Hanover, Germany – Continental’s hose and line business is to focus “more strongly” on e-mobility as a major growth market and on helping automotive manufacturers to cut emissions and meet increasingly strict environmenal standards.
Hoses and lines are essential to emission-free and low-emission mobility, according to Philip Nelles, head of the ‘mobile fluid systems’ business unit at Continental.
In 2020, the unit received orders worth around €275 million for hoses and lines to be used in battery and hybrid drives for vehicles produced by German, Asian and North American manufacturers,” he noted.
The level of demand, said Nelles, reflects rising global demand for zero-emission electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electrics vehicles (HEVs).
Thermal management is a key requirement in these EV/HEVs applications: batteries are most efficient when operated at temperatures ranging from 20 to 40°C and the lifespan can be increased by either cooling or heating batteries in response to ambient temperatures.
This, said Nelles, leads to complex circuits which place significantly greater demands on individual components, including hoses and lines.
“Hoses and lines help to keep batteries and highly sensitive control circuits cool in electric and hybrid vehicles,” he explained. “Among other things, this has a beneficial impact on the range of battery-powered vehicles.”
Another consideration is weight-reduction to help minimise the loss of energy during acceleration and braking of EVs and HEVs.
Lines of smaller cross-section – for example on the high-pressure side and in battery cooling lines – save weight due to less coolant being needed than with earlier systems, said Nelles.
The right mix of rubber, polyamide and aluminium materials and efficient line geometry ensure adequate inherent stability of the resulting systems, the business unit manager stated.