Developing components of electric vehicles through innovation

August 31, 2022

Developing components of electric vehicles through innovation

Malte Frohberg, Robert Weirauch & Sertac Tekin

The use of electrical energy as the driving force in electric and hybrid vehicles is bringing a new range of challenges to the industry. According to the IEA Global Electric Vehicle Outlook, the total number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road surpassed eleven million worldwide in 2021, an expansion of over 650% since 2016. With more electric vehicles on the road than ever before and with no signs of it slowing down, industry leaders are competing to develop solutions that allow EVs to reach their full power potential and exceed customer expectations. The market is becoming increasingly competitive.

While high-power charging infrastructure is essential and reaches its next level with the Mega Watt Charging System (MCS), there is still a vital demand on the performance of high-voltage (HV) distribution within the EV in order to efficiently conduct, hold, distribute and use electric power after charging.

Charging – continuous performance counts

Since the introduction of high power fast charging via cooled cable solutions (HPC), HUBER+SUHNER is the major player in the market when it comes to guaranteeing true performance by continuous charging. The innovative and the unrivalled solutions are available in variants, starting at 200 Amp through to 800 Amp charging. The future generations for MCS will reach the level of 3.000 Amp continuous charging. With this the current market demand for significantly reducing the time of the charging the EV is met.

Transmitting – cabling is key for EV

When it comes to transmitting and protecting power, the quality of the cabling throughout the vehicle plays a critical role. To ensure this, selected cables must be resilient against a range of common factors in the mechanical, electrical and environmental fields. Key factors are abrasion resistance, performance of the screen and performance against different potentially harmful liquids, temperature, UV, weathering and moisture. There exists a new ISO 19642-9 specification that covers cables in the voltage range of 1000Vac/1500Vdc. Cables designed and manufactured for the EV industry should be developed with these requirements in mind, to ensure that safe and durable connections are made in the most demanding environments.

image of HUBER+SUHNER RADOX® HV cables

HUBER+SUHNER RADOX® HV cables are developed with the most stringent requirements in mind. RADOX® is an electron-beamed, cross-linked insultation material that offers high resistance against electrical and mechanical loads. Thanks to this material, RADOX® cables do not require additional protection as the structure of the insulation is modified, and the outer sheath is adapted to become a more robust and non-melting material, ensuring top performance and maximum resistance to harsh environments. The RADOX® HV cables are based on thin wall dimensions according to ISO 19642-9 so basically the smallest outer dimension in the market, which also means the smallest packaging space. 

The cable’s exceptional dimensional stability prevents any damage to the insulation and protects the cable against kinking, particularly when heavy loads are being applied to the connector plug and during the installation process.

RADOX® HV cables enable the EVs to maintain power and continue driving due to its innovative features. The single and multi-core cables have an ultra-small bending radius that ensures agile performance in the smallest cable cross-sections. The newest product portfolio adder of the RADOX® FLEX provides extra flexibility which does make the installation and routing easier. Both solutions are ready for any harsh environments and can be used in temperatures from -40°C to +150°C at a lifetime of 3000 hours without electrical degradation of the electrical properties. In addition the RADOX® material does not have any issues with short term temperature peaks. 

Connecting – design for the most demanding applications

Depending on their purpose, heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks/buses, construction and special vehicles require a full range of mechanical and electrical solutions to transmit and distribute power. Therefore, any high voltage connection system must be safe and reliable, as well as suitable for the most demanding applications, including high temperatures, current peaks and extreme loads.

Based on these requirements HUBER+SUHNER has developed the RADOX® EV-C connection system. The system offers 360-degree EMC shielding around the circumference of the cable, superior environmental protection and therefore represents the perfect alternative to HV connectors. RADOX® EV-C is available in seven sizes, ranging from 16 to 120mm2 (single-core) and four sizes 2×4, 2×6, 3×6 and 4x10mm2 (multi-core), offering wide configuration flexibility for customers’ specific needs.

Distributing – 2nd generation of the Standard Modular HDVU

To ensure the electrical power is distributed to and from the HV battery to all electrical components within the vehicle, the company has developed its successful modular High-Voltage Distribution Unit (mHVDU). The mHVDU can be used within any electrical vehicle on land, water and in the air, that needs to distribute high-voltage connectivity within the respective on-board supply systems.

To overcome the key challenges, the mHVDU can be configured to meet the individual requirements of EVs. Highly flexible, the established 2nd generation of the mHVDU is suitable for prototypes and sample stages of vehicles. It is completely harmonised with the complete automotive product portfolio, ensuring interoperability and guaranteeing Ingress, power line and EMC protection.

The key features of the mHDVU is its highly flexible housing dimensions. It comes in compact housing and covers a voltage range of up to 800Vdc. It follows a standardised process with a simplified configuration process which allows for short lead times.

inner workings of HUBER+SUHNER RADOX® HV cables

Suitable for all environments

When it comes to the performance of EVs, it can be challenging to ensure an EV holds the HV power  even in the most challenging of driving conditions. To be most effective, HV automotive connectivity solutions must be able to withstand temperature fluctuations, vibrations and mechanical impact.

“Our entire automotive product portfolio offers customers a wide range of consistently high-quality products that can survive the most demanding of environments. As a result of their extensive experience in the automotive industry, the company is an expert in high power charging, transmitting, connecting and distributing power within electric vehicles and is the go-to partner for high-voltage applications. Our innovative technology solutions cover the entire automotive ecosystem, including cables, charging systems and charging cables, designed to work across autonomous, hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles and conventional cars”.

Malte Frohberg, Senior Portfolio Manager Huber & Suhner

Robert Weirauch, Product Manager Connection Systems Huber & Suhner

 Sertac Tekin, Product Manager Huber & Suhner

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