Continental has entered a strategic partnership with Munich-based high-tech company DeepDrive to develop core technologies for electric vehicles.
As a first milestone, both companies will jointly develop a combined unit comprising drive and brake components for mounting directly on the vehicle wheel.
DeepDrive is a specialist in the development of efficient electric motors. Continental, in turn, says it contributes its technological know-how in brake systems and its expertise in the industrialisation of innovative technologies.
Both companies say they see great potential in their collaboration as the electrification of vehicles makes it possible in the future to place all chassis functions, including the drive, directly on the wheel.
In order to best implement the different requirements of electric vehicles, such as maximise the range while minimising installation space and simultaneous modularity, comprehensive optimisation at vehicle level is said to be necessary.
DeepDrive has developed and patented what is called a dual-rotor, radial-flux motor that can be installed as a central drive unit or as a wheel hub drive in series production vehicles.
The partnership is focusing on developing an efficient, compact wheel hub drive optimised with a view to cost-effective production. And Continental says it is contributing not only brake components for the joint drive-brake unit: With its expertise in industrialising products right through to series development, the company is ensuring that the motor innovation from Munich will soon be road-ready with state-of-the-art brake technology.
In the first step, a hydraulic brake is integrated into the drive-brake unit. In a second step, it is also planned to integrate on the long-term dry braking systems without hydraulic components into DeepDrive’s innovative wheel hub drive. T
he combination of drive and brake in one unit is also the first step towards a so-called corner module with integrated chassis components, such as air suspension systems from Continental, in a compact unit directly on the wheel.