of all changes.
The project partners will focus on four drive train components with great optimisation potential – especially in terms of friction and weight: cylinder liner, profile shaft, drive shaft, as well as the steering system pump. Researchers will develop process chains for these components, which will incorporate all innovations regarding energy- and resource-efficiency. On the one hand, this will enable more energy- and material-efficient production. On the other hand, fuel consumption and emissions of climate-damaging gases will be reduced during the utilisation phase.
At 127.1 grams per kilometre, average CO2 emissions of new cars sold in Germany in 2017 are among the highest in Europe. The EU climate protection target for 2021 aims to reduce CO2 emissions of new cars to 95 grams, thus reducing the current value by around 25 percent. In order to achieve this goal, increases in efficiency are an important piece of the puzzle: The seven percent savings achieved by optimising the drive train will make a significant contribution. In absolute numbers: If the approximately six million passenger cars currently produced in Germany each year had been equipped with the new drive train, they would have emitted about 640,000 tonnes less CO2 than cars with a conventional drive train after an average mileage of 12,000 kilometres per year.
Professor Berend Denkena, head of the Institute of Production Engineering and Machine Tools and current president of the German Academic Association for Production Technology (WPG), brought the two-degree climate target into the focus of production technology. He considers “Drive Train 2025” an important step in this direction: “We are very pleased about the grant of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, which enables us to contribute to the reduction of energy required in this field, as well as to further reduce climate-damaging emissions.”
Note to editors:
For further information, please contact Dr Thilo Grove, divisional head of the department Manufacturing Technology at the Institute of Production Engineering and Machine Tools (Tel. +49 511 762 2563, Email ).