2011 Automotive Engineering Exposition: OEMs

Toyota exhibits a wagon-type HEV, Prius α, while GM showcases Volt PHEV

2011/06/30

Summary

 The following is a summary of reports on the exhibition by OEMs at the "2011 Automotive Engineering Exposition" (hosted by the Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan, Inc (JSAE). held from May 18 to 20, 2011. Exhibition by each OEM and its participation in the exhibition by JSAE are included).



(Plug-in) Hybrid vehicle: Toyota exhibits Prius α while GM unveils Volt in Japan

 Toyota exhibited a cutaway model of a 3-row seat wagon model of HEV Prius α, which it started marketing in May 2011 (delayed two weeks due to the Great East Japan Earthquake). GM showcased the Volt PHEV for the first time in Japan, which was launched in the US in December 2010. The company also displayed the panel that showed the outline of the Volt's electric drive system. In addition, Honda exhibited a demonstration model of its PHEV.


A Li-ion battery housed in the center console of the Prius α
A Li-ion battery housed in the center console of the Prius α


Volt, which debuted in Japan
Volt, which debuted in Japan

Summary of exhibition of (Plug-in) hybrid vehicles

Toyota Prius α
(cutaway model)
 Toyota exhibited the Prius α - a wagon model of the Prius HEV (a 2-row seat model and a 3-row seat model are available. The 3-row seat model is exhibited). In the 3-row seat model, Toyota used a Li-ion battery for the first time as its mass-production models (housed in the center console: Note 1). Toyota says that, by using a Li-ion battery, it can start marketing of a 3-row seat model, which is demanded significantly in Japan/Europe (Based on this 3-row seat model, Toyota plans to launch the Prius + (plus) in the middle of 2012 in Europe. Based on the 2-row seat model, it plans to launch the Prius v in North America in the summer of 2011).
 The hybrid system of the Prius α employs Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) with motor speed reduction gear, which is also used in the Prius. The Prius α is 155mm longer, 30mm wider, and 85mm higher than the Prius. The fuel economy is 31.0km/L (10-15 mode) and 26.2km/L (JC08 mode): (Note 2).
GM Volt  The Volt is a PHEV, which was launched in the US in December 2010 (Note 3). The cruising range in EV mode is 40 to 80km. The extended cruising range with a 1.4L engine is about 550km. The EPA estimated fuel economy is 92MPGe(Note 4) in electric mode and 37MPG in gasoline mode. The average frequency of filling up a gas tank by the users of the Volt in the US is once per 1,600km. Other than the US, the company plans to launch the model in Canada, China, and Europe starting in the second half of 2011. It will do a demonstration of the model in Japan, but has not decided to market it.
 The electric propulsion system of the Volt, VOLTEC, consists of a water-cooled Li-ion battery (16kWh), a drive motor (111kW), a motor/generator (55kW), a 1.4L 4-cylinder engine, and a planet gear. The following four modes are available for the Volt.
1-Motor EV mode  In low speed driving, the drive motor provides drive force.
2-Motor EV mode  In high speed driving, a motor/generator is connected to the planet gear and two motors including a drive motor propel the vehicle.
1-motor/extended
range mode
 When the remaining battery level falls below a certain level, the engine activates the motor/generator to generate electricity, providing it to the drive motor. At the same time, it also provides electricity to the battery to maintain the amount of charge.
2-motor/extended
range mode
 In 1-motor/extended range mode, when the vehicle needs to drive at a high speed, the motor/generator is connected to the planet gear to provide drive force of the engine to the drive wheels through the motor/generator (Note 5).
Honda PHEV  The model is a PHEV for demonstration experiment, which is based on the midsize sedan, the Inspire. It comes with a specially-developed in-line 4-cylinder 2.0L Atkinson cycle i-VTEC engine and two motors (drive/regeneration and power generation). The cruising range by the motor alone is 25km (measured by Honda in JC08 mode). It comes with Blue Energy's Li-ion battery (6kWh).
(Note) 1. The 2-row model of the Prius α uses a nickel hydride battery, which is housed in the rear part of the vehicle body.
2. The fuel economy of the 3rd-generation Prius is 38.0km/L (10-15 mode) and 32.6km/L (JC08 mode).
3. GM calls the Volt not a hybrid car, but Extended Range EV.
4. The MPGe (Miles per Gallon equivalent) is a measured fuel economy, in which the electric energy of 33.7kWh is considered as 1 gallon of gasoline.
5. The Volt is supplied with its drive force by the drive motor, so it does not move only with the engine. Therefore, also in 2-motor/extended range mode, the power of the engine is used both for propulsion and power generation.

