BorgWarner has increased its presence in India and South Asia, carrying out an expansion of its Kakkalur facility in Tamil Nadu. The expansion is aimed at meeting demand emerging out of the shift to BS VI emission standards, and to provide systems that aid OEMs to improve fuel efficiency, reliability and engine efficiency. To understand more about the outlook and systems for BS VI as well as the future of electric and hybrid vehicles from BorgWarner, Auto Tech Review caught up with (L-R) R Murali, Director & Plant Head, BorgWarner Morse Systems India; Sudhir Chawla, Managing Director, BorgWarner Emissions and Thermal Systems India and Kristoffer Nilsson, Supervisor Advance Engineering, Electric Drive Modules, PowerDrive Systems, BorgWarner Sweden AG.
MAKING ENGINES CLEANER, MORE EFFICIENT
The automotive industry in India is undergoing its biggest transition so far, with vehicle manufacturers looking for ways to make their vehicles and engines more powerful and clean. BorgWarner suggested that highly efficient turbocharging solutions are likely to gain more attention as efficient and clean combustion engines play a key role for new mobility concepts such as high-performance hybridisation.
BorgWarner’s current product portfolio covers a wide range of turbochargers, which improve performance and reduce fuel consumption. Elaborating on the technologies, Murali said the variable turbine geometry (VTG) turbochargers are ideal as they improve boost response as well as fuel efficiency, while material and design optimisations enable them to withstand high thermal loads and function reliably under challenging conditions. BorgWarner also provides OEMs with solutions such as exhaust gas recirculation systems (EGR) to reduce emissions and improve efficiency.
CHALLENGES AHEAD OF BS VI
BorgWarner carries a lot of experience with Bharat Stage VI, mainly as a result of its existing solutions around Euro 6 norms. The company foresees the introduction of BS VI as a challenge, but as an opportunity too. Murali claimed the demand for hybrid and electrical architectures will also increase in order to comply with new emissions regulations, for which BorgWarner presently has an extensive portfolio of solutions. Along with individual technologies and components, the company can also support customers with complete modules. Another important aspect regarding new BS VI standards is the existing systems that require updates and are capable of meeting the newly-developed standards. In order to make these procedures and systems as cost-efficient as possible, BorgWarner is broadening its local supplier base in India.
In addition, since there is a shift from diesel to gasoline, BorgWarner has been engaged in talks with customers for a gasoline EGR system. Chawla sees the shift from BS IV to BS VI as a challenging phase, particularly with how Tier I and Tier II suppliers – which are still supplying parts for BS IV norms – transition to the stricter regulations. BorgWarner began its readiness alongside customers two years back – it has products and product lines ready for some customers at its plant.
Over the last two years, BorgWarner has moved from being a combustion company to a combustion, hybrid and electric (CHE) supplier. Being a propulsion system company, BorgWarner offers solutions that are completely developed and are in production stage. With the acquisition of Remy International, BorgWarner now has a competitive edge in terms of electric motors and power electronics as well. This in turn, has helped it move further with hybrid and pure electric systems. The company now offers solutions for both electric and hybrid vehicles, which are need-based solutions ranging from easy-to-implement mild hybrid 48 V systems, to full hybrids or plug-in hybrids that can further reduce CO2 emissions.
Along with hybrid solutions, the company offers complete drivelines for electrical vehicles, which integrate the electrical machine in power electronics, transmission and software in one drive unit that is installed in a vehicle. These systems may come to India once demand is generated.
For electric and hybrid drivelines to come to India, a lot will depend on the legislation, noted Nilsson. He said CO2 targets are reduced in Europe every year, requiring manufacturers to look into new technologies to meet these targets; here hybrids and EVs are part of the solution. The same is for India, depending on the legislation, hybrid models or EVs may emerge as part of the solution to bring down emissions. There is a need to have scalable and modular products, and it is imperative to keep costs at a reasonable level, Nilsson said.
Over the years, mild hybrid systems have been gaining popularity and are now featuring 48 V power supply. BorgWarner offers its customers complete solutions, such as P2 modules. This advanced technology can be implemented into existing vehicle configurations, and allows decoupling of engine and transmission. This, in turn, provides OEMs with the option of switching from a combustion mode to pure electric driving operation.
CUSTOMISATION OF TECHNOLOGY
BorgWarner believes that customisation of technologies are required for products to make them suitable for specific markets. Customisation begins with OEMs first and then translates into products of suppliers. A majority of the changes take place in the powertrain systems, where a lot of calibration tweaking is done to electronics. Nilsson was of the opinion that what is seen typically as customisation is an adaptation of interfaces. Communication interfaces to the vehicle is very OEM and vehicle-specific. Thus, software functions need to be adapted. For mechanical interfaces it is usually the same.
A study conducted by IHS shows that around 102 of 108 mn vehicles produced in the year 2023 will have a combustion engine, including hybrid vehicles. BorgWarner believes that turbochargers will play a crucial role regarding powerful hybridisation. Therefore, a considerable growth in this space can be expected. Murali claims there will likely be a 67 % market penetration of turbochargers in hybrid vehicles by 2027. These turbochargers are key factors for their ability to reconcile downsizing with efficiency increase.
TEXT: Naveen Arul / Joshua David Luther