It will be used in the Mercedes S400 BlueHYBRID. ¡°This marks an important breakthrough for Continental as supplier of battery systems,¡± said Continental Executive Board member Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. ¡°In the next few years we will be launching production of further lithium-ion energy storage devices for mild- and full-hybrid and electric-powered vehicles.¡±
Lithium-ion technology is viewed as the key to the success of the hybrid and electric drive systems in motor vehicles. Lithium-ion batteries have a higher energy density, and thus a wider range, than those based on conventional nickel metal hybrid technology. The power output of the battery determines the overall performance of the vehicle as well as the potential for lower emissions and for possible fuel savings. ¡°It also has a significant role to play in reducing CO2,¡± explained Dieter Rogge, head of Continental¡¯s powertrain division, which has developed and will supply the ultramodern and innovative technology.
Aside from the lithium-ion battery, Continental also supplies the inverter and the DC/DC converter for the Mercedes S400 BlueHYBRID. The inverter controls the flow of energy between the electric motor and the hybrid battery. The DC/DC converter is the link between the hybrid battery and the vehicle¡¯s standard electric system and thus makes possible the elimination of the conventional generator.
Already since the mid-1990s Continental has been developing components like power electronics, electric machines and energy storage devices for hybrid drives. As the world¡¯s sole hybrid system supplier not tied to an auto manufacturer, it has, since 2003, been mass producing a mild hybrid. With the hybrid battery pack the company is setting new standards in getting eco-friendly hybrid technology onto to the market faster and at a more attractive cost.
With targeted annual sales of more than 26.4 billion euros in 2008, the Continental Group is one of the top automotive suppliers in the world. As a supplier of brake systems, powertrain and chassis systems and components, instrumentation, solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and engineering elastomers, the corporation contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. Today the corporation employs approximately 150,000 people at nearly 200 locations in 36 countries.