Panasonic Corporation announced the development of a new 48V ePowertrain platform for small electric vehicles (EVs). The new platform doubles the output and reduces the size, volume, and weight of the company’s EV powertrain product that they showcased at CES 2018.
Additionally, the company will exhibit SPACe_C, a conceptual small mobility vehicle based on this platform and can be separated into upper and lower structures.
Panasonic says that its platform is an energy-efficient, safe powertrain. The electric powertrain boasts a compact size due to its integration, high efficiency, and Panasonic says that the device offers flexible scalability. The platform will help scale up or down the combination of basic units to meet vehicle specifications including size, speed, and torque. The new platform consists of basic units, including a power unit and a motor unit. The power unit features an on-board charger, junction box, inverter, and dc-to-dc converter.
The output is 18kW. Panasonic claims that the device output is double that of the conventional product (8 kW) for the same volume (output density: two-fold). Panasonic says it achieved as a result of combining a improvements in motor design and the cooling structure.
Notably, the conventional product required parts that required two units to obtain the same output. So, as a result of the increased output, the number of units needed has been reduced to one, thereby resulting in a reduced size of the platform. Panasonic further asserts that the new platform will help achieve additional reductions in the weight of small EVs, as well as increase cabin space, and extend driving range.
The company will offer the new platform to a variety of partners.
SPACe_C is a small mobility vehicle based on a new concept that employs the new platform. SPACe_C is an acronym for Sharing, Pod, Autonomous, Connected, e-Mobility, and Community. Panasonic designed it to closely connect people with products and services and propose new applications for small mobility vehicles in tourist and urban areas. The company expects SPACe_C to be utilized to deliver temperature-controlled food, and packages for consumers and professionals.
The vehicle can be separated into upper and lower structures so that it can meet the needs for small mobility vehicles in various regions of the world. The upper structure features a cabin for transporting people and products, and for offering services. The lower structure is e-Torta, which serves as the basis for small mobility vehicles. e_Torta includes the 48V ePowertrain platform.
The replacement of the upper structure allows the complete change of purposes. In this way, it can serve as a mobility vehicle for transporting people or products or for providing services at events. It can also be customized for various regions and requirements.
The company created a multi-purpose cabin through the combination of its housing technology including Panasonic Group’s lighting equipment and devices, as well as ventilation systems.