Innovations for the automotive future: Dräxlmaier and the StreetScooter

13. September 2011 – Frankfurt/Main, September 13, 2011. – The Dräxlmaier Group has developed a brand new automotive electrical system for the StreetScooter electric car. Its sophisticated design stands out thanks to the tailor-made combination of high-voltage and conventional wiring harnesses. The company is even breaking new ground with the Body Controller Module (BCM): this is the first time that the automobile supplier from Lower Bavaria has implemented such a comprehensive electronic control unit for a vehicle.

"As a multidisciplinary project, StreetScooter gives us the opportunity to experience all facets of the future of the automotive industry in close cooperation with research and industry partners". This is how Prof. Jörg Elsenbach, responsible for corporate development, outlines the strategy pursued by the Dräxlmaier Group as an industrial partner of StreetScooter GmbH. In his opinion, the project is almost perfectly-suited to an automotive components supplier in order to put a new vehicle concept in an overall perspective - from the first idea right through to industrial implementation. This was a great opportunity for Dräxlmaier to realistically determine the interactions between different modules and components in an electric car and to expand their own knowledge. According to Elsenbach, this is exactly the reason why the project differs from a classic concept competition. As is the case with a range of other projects, the Dräxlmaier Group is working with RWTH Aachen University which harbours the consortium focusing on electric cars optimised for urban use and short journeys.

Dräxlmaier has developed a new automotive electrical architecture tailored to the special vehicle concept with both 120- and 12-volt wiring harnesses. Thanks to the ingenious topology, the high-voltage system, which is far more sophisticated and elaborate than its predecessors in technical terms, is limited to the electric drive line and the heating/cooling functions in the vehicle. All other systems, such as lights, chassis systems and safety systems or the integrated entertainment system, are served by a conventional 12-volt supply. The greatest challenge in this project was the very limited amount of space available in such a small car designed to be economic and highly efficient. The parallel power supply wiring harnesses had to be installed in extremely narrow spaces along with air ducts and bus systems.

As a central control unit, the Body Controller Module (BCM), also developed especially by Dräxlmaier, controls all electronic and comfort functions as well as transmission and control processes in the vehicle, including those of the electric drive line and the heating/cooling unit. Building on its electronics division's years of experience, the company has supplied a control unit which is responsible for such a wide range of functions for the first time.

"The StreetScooter represents institutionalised proving grounds which put our electro-mobility expertise on more solid foundations," says Elsenbach. He also says that, in the end, OEMs which provide the company with high-voltage systems and other components for electric drive lines will also profit from this project.

DAA Draexlmaier Automotive of America LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dräxlmaier Group of Germany. The company’s main lines of business include interior components, cockpits, wiring harness and electrical management systems. Customers in North America include BMW, General Motors/Cadillac and Volkswagen.

 

The DRÄXLMAIER Group supplies premium automobile manufacturers worldwide with complex wiring harness systems, central electrical and electronic components, exclusive interiors, and storage systems for electric mobility. The combination of core competencies in the interior, electrical, electronic and storage systems areas makes DRÄXLMAIER unique in the industry. The company thereby covers the entire process chain, from the initial idea, through the development and production process, and up to precisely in-sequence delivery of the products to the assembly lines of premium automobile manufacturers. The inventor of the customer-specific wiring harness, the DRÄXLMAIER Group develops pioneering wiring harness technology as well as electrical and electronic components, all directly in-house. These include multi-voltage and high-voltage wiring harness systems, battery management systems, and intelligent power distributors. DRÄXLMAIER is working on the future of emission-free mobility with its solution for low-voltage and high-voltage storage systems. As a market leader for interior systems in premium automobiles, the DRÄXLMAIER Group also supplies premium automobile manufacturers with ambient lighting, center consoles, door panels and instrument panels, as well as complete door and cockpit modules.

The DRÄXLMAIER Group is an international automotive supplier with more than 60  sites in over 20 countries. Founded in Germany in 1958, the company employs about  75,000 employees throughout the world. For the DRÄXLMAIER Group as an owner-managed business, responsible and long-range thinking has always been the basis for economic success. It is therefore a core element of its strategy to design its business and production processes, as well as its products, in a more sustainable manner and in that way to increase the competitiveness of the company on a long-term basis.

In 2019, the DRÄXLMAIER Group generated sales of 4.9 billion euro. Customers of this member of the Top 100 Automotive Suppliers include Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Porsche and Volkswagen, as well as Californian automotive manufacturers.

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