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Electrified Transmissions as Preferred Choice for OEMs

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 6/20/2012, Location: North America

Electrified transmissions will experience increased penetration in both European and North American regions due to the increased focus on hybrid vehicles and their positive impact on emissions and fuel economy. However, end-user preference for automatic transmissions (AT) in North America and for manual transmissions (MT) in Europe will dictate the market penetration of the type of transmission technology with integrated electric motors.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Electrification of Transmissions in Europe and North America, finds that the electrified transmissions market sales are set to grow to 1.3 million units in the North American and European markets by 2017. AT will be the prime choice for electrification, followed by Dual-clutch transmissions (DCT), although the Electric Drive Axle Systems (EDAS) will prove to be a tough competitor.

"The demand for lower emissions and increased fuel economy has sharpened the focus on hybrid vehicles,” says Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Bharath Kumar Srinivasan. "While the integrated technology solutions are driven by the hybrid market itself, the technologies being quick and simple solutions, offer original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) an easier way to hybridise the vehicles without making too many modifications to the engine, chassis and vehicle as a whole."

In North America, the electrification of automatic transmissions (ATs) will suit the transmission manufacturer as there is no necessity to modify manufacturing setups of ATs; replacing the torque converter with an electric motor offers improved results. On the other hand, driving patterns and dynamics particular to Europe have led to the emergence of both transmission electrification and EDAS systems—which will vie for the top spot in Europe.

The future of motor integrated transmissions-based technologies is likely to be strongly influenced primarily by legislation promoting lower emissions and strategies by OEMs to meet these legislative requirements. However, ease of adoption and cost of the technology will be factors that will significantly affect OEM strategies, thus having a direct impact on the market success of motor integrated transmission technologies.

The electrified axle technology, which has been gaining popularity as a retro-fit solution and is also used in Peugeot’s HYbrid4 powertrain, is a major competitor to electrified transmissions in Europe. With its simple architecture, independence from the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE), and ease of adoption to any vehicle platform, this technology offers a stern challenge to the motor integrated transmission. However, its lower potential for fuel reduction due to its non-linkage to the ICE could limit its challenge to the motor integrated transmission.

"It is clear that the electric and hybrid vehicle transmission market is in a nascent stage and the suppliers are yet to set a standard, as each offers different solutions," Mr. Srinivasan concludes. "However, with the industry growing rapidly, technological developments and new products will follow, affecting the market landscape."

Electrification of Transmissions in Europe and North America is part of the Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following markets: 2010 Europe Consumer Attitudes and Perceptions toward Sustainability, Environment, and Alternative Powertrains - Key Findings on Transmission Technologies, Analysis of European OEMs Powertrain Strategies for Euro 6 Compliance and 2011 Original Equipment Manufacturers Strategies for Passenger Vehicle Engine Downsizing in Western Europe. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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