THE FUTURE STARTS NOW
The world’s population is increasing and is continually on the move: by 2050, about two thirds of all people will live in urban areas. How can we shape the urban mobility of the future to make life in the city worth living? The required transformation in mobility can be seen more clearly in one of China’s megacities than anywhere else in the world—welcome to Shanghai! More than 24 million people live in this city. On Monday morning, the alarm clock rings in Shanghai just like everywhere else in the world. Only there, many more people are waking up. And then everyone has just one goal: to get from A to B quickly and with no hassle.
8:15 A.M.—LET’S GO!
Scooters, cars, and buses on the streets, metal against metal. It’s the usual chaos, but this time the sound doesn’t match the image: it’s quiet. While a good many scooters still carry the grime from the previous decade, the same can’t be said of their means of propulsion: throughout the city center, they are now running on electricity. On the sidewalk, Lilian is waiting in line in front of the coffee shop. The wait is as long as ever, but paying is faster: simply online via an app. With coffee in hand, she heads to the metro. It’s the fastest way for her to get to work at the MAHLE Aftermarket office in Pudong. Having grown up in Shanghai, she can provide a clear account of the tremendous growth her city has undergone: “When I was little, there were almost only small housing developments here. Now it has the world’s second tallest building, forming a breathtaking skyline along with all the other skyscrapers.”
Born and raised in Shanghai/China, 27-year-old Lilian Zheng has been a management assistant at MAHLE Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., Asia/Pacific, since 2016.
The megacity of Shanghai/China
China’s most important industrial center is one of the largest metropolises in the world, with 24.2 million people living in an area of 6,340 km2. In the heart of Shanghai, the district of Puxi alone is home to 22,562 residents per km2. Compare that with the population density per square meter in Berlin/Germany: 3,800 residents.
In 2050, about two thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas.
8:25 A.M.—DOWN UNDER
Rush hour in the metro. Anyone who couldn’t find a spot on the street is here: everywhere you look, it’s a sea of humanity, streaming out of the metro carriages in unceasing waves and gushing onto the walkways and stairs. Everyone is on their way in or out. Lilian wants to go in. Since an individual spot rarely opens up, organization of the masses is key. In front of the metro, at the latest, two rows form next to the doors. There are no clashes between the people getting on and off; everyone goes with the flow. Lilian gets on and raises her smartphone, which automatically unlocks after scanning her face, to read the news. This is one example of how everything is becoming connected to our movements in an increasingly intuitive way: “On very early mornings, though, I do worry that my cell phone won’t recognize me.” She laughs.
9:00 A.M.—21ST FLOOR
Lilian at her work on the 21st floor of a skyscraper in the Pudong district. For the next few hours, she will deftly move between her office and the conference rooms; then a call comes, and she glances out the window. On the streets below is a steady stream of traffic. Lilian has only just arrived here, but there’s always someone needing to get somewhere else: “Shanghai is growing skyward. Until you’re up here, you don’t fully realize what it means in terms of space down there once we all vacate these skyscrapers again. We can always build taller, but the roads can’t get any wider.”
By the end of 2017, the number of electric cars (battery-powered electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids) had risen globally to over three million—a 55 percent increase in comparison with 2016.
12:00 NOON—LUNCH BREAK
Lunch break with coworkers. Fish in oil, steamed bamboo, dumplings. All in the middle of the table. Everyone shares, family style. There’s talk of the weekend’s activities. One female coworker went for a spin in her father’s car. “That’s often more time consuming than taking the bicycle or the metro. But it’s just so convenient if you have a car right at your doorstep. Above all, it makes you independent. And who doesn’t want that? Looking for a parking space, though, you can forget about independence. One time, I actually couldn’t find a parking space, so I ended up driving back home. I just didn’t know where else to go with my car.” Laughter at the table.
Change in the world market
One hundred twenty-nine cars per 1,000 inhabitants (2017)—the car buyers of the future are in China. By 2025, China will dominate one third of the world market with 32 million new cars.
Quitting time on the 21st floor. Time to head to the fitness studio for a workout. Lilian quickly mounts a bike. Bike sharing is available everywhere in the city. The sidewalks are full of multicolored wheels. “There are 1.5 million shared bikes already available. The other day, someone left one smack dab in the middle of the road. It’s so practical, you can drop them off anywhere–except maybe there.”
Pioneer city Shenzhen
Home to 12 million people, the Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen has already converted its entire bus fleet to electric vehicles. With over 16,000 e-buses on its streets, the city is cutting local CO2 emissions by 1.4 million tons.
7:00 P.M.—EN ROUTE
The day is drawing to a close, and cars are returning from one district to another. Most vehicles never leave the city. Lilian starts walking to the bar where she’s meeting her friend Vicky. Planning your route in advance is the key to being on time in Shanghai.
7:30 P.M.—AFTER HOURS
Lilian and her friend Vicky raise their glasses in a toast. What is it that moves young people in the city, besides transportation systems? Vicky swipes her smartphone. She quickly pays her electricity bill using an app. Evenings at the bar, fitting in perfectly with her lifestyle. “That’s the nice thing about our time: there are more and more ways for us to arrange our life precisely according to our wants and needs. And that’s exactly what we expect from every new offer and service. They have to interface seamlessly with our daily lives.”
From 2019, all vehicle manufacturers who sell more than 30,000 cars in China will have to meet a new-energy vehicle points quota of 10 percent of their vehicles sold. Depending on their cruising range, plug-in hybrids, battery-driven vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles receive different scores in the calculation.
