Bosch develops drive module with e-motor and inverter for vans • AT-Drive technology

Bosch develops drive module with e-motor and inverter for vans (photo: Bosch)

Vans and small and medium-sized trucks are at the heart of urban deliveries. Due to their electric drive, they run locally CO2-free, contribute to better air quality and reduce noise nuisance for residents. Bosch is now launching a new drive system consisting of an electric motor plus integrated converter for such small trucks in series production. The inverter controls the electric motor and provides the connection to the high-voltage battery.

“Bosch is also promoting electromobility in commercial vehicles. Compared to its predecessors, the new drive offers an even higher power and torque density and is even more compact and lighter,” says Dr. Markus Heyn, member of Bosch’s management board and chairman of the Mobility Solutions division. Together, the motor and inverter weigh around 80 kg. Bosch has reduced electrical losses by more than 20 percent with new power semiconductors, enabling an inverter efficiency of 97 percent and thus increasing the vehicles’ range. The flexible design also makes it even easier to integrate the drive module into existing and new vehicle models.

Activate

The electric drive is used for the first time by the customer Daimler Truck, supplemented by a so-called DC/DC converter and the central control unit from Bosch for the drive. The maximum power is 129 kilowatts, the continuous power is 100 kilowatts. For short periods, the permanently excited synchronous machine can generate a torque of 430 Newton meters. Even with a vehicle weight of 8.5 tonnes, this ensures superior handling in every situation – even in hilly cities such as Tokyo, Rome or San Francisco.

Bosch engineers have derived the design of the electric motor and inverter from passenger car technology (Photo: Bosch)

Good base further improved

Bosch engineers have derived the design of the electric motor and the inverter from passenger car technology. This significantly accelerated development and also reduced costs. The water cooling circuit was combined with that of the battery, reducing technical complexity and space requirements. There is no oil-based cooling circuit at all.

Small and powerful

Compared to the previous engine, one gear is sufficient due to the higher speed. The smaller size of the new drive allows for a battery that is now in one piece. New microcontrollers offer much more computing power to handle the complex control algorithms of the electric drive in the millisecond range. The software is largely responsible for the behavior of the electric drive and can be customized. The drive module comes from the assembly line in Hildesheim, Lower Saxony, Bosch’s main factory for electric drives.

Broad product portfolio and high investments

“Bosch has already invested more than five billion euros in electromobility,” says Heyn. Since 2018 alone, the company has acquired 170 series projects. In 2025, sales are expected to exceed 5 billion euros. Bosch offers its customers a comprehensive portfolio. This ranges from individual sensors, electric motors, power electronics or control units to integrated solutions such as eAxis and pre-integrated modules. Here, the Advanced Driving Module, the combination of drive, steering and braking, offers, for example, simplified interfaces and improved communication between the components. This ensures optimal interaction in the electric vehicle, for example with regard to stabilization or recovery of the vehicle, and significantly shortens the development time until the vehicle is ready for series production. It will make it possible for both established manufacturers and new suppliers to get electric cars on the road faster than before.

Also interesting: Bosch is investing billions in climate-neutral technology

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