 



EV: Nissan exhibits Leaf EV sedan while Mitsubishi showcases Minicab-MiEV, a mini commercial vehicle EV

 Nissan exhibited the Leaf EV, which is a sedan type model currently marketed in Japan, the US, and Europe. Mitsubishi showcased the Minicab-MiEV, which is a mini commercial vehicle EV that is scheduled to be launched in 2011. In addition, Toyota exhibited a prototype EV that is based on the iQ while BMW displayed the Mini E, which is used in a demonstration experiment, at the event by JSAE.


Mitsubishi's mini commercial vehicle EV, Minicab-MiEV, which is scheduled to be launched in 2011
Mitsubishi's mini commercial vehicle EV, Minicab-MiEV, which is scheduled to be launched in 2011


Toyota's concept EV based on the iQ
Toyota's concept EV based on the iQ

Summary of exhibition of EVs

Nissan Leaf  The Leaf is an EV, which Nissan launched in Japan and the US in December 2010 (It will gradually start marketing in Europe in 2011). The model comes with a Li-ion battery with a capacity of 24kWh and the maximum output of more than 90kW. It comes with a three-phase AC synchronous motor (max. output 80kW, max. torque 280Nm). The company sold 5,069 Leafs in Japan and 2,186 in the US by May 2011. The company says that the model has a charging port in the front grill, which the company decided after considering its global marketing and researching parking spaces at home in each country.
Mitsubishi Minicab-MiEV  The Minicab-MiEV is an EV version of the Minicab, which is a mini commercial vehicle that is scheduled to be launched in 2011. The model secures a pay load of 350kg (with two occupants), which is the same as the gasoline-powered model. Two types of Li-ion battery - 10.5kWh and 16.0kWh - are available (the cruising range is about 100km and about 150km, respectively). The actual purchasing price (when the subsidy is deducted) is planned to be about 1.7 million JPY for a 10.5kWh version and about 2.05 million JPY for a 16.0kWh version (926,000 JPY for the same-type gasoline-powered Minicab).
Toyota Prototype EV
based on the iQ
(cutaway model)
 The model is a prototype EV that is based on the iQ compact passenger car. The main specifications of the Japanese version, which Toyota measures are as follows: cruising range: 105km (JC08 mode). Permanent magnet synchronous motor: max. output 47kW, max. torque 163Nm. Li-ion battery: capacity about 11kWh. Toyota plans to develop/market the EV as a commuter model. There is a plan to introduce the EV based on the iQ in Japan, the US, and Europe in 2012.
BMW MINI E  The MINI E is a concept car of the Megacity Vehicle, which is BMW's EV for use in urban areas. The battery takes up the rear part of the vehicle body. It is a 2-seater only with a driver's seat and a passenger seat. The cruising range under the normal driving conditions is 168km (data by BMW). The model comes with an air-cooled Li-ion battery (capacity 35kWh). In Japan, it has been doing demonstration experiments since March 2011. BMW announced the BMW i, which is its sub-brand for green cars, in February 2011. The company will market an EV formerly called Megacity Vehicle as the BMW i3 starting in 2013.
(Reference)
Th!nk
City  The City is Norway's emerging EV manufacturer, Th!nk's compact 4-seat EV with 3142mm long. The maximum speed is 110km/h. The cruising range is 160km (ECE-R101). The battery is a Li-ion battery (capacity: 23kWh) supplied by EnerDel, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Th!nk's largest shareholder, Ener1. In Japan, ITOCHU Corporation holds exclusive distribution rights.
(Note) 1. The performance value of the Minicab-MiEV is planned figures by Mitsubishi before the launch of the model.
2. Th!nk's City was exhibited at the booth by Tokyo R&D, which ITOCHU Corporation cooperates with.

