Continental supplies powertrain for Renault's e-car Zoe

June 10, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The powertrain of Renault's (and Europe's) first high-volume battery electric car ZOE will be supplied by automotive supplier Continental AG. The motor achieves high torque and power density without the need to utilize rare earth materials.

The externally excited synchronous motor delivers a continuous output of 43 kW (65 kW peak) and a torque of 220 Nm. Differential and transmission are integrated - which experts say is ideal for battery electric vehicles since it achieves high efficiency across the entire operating range and quickly delivers high power levels. The electric motor gets by without rare earth metals; instead, it uses copper coils in stator and rotor. As a result, it can be used either as a motor (for driving the vehicle), as a generator (for charging the battery while driving) or as a transformer (for external charging at the mains). The powertrain is provided as a modular system, enabling cost-effective solution.

Also the power electronics are implemented as a modular system. In the ZOE, Renault installs the second generation of Continental's e-car power electronics unit, which features significantly lower size and higher power density than its predecessor.

Besides the power train, Renault also picked further electronic components from Continental. These include the airbag control unit, side and front sensors, wheel speed sensors, the audio system and the keyless access system.