Panasonic employs 48V platform for versatile concept vehicle
To build an electric vehicle, designers not necessarily need to deal with high-voltage batteries and drives; the 48-V ecosystem offers an increasing number of options for electric powertrains. At the ongoing CES, Panasonic is introducing a new version of its 48V ePowertrain platform for small electrical vehicles. What’s more, the company is also showcasing an innovative concept vehicle based on this platform.
Global demand for EVs is expected to expand rapidly, along with a wide variety of new mobility, which suit various lifestyles and uses in each region. Panasonic Corp. developed a 48V ePowertrain platform for small EVs that meets the demand. It has been improved from the previous iteration by doubling the output while reducing the size of its volume and weight. The platform will help reduce costs and lead time for vehicle development, promises Panasonic. In particular, it can scale up or down the combination of basic units in accordance with vehicle specifications such as size, speed and torque.
The platform consists of basic units, including a motor unit and a power unit that in turn contains an on-board charger, junction box, inverter and DC-to-DC converter and. The output is 18 kW, which is more than double that of the conventional product (8 kW) for the same.
This has been achieved by reviewing the motor design and cooling structure. The conventional product required parts that consisted of two units to attain the same output. Due to the increased output, the number of units required has been reduced to one, resulting in the reduced size of the platform. The new platform will help further reduce the weight of small EVs, increase passenger / cargo space, and extend driving range. The company will offer the new platform to various partners and continue to contribute to the widespread use of EVs and creation of new businesses.
The concept vehicle, dubbed SPACe_C, is a small mobility vehicle designed to closely connect people with products and services, support people’s lives, propose new applications for small mobility vehicles in tourist and urban areas, and revitalize communities. The expected use case of SPACe_C is to deliver temperature-controlled food, packages for a consumption and online world, serve to educate riders while moving to location, act as a meeting zone for busy professionals, become the next hot retail pop-up store as a delicious food truck to feed hungry travelers or merely for people to utilize to get around town.
The vehicle can be separated into upper and lower structures so that it can meet the needs for small mobility vehicles in various regions in the world. The upper structure is 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 and includes the 48V ePowertrain platform.
By replacing its upper structure, SPACe_C can be used for various purposes. It can serve as a mobility vehicle for transporting people or products or for offering services at events. It can also be customized to meet the needs in different regions. As Panasonic Group has diverse housing related business such as lighting equipment, lightning devices and ventilation systems, a multi-purpose cabin platform for transporting people has been achieved by applying the housing technology.