Continental focuses on technologies for electric vehicles

Continental is banking on China as the country leads the development of electric mobility – the German technology company is providing new vibration control technologies to the Chinese electric vehicle market.

Yimin Zhu, Head of R&D at Continental China has declared: “Electric mobility and autonomous driving are presenting the entire automotive industry with enormous challenges – technical implementation and vibration and noise control are key requirements in electric automotive construction.Passenger comfort and wellbeing is playing an increasingly important role in the construction of electric vehicles in China.”

Electric motors pose challenges and custom requirements when it comes to mounting elements. Andreas Firla, Head of Product Development of engine mounts in the field of vibration control at Continental Germany, has explained: “Electric vehicles may be quieter, but their drives create excitations in the high-frequency range, which is more unpleasant for humans. The combustion engine makes a humming sound, whereas the electric motor makes a whistling sound. Furthermore, previously unheard noises such as rolling, wind and air conditioning come to the fore as they are no longer masked by the sound of the combustion engine.”

The electric drive requires a special mounting component to isolate the high-frequency excitations of the engine in the most efficient way possible. Continental has developed a geometric design and an elastomer compound with the aid of simulation tools, to allow the mounts to be optimally adjusted.

Continental’s electric vehicle engines and chassis mounts are specially designed – with lightweight structural components made from aluminum or fiber-reinforced, high-performance polyamides – as per the requirements of electric motors. Each sub-component is designed and produced using a suitable material and complements the other components, thus reducing disruptive noises and vibrations and insulating the excitations that the driver feels.

Continental’s anti-vibration specialist is already working with leading Chinese manufactures such as CHJ Automotive and NIO; the anti-vibration components and prototypes for the Chinese market can be tested at the high-frequency test bench in Hanover, Germany, up to a frequency of 3,000 Hz.For more than 50 years, Continental’s vibration control product line and services have stood for the highest quality standards, unsurpassed by any other system – these standards apply to all OEMs in the Chinese market.

Zhu has said: “Our aim is to concentrate our expertise close to our customers. We are investing heavily in research and development and are working closely with our colleagues in Germany and at other sites to fulfill customer needs here in China.”

Continental is a developer of pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. The technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation since its founding in1871. Continental currently employs around 244,000 people in 60 countries and markets worldwide and has generated preliminary sales of €44.4 billion in 2018.