 



First Li-ion batteries of Toyota and Honda for mass-production models

 Toyota exhibited its first Li-ion battery for mass-production models, which is used in the Prius α 3-row seat model. Honda displayed its Li-ion battery that is used in the Civic Hybrid (first model among Honda's mass-production vehicles), which it started marketing in the US in April 2011.


Toyota's first Li-ion battery for mass-production models
Toyota's first Li-ion battery for mass-production models (for Prius α 3-row seat model)


Honda's first Li-ion battery for mass-production models
Honda's first Li-ion battery for mass-production models
(for the 2012 MY Civic Hybrid: supplied by Blue Energy)

Summary of Li-ion batteries exhibited

Toyota  Toyota's Li-ion battery is used in the Prius α 3-row seat model. This battery is newly developed to set the 3rd-row seat and is installed in the center console. It consists of 56 cells. The capacity is 5Ah (capacity per one hour). Currently, 1,000 batteries are produced per month. Compared to nickel hydrogen batteries, there remains a challenge in terms of mass-production technology.
Honda  Honda's Li-ion battery is used for the first time in the Civic HEV, which it launched in the US in April 2011. Compared to the current nickel hydrogen battery, it has increased output by 33% while it has reduced volume and weight by 36% and 29%, respectively. The battery is produced by Blue Energy, which is a joint venture with GS Yuasa.

Comparison of secondary batteries for Honda Civic Hybrid

  2006 MY Civic Hybrid
nickel hydrogen battery (US spec)
2012 MY Civic Hybrid
Li-ion battery (US spec)
Voltage 158V 144V
Output 15kW 20kW
Volume 25L 16L
Weight 31kg 22kg
Cell 132 cylindrical cells (1.2V/cell) 40 box-shaped cells (3.6V/cell)

Source: Data from Honda's presentation panel

 



New engines: Mazda exhibits a new-generation technology, SKYACTIVE Gasoline Engine

 Mazda exhibited "SKYACTIVE-G 1.3" - a direct-injection gasoline engine that has achieved a compression ratio of 14.0 - which is planned to be used in the Demio, which undergoes a facelift in June 2011. Suzuki and Daihatsu showcased new engines for mini passenger cars.


SKYACTIVE-G 1.3 engine that has achieved a compression ratio of 14.0
SKYACTIVE-G 1.3 engine that has achieved a compression ratio of 14.0
(It is to be used in the Demio, which undergoes a facelift in June 2011)

