Powertrain development for commercial applications will in future focus more and more on improving fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions. Total cost of ownership is also a key factor. Producing the best possible overall system for a specific vehicle application demands an integrated approach to the entire powertrain and vehicle. This involves giving consideration to the influences of the combustion process, exhaust gas aftertreatment, energy recovery systems and hybridization as well as system automation. Controlling energy flows between the various subsystems as well as ensuring the lowest possible level of exhaust emissions and fuel consumption, the energy management system plays a central part in optimizing the operation of complex powertrain architectures.
In future, boosting efficiency will be less of a matter for the powertrain alone but to an ever greater extent for the overall vehicle. Looking at truck and trailer as a unit in particular promises major optimization potential. As a result, aerodynamic measures should always cover the whole vehicle combination. And intelligently distributing batteries, electrical drives or gaseous-fuel tanks over truck and semitrailer will not only provide greater traveling ranges with alternative drive systems but also unlock potential for higher payloads.