9:20 P.M.—BACK HOME
She taps her smartphone to identify her location and a minute later, Lilian is sitting in a car belonging to the ride service Didi. Today, Lilian used three mobile service providers. “A one-stop provider would also be nice. Maybe that’s what the future will look like.” She smiles, and while traffic is still heavy and plenty of people still have places to get to, Lilian now heads home.
Urban mobility in figures: 3.3 million privately owned vehicles are on the city’s roads, 16 metro lines transport 8.4 million people every day, and 7 million people travel to their destinations on 1,429 bus routes every day.
BACK IN STUTTGART
It’s wall-to-wall cars again today on the Neckartor, one of the most heavily traveled roads in Germany. Rush hour traffic plus construction equals gridlock. A traffic jam in Stuttgart feels just like a traffic jam in Shanghai.
Efficiency to the power of two
MEET’s drive unit combines two 48-volt motors, the transmission, and electronics in an extremely efficient way, thus providing more power in city traffic.
Dr. Otmar Scharrer, Vice President Corporate Research and Advanced Engineering: “This is a typical urban traffic situation. In order to reproduce it, we developed what is known as the MAHLE Stuttgart cycle, a route that features a challenging topography and includes different traffic situations. Overall, this characteristic city cycle is 17 km long. We drove along it many times and adapted the design of our concept car accordingly.” The result: a unique vehicle concept that addresses all the requirements of future mobility in the city—MEET (MAHLE Efficient Electric Transport).
MEET symbolizes the merger of various disciplines, techniques, and skill sets in drive technology, electronics, thermal management, and user interfaces to better and more efficiently shape the still emerging fields of e-mobility. By combining their expertise, a team of engineers has set crucial new standards.
One of these is the most efficient and most dynamic of the latest generation of motors. Designed for urban use and with a maximum power output of 30 kilowatts, the 48-volt motor represents a new peak in terms of driving dynamics. Integrated electronics increase systems efficiency and can thus be easily transferred to different vehicle concepts. Thanks to its highly efficient systems, MEET can manage with a smaller battery, which reduces systems costs.
“One short shopping trip in the city and the battery is fully recharged.” Daniel Rieger from Corporate Advanced Engineering at MAHLE’s Stuttgart location and MEET Project Manager uses this example to translate the concept’s benefits into tangible terms. MEET also quickly takes you from A to B. The motor does 100 km/h—perfect for easily getting around the city and for short trips, such as to the airport. In 2.8 seconds, it powers driving pleasure to 50 km/h. Daniel Rieger again points out the advantage in a nutshell: “While others are shifting gears, we’re already off and running.”
easy maneuvering for fewer parking problems—with rear-wheel drive via a central transmission
up to 100 km/h and from 0 to 50 km/h in 2.8 seconds—ideal for urban traffic
Driving e-mobility forward
Daniel Rieger, MEET Project Manager, developed the vehicle concept together with his colleagues.
Focusing on cruising range
MEET’s thermal management system bears his signature: Andreas Kemle, an engineer at MAHLE and expert in the management of heating and cooling in vehicles.
two 48 V drive motors, each with a maximum power output of 30 kW and a torque of 110 Nm
intelligent thermal management efficiently controls cooling and heating
Speed contributes to a decisive factor in everyday urban life: time.
MEET is heading toward us. Thanks to a clever thermal management concept that uses energy efficiently and to other energy-saving measures, the vehicle’s cruising range is increasing. “Assuming an average daily commute of 20 km in urban traffic, that means seven days without charging.”
The mobility of the future is all about individuality: “We leave out everything that serves as a distraction. Functionalities clearly take precedence,” says Andreas Kemle from Corporate Advanced Engineering at MAHLE and member of the MEET project team, describing the concept’s unique character. That is why the operation is so intuitive, similar to other media that customers are already familiar with. It’s even possible to control the interface using gestures alone.
The subject of price brings a smile to the team members’ lips. The electrical voltage in the MEET remains below the 60-volt threshold. As a result, there is no need for expensive protective measures against electrical hazards. This makes systems costs significantly lower than for so-called high-voltage applications. The small battery has one other—completely different—major advantage. It has a minimal carbon footprint. Because even e-mobility is not CO2-neutral per se.
When a holistic approach is taken to individual urban mobility, CO2 emissions can be significantly reduced. And this is precisely what MAHLE has shown in MEET.
voltage under the 60-volt threshold lowers systems costs by 25 percent
a cruising range of around 200 km without recharging
MEET: efficient, electric,
and affordable city driving
Efficient use of heat: heating elements in the form of thin, flexible foils on interior surfaces quickly ensure the well-being of the passenger.
Intuition before instruction: the MEET interface is quick and easy to control. The navigation, music system, and air conditioning as well as the current driving data and technical status of the powertrain and battery can be operated and called up via a touch screen or gesture-based control.
48V TWIN POWER
Maximum efficiency and dynamics: the MAHLE IPM traction drive is an exceptionally efficient combination of a synchronous motor with permanent magnets and integrated 48-volt electronics.
Nothing wasted: the heat pump makes ideal use of all waste heat generated in the vehicle. For an efficient and optimal use of energy.
Perfect balance between heating and cooling: Performance, cruising range, charging times, and comfort—in all aspects, the intelligent thermal management system is key to ensuring the efficient use of energy and increasing the cruising range. In addition, CO2 is used as a natural refrigerant in the R744 air conditioning circuit.
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