Summary of exhibited new engines

Mazda SKYACTIVE
gasoline engine
 "SKYACTIVE-G 1.3" is an in-line 4-cylinder direct-injection 1.3L gasoline engine, which is the first product of a new-generation technologies that Mazda is currently pressing ahead with. It is to be used in the Demio, which undergoes a facelift in June 2011. The fuel economy of the Demio that comes with "SKYACTIVE-G 1.3" is 30.0km/L (10-15 mode).
 The maximum output and the maximum torque of "SKYACTIVE-G 1.3" is 62kW (84PS)/5,400rpm and 112Nm/4,000rpm, respectively. It has achieved a compression ratio of 14.0 for the first time as an automotive gasoline engine (data from Mazda). The fuel economy is improved by about 15% compared to the current engine; the torque performance is improved at middle to low speed. When the compression ratio is raised, knocking (abnormal combustion) is more likely to occur, but by reducing residual exhaust gas in the combustion chamber through lengthening the exhaust manifold and by adopting a multihole injector and a piston with cavities, fuel efficiency is improved to avoid knocking.
 SKYACTIVE is a general term for Mazda's new-generation technology, which it develops imaging the harmony between "driving pleasure" and "outstanding environmental and safety performance." Not only a gasoline engine but also a diesel-powered engine, AT, MT, and a platform (body/suspension) are newly developed. The company plans to totally use SKYACTIVE that includes a platform and transmission in the new SUV CX-5, which will be launched in the first half of 2012.
Suzuki New R06A-type
engine
 The new R06A-type engine is a newly-developed engine used in the MR Wagon launched in January 2011. Suzuki has adopted an intake and exhaust VVT(Variable Valve Timing) in a naturally-aspirated engine for the first time in mini cars (Note 1). The company has reduced weight, mainly by moving engine parts including the crank shaft, by 1.5kg (from 53.4kg to 51.9kg) in a naturally-aspirated engine and by 4.5kg (from 60.2kg to 55.7kg) in a turbo engine (the lightest among 660cc-class engines: Note 1) compared to the current engine.
 The maximum output of the naturally-aspirated intake and exhaust VVT engine is 40kW/6,500rpm. The maximum torque is 63Nm/4,000 rpm. The fuel economy of a 2WD model with idle reduction system is 27.0km/L (10-15 mode). The maximum output and the maximum torque of a turbo intake VVT engine is 47kW/6,000rpm and 95Nm/3,000 rpm, respectively. The fuel economy of a turbo 2WD vehicle is 22.5km/L (10-15 mode).
Daihatsu 2nd-generation
KF engine
 The 2nd-generation KF engine is an in-line 3-cylinder DOHC 660cc engine that is used in the new Move, which was launched in December 2010. The maximum output is 38kW/7,200rpm. The maximum torque is 60Nm/4,000rpm. The fuel economy of the 2WD model with idle reduction system is 27.0km/L (10-15 mode).
i-EGR system
(world's first: Note 2)
 The i-EGR system - the EGR system combined with the control of the combustion of the current of the ion, which precisely controls the amount of EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) - increases the amount of EGR into the combustion chamber, thus reducing the pumping loss.
Electronically-
controlled plastic
throttle body
(first in Japan: Note 2)
 The plastic throttle body (that controls the air flow into the engine) makes it possible to reduce weight. In addition, the throttle body is electronically controlled in a collaborated manner with CVT, thus controlling the throttle depending on the driving conditions to achieve the best fuel economy.
Water jacket spacer
(first for mini cars:
Note 2)
 The water jacket spacer is installed in the water jacket (cooling water passage) of the cylinder block to optimize the flow of cooling water. With this, the distribution of temperature in the cylinder bore is optimized to reduce mechanical loss.
(Note) 1. Data from Suzuki (as of May 2011)
2. Data from Daihatsu (as of December 2010)

 



Fuji Heavy Industries: exhibits a technology model of compact FR sports car, "Boxer Sports Car Architecture"

 Fuji Heavy Industries exhibited "Boxer Sports Car Architecture", which is a technology model of a compact FR sports car that is currently being developed with Toyota with plans to launch in the spring of 2012.


"Boxer Sports Car Architecture"
"Boxer Sports Car Architecture", which is a technology model of a compact FR sports car that Fuji Heavy Industries plans to launch in spring 2012

Fuji Heavy Industries' next-generation FR vehicle technology model, "Boxer Sports Car Architecture"

 In its Boxer Sports Car Architecture, the position of the engine is lowered to lower the center of gravity, the front/rear overhang is shortened, and the wheelbase is also cut short (2,570mm), which enable the engine to be positioned near the center of gravity of the vehicle body. With this, the company aims to achieve steering performance that allows the driver to maneuver the car with greater control. L/W/H: 4,200 /1,770/1,270 (mm).

 



CV manufacturers: Hino exhibits new hybrid system while UD Trucks displays AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) for an engine production line

 Hino exhibited a new hybrid system for a hybrid truck that is scheduled to be launched in 2011. Compared to the same-type diesel-powered models, the fuel efficiency is improved by 1.5-fold for delivery use in urban areas. Isuzu and UD Trucks displayed midsize engines that meet the post new long-term emission regulations.

