当下，汽车行业正处于历史巨变之中。作为支撑行业转型的基石，博格华纳（BorgWarner）等一级供应商必须持续推动创新，支持其客户的灵活发展需求。作为一家拥有推进系统核心技术的供应商巨头，博格华纳首席技术官兼副总裁 Hakan Yilmaz 向《SAE 汽车工程》杂志介绍了自己对汽车行业巨变的见解，以及博格华纳将如何在巨变之中求生发展。
Yilmaz 负责博格华纳公司的先进工程、投资组合战略和市场研究等多支团队，主要工作目标是确保博格华纳的技术产品组合始终处于行业领先地位，并同时兼顾当下和未来市场的需求。在加入博格华纳之前，Yilmaz 曾为博世（Bosch）效力超过 15 年，担任过多个技术和高管职位，并最终从博世动力总成和先进工程研发全球主管一职离职。更早之前，Yilmaz 在密歇根大学获得机械工程和工程管理硕士学位，并在沃尔沃（Volvo）积累了丰富的工作经验。
目前，这家拥有 92 年历史的老牌供应商已经看到市场正在明显向高度多样化的电动解决方案转型，包括轻混车型、全混车型、插电式混合动力车和纯电动车等。这种多样化“实际上是电气化技术在不同立法环境、区域市场需求和车辆市场细分要求等条件下的不同体现。”Yilmaz解释说，“在如今这样激荡多变的市场环境中，博格华纳专注于为更多新兴推进系统提供具有差异性和附加值的解决方案，从而更好地配合我们的主要客户推进公司战略。”
长期以来，北美等市场均更加偏爱皮卡或 SUV 等大型内燃机车型，可以想象，这部分市场更加迫切希望可以有提高内燃机车辆效率的电气化技术，比如 e-axles、e-boosting 系统等。在此背景下，很多供应商均将绝大部门工程资源留给了电气化技术研发，博格华纳也不例外。对此，Yilmaz 已经证实，公司已经在电气化研发领域投入了大量人力和物力，但能否将电气化技术推广至公司完整产品线应取决于技术本身的可扩展性。
事实上，博格华纳的多款产品都是很好的例子，比如适用于混合动力汽车的集成 Px 模块、用于纯电动汽车的集成驱动模块（可适用多种电压和功率级别）、以及适用于内燃机车型的 eTurbo 和 eBooster 充电压缩机解决方案。
Yilmaz 表示，尽管电气化技术在所有原始设备制造商的产品组合计划中都是“C 位”，但在短期内，内燃发动机在汽车推进系统领域内的地位仍不容撼动，特别是考虑到内燃技术仍有很大改进与优化空间的前提下。“在传统推进系统领域中，内燃机、变速箱和传动系统等组件均见证了大量新的技术创新，可以提高燃油经济性并减少发动机排放。”Yilmaz 解释说，“今天，我们很多传统产品仍然销量不断增加，这点不能忘记。此外，新兴混合动力架构的出现更是对内燃机的效率提出了更高需求。”
Yilmaz 指出，eTurbo 技术就是一个很好的例子。eTurbo 的“本职工作”是提升发动机的进气压力，但其独特的单轴设计可以将所有动力电子元件全部集成起来，作为电机为车辆提供辅助电力助推，从而提高发动机的燃油经济性和性能。据悉，博格华纳有一位主要欧洲客户计划在 2022 年推出一款采用 eTurbo 技术的车型。
The automotive sector is in a time of enormous flux. As the foundational aspects of the industry shift, longstanding Tier-1 suppliers such as BorgWarner must continue to drive innovation for their OEM customers. Hakan Yilmaz, BorgWarner’s chief technology officer (CTO) and a VP, is well situated to architect the changes affecting the technology at the core of the propulsion revolution. SAE’s Automotive Engineering sought his insights into changes roiling the field.
Yilmaz oversees BorgWarner’s advanced engineering, portfolio strategy and market research teams. He’s tasked with ensuring the supplier’s technical portfolio leads in the industry, while also meeting current and anticipated future market needs. Prior to joining BorgWarner, Yilmaz spent more than 15 years at Bosch, where he held several engineering and executive positions before departing as the global head of powertrain systems and advanced engineering. Before Bosch, Yilmaz earned experience at Volvo and holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and engineering management from the University of Michigan.
