Vitesco Showcases 48V E-Scooter Drive, Eyes 2025 India Launch

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Vitesco Technologies, a global provider of powertrain technology and e-mobility solutions, is nearing completion of its electric powertrain for compact two-wheelers, aiming to tap into India’s rapidly expanding electric two-wheeler segment.

At the EICMA 2023 event (November 9-12), the premier international exhibition for two-wheelers, Vitesco Technologies is presenting a functional prototype featuring its 48-volt electric drive system. This system is designed for light motorcycles and scooters with a 3 to 7 kW power output, which is particularly crucial for daily transportation in Asian countries, paralleling up to 150cc combustion engines. The latest model, which has evolved from the one unveiled in Milan in 2022, boasts more sophisticated near-production components. The system’s initial launch is set for India, with mass production expected to begin at Vitesco’s Pune facility in early 2025.

Torsten Bellon, who leads the 2-Wheeler & Powersports division at Vitesco Technologies, has remarked that the 48-volt drive, developed through direct engagement with their target market, is now at an advanced stage. This was evident during a showcase in India, where customers also had the opportunity to test the vehicle, receiving uniformly positive feedback. They particularly commended the drive system’s compact design and the scooter’s ease of operation. Vitesco is now honing the drive system for mass production in collaboration with customers, and preparations for establishing production lines are in progress.

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The drive system consists of an electric drive control unit (eDCU) and an electric motor, which now includes a unique inductive rotor position sensor (iRPS) that Vitesco Technologies has integrated directly into the motor. This sensor ensures precise control over the brushless electric motor, which is crucial for handling complex driving scenarios and maximizing performance. The sensor is lightweight, compact, and does not rely on rare earths, functioning effectively in a wide temperature range and immune to low-frequency magnetic fields.

One of the key benefits of the 48-volt system is that it is less complex to develop compared to high-voltage systems, which require more extensive protective and insulating strategies. Current safety standards for electric-powered motorcycles and mopeds highlight that stricter safety measures are necessary for electric vehicles over 60 volts. Bellon notes that while past regulations were ambiguous, it’s expected that systems above 96 volts will soon be classified as high-voltage, prompting Vitesco to explore solutions in this area and engage with customers regarding future developments.

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