 In addition, UD Trucks showcased AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) for conveying engines, which it uses on the new engine production line at its Ageo plant in Japan.


In-vehicle secondary battery employed in Hino's new hybrid system (supplied by Toyota)
In-vehicle secondary battery employed in Hino's new hybrid system (supplied by Toyota)


AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) for engine production line
AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) for engine production line

Summary of Hino's new hybrid system

 Hino's new hybrid system will be used in a hybrid truck that is scheduled to be launched in the summer of 2011. While the motor is directly connected to the engine in the current hybrid system, the motor is connected to the engine (exclusive for the hybrid vehicle) through the clutch in the new system. With this, the vehicle can run only by motor with the engine separated; the efficiency of regeneration during deceleration has improved.
 According to Hino's in-house evaluation, the fuel economy of the new hybrid system is improved by 1.5-fold for the pickup and delivery use in inner-city areas and in delivery use in urban areas compared to the same-type diesel-powered model. In addition, Hino has been using MT, but has developed a special AMT, which (1) makes it possible to minimize fluctuations in fuel economy among drivers by electronic control and (2) has realized easy-drive. In addition, in terms of cost, the company has reduced costs from the current hybrid unit by procuring a nickel hydrogen battery from Toyota and by simplifying the structure.

Isuzu/UD Trucks: midsize engines that meet post new long-term emission regulations

Isuzu 4HK1-TC
engine
 The 4HK1-TC engine is an in-line 4-cylinder 5.2L engine that meets the post new long-term emission regulations (2009/2010 emission regulations). It is used in a medium-duty truck FORWARD series. By adopting a newly-developed 2-stage turbo and a large-capacity EGR cooler, NOx emissions are reduced and high torque is achieved. With this, the engine has met the post new-long term emission regulations without using NOx removal catalyst such as urea. A super high-pressure common-rail and an injector are adopted to achieve homogenization of the conditions of fuel, thereby enhancing output while reducing PM emissions.
 Two engines are available - the 4HK1-TCH engine (max. output 177kW (240PS)/2,600rpm, max. torque 706Nm (72kg・m)/1,600rpm) and the 4HK1-TCS engine (max. output 154kW (210PS)/2,600rpm, max. torque 637Nm (65kg・m)/1,600rpm).
UD Trucks GH7 engine  The GH7 engine is a 7L new midsize engine that is developed by UD Trucks and adopted globally by the Volvo group. The engine was developed as the members of the Volvo group joined the engineers of UD Trucks in mid-course. Parts that the Volvo group adopts are said to be used partially. UD Trucks uses the engine in the Condor PK, which was launched in the middle of 2010, planning to use it in its medium-duty trucks. The engine is also used in a truck that entered the market in the US in the autumn of 2010.
 The GH7TA engine (max. output 180kW (2,500rpm)) and the GH7TB engine (206kW (2,500rpm)) are available. The engines have improved fuel efficiency by adopting a common rail injection system (max. injection pressure 200MPa) and a high pressure variable nozzle turbo charger. In addition, the company has adopted a urea-SCR system that removes NOx and a UDPC (the UD Particulate Cleaning) that reduces PMs to meet 2009 emission regulations (post new long-term regulations).

UD Trucks: AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) for engine production lines

 AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) is a vehicle to carry engines on the engine assembly line instead of a belt conveyer. By eliminating a belt conveyer, the floor of the plant can be made flat, which allows workers in the plant to move more freely. In addition, on the AGV, the height or the direction of the engine can be changed; the physical burden on the workers during assembly is significantly reduced.
 AGV is used in each company in the Volvo group. UD Trucks has added a function in which the battery is charged from the floor in a noncontact manner while AGV is moving (At the other Volvo group plants, each process is suspended). This AGV is used in the new engine assembly line of UD Trucks' Ageo plant in Japan (production began in June 2010). Including the introduction of error proofing/traceability system, which utilized the Volvo group's system, to monitor product quality, the Ageo plant has improved production efficiency by 30%.

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