Strong electrification shift
The industry’s propulsion strategies continue to diversify beyond the incumbent gasoline or diesel choices. As with many of the top suppliers, Yilmaz noted that electrification is a general description for an efficiency improver but how it will be applied can vary widely, he said, by vehicle type and regional regulatory environments. “At our core, BorgWarner is focused on executing our balanced product strategy across combustion, hybrid and electric propulsion,” Yilmaz said.
The 92-year-old company currently sees a strong market shift towards diverse solutions for electrified vehicles with different architectures and electrification levels – mild HEV, full HEV, plug-in HEV and BEV. These are “mainly driven by legislative requirements, regional market demands and segment specific expectations,” Yilmaz explained. “In a volatile and rapidly evolving environment, BorgWarner is focusing on differentiating and value-added solutions for emerging propulsion architectures which fit into the main strategies of our customers.”
For many suppliers, electrification (via systems such as e-axles, e-boosting, etc.) is receiving the lion’s share of engineering resources, as markets such as North America in particular seek to improve the efficiency of larger, more profitable, internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles such as pickup trucks and SUVs. Yilmaz confirmed that BorgWarner is dedicating large resources to electrification, but the key to applying the technology across vehicle lineups remains in the technology’s scalability.
“Indeed, hybrid and electric powertrains are in our clear focus for product leadership and receiving a high share of our resources,” Yilmaz said. “And yes, our electrified and integrated products are fully scalable and can be adapted based on the needs of our global customers in passenger cars, trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles.”
Yilmaz pointed to several examples already in the BorgWarner product portfolio, including its integrated Px modules for hybrids, integrated drive modules for BEVs with scalable voltage and power levels, and ICE solutions such as its eTurbo and the eBooster electrically charged compressor.
“We are currently seeing a strong market shift towards highly diverse solutions for electrified vehicles with different architectures and electrification levels.”
Roles for ICE, software – and Delphi
Though electrification is a key aspect of all OEMs’ future portfolios, according to Yilmaz, ICE will continue to be a large part of the propulsion landscape in the near term, particularly as a component to be evolved and improved. “There is still a lot of technology and innovation in conventional propulsion systems in ICE, transmission and drivetrain to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions,” he said. “We continue to see increasing take rates for many of our conventional products – let’s not forget that. In addition, emerging hybrid architectures are increasing demand for efficient ICE products which are synergistic with the electrification levels.”
He cites eTurbo tech as a prime example. BorgWarner has a major European OEM customer that will be launching a new model with this technology in 2022. An eTurbo serves its traditional role of boosting intake air pressures, but the single-shaft setup also features integrated power electronics. It can serve as a motor/ generator to provide a supplemental electrical boost to improve engine fuel economy and performance.
The move towards electrified components has created an enormous shift, from supplying mechanical parts, to components that must be fully integrated into a host of a vehicle’s electronic control systems. This places increased responsibility on suppliers, and particularly on software. Yilmaz notes that regardless of the system supplied, reliability is paramount. “Our focus is very clear: support our OE customers with leading and differentiating stand alone and/or fully integrated system products as a reliable partner.”
“We have a very comprehensive product portfolio for combustion, hybrid and electric vehicles and have built system capabilities in order to develop the right products,” Yilmaz continued. “As the electrification content of our products is rapidly increasing, our software and system capabilities are growing in parallel,” as the company takes a “pragmatic and flexible approach” to product and system development.
With electronic control strategies becoming a larger part of system functionality, BorgWarner’s recent announcement of entering into a definitive transaction agreement to acquire Delphi Technologies should only help broaden its technology portfolio. “This transaction represents the next step in our balanced propulsion strategy, strengthening our position in electrified propulsion as well as our combustion, commercial vehicle and aftermarket businesses,” Yilmaz said.
The Delphi purchase has been widely applauded in terms of combining the two entities’ specialties. They will complement each other for complete engine-management systems, combining air/fuel, controls and full hybrid solutions with BorgWarner’s integrated modules, and plug-to-wheel product and system solutions for battery electric vehicles, Yilmaz explained. He said Delphi Technologies “brings industry leading power electronics technology and talent, with an established production, supply and customer base.
“Once we complete the Delphi Technologies transaction, we would be able to offer customers more complete electrified propulsion systems,” thus helping BorgWarner differentiate and strengthen its propulsion-systems position, he said.
SAE Automotive Engineering