In the future: more electrics—less CO2

If you’re headed full speed ahead into the future, you should set your sights on the growing trend of vehicle electrification. It’s an opportunity to make a valuable contribution to protecting the environment and climate! Want an example? With a conventional standard powertrain, CO2 emissions can be cut by 65 percent through the use of various electrification solutions! This achievement isn’t limited to the immediate support of the combustion engine with technologies such as boosting, stop-start, or hybridization. Other measures such as thermal management or the electrification of auxiliary components also make a contribution.


Talk about a bang for the buck: even electrification solutions involving only minor changes can have a sustainable effect on the powertrain of a modern combustion engine with a conventional 12 V electrical system. For example, electric actuators enable a faster and more precise control. Simply by replacing the pneumatic wastegate actuator with an electric alternative, CO2 savings of approximately two percent can be achieved. MAHLE has been supplying these electrical components for large-scale production applications since 2009

Other electrification measures—like electric thermostats, EGR valves, power steering motors, and stop-start system—can yield combined CO2 savings of an additional eight percent. And all that without disrupting the electrical system and without electric drives.


Electrified auxiliary components provide even more support to the combustion engine. Disconnect these from the belt drive and we get two benefits at once:

  • Packaging advantages through a variety of placement options
  • No mechanical losses in the combustion engine

The energy for electric auxiliary components is virtually free of charge thanks to recuperation (energy recovery). They operate independently of engine speed and pressure and are therefore designed with extreme precision to fulfill the specific requirements. To take a very simple example, an electric main cooling pump can completely suppress the coolant flow during the engine’s warm-up phase, simply by remaining disabled. With clean advantages:

  • The combustion engine reaches its optimal operating temperature more rapidly
  • Critical cold-start emissions are drastically reduced
  • After start-up, the coolant pump operation is based on the driving conditions

Overall, this results in further potential CO2 savings of up to five percent!

MAHLE is systematically expanding its portfolio in the area of electric auxiliary components, for example, with electric coolant pumps, air conditioning compressors, and other innovative solutions. According to current trends, these systems are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in conjunction with a 48 V electrical system.


On the topic of “thermal management in vehicles”: As they work toward full hybridization and the plug-in hybrid, engineers are facing new challenges. Lithium-ion batteries in particular must be constantly kept within a specific temperature window. MAHLE has been a pioneer in this field, with series production of the first refrigerant-based battery cooling systems as early as in 2009. And today? Thermoelectric battery conditioning is almost ready for series production!

But temperature control of drive components is not the only crucial factor in high-voltage applications. Another important task is climate control in the cabin when the combustion engine is turned off. The MAHLE portfolio provides solutions—with basic systems such as high-voltage PTC heaters and electrical air conditioning compressors.


One thing we’re sure about: the various degrees of drive and vehicle electrification will gain more widespread acceptance, depending on the vehicle class and its price sensitivity. After all, they are vitally important for improving efficiency! And MAHLE is leading the way in this trend too: with its comprehensive thermal management range, electric actuators, and auxiliary components. By the way: we have also had a long-standing presence with electric powertrains and electronics in countless series applications. And in terms of the further electrification of powertrains, we are already putting the pedal to the metal—efficiently, of course.


We regularly provide technical tips relating to the powertrain, thermal management, and mechatronics in automobiles.


MPULSE - The magazine

The print issue of MPULSE will come out twice a year.