High and low-voltage connectors enable unprecedented vehicle performance
The vehicle, as we know it today, is fast becoming a computer on wheels requiring complex electrical systems and wiring connections to not only power the vehicle, but also to provide high speed data connections throughout the vehicle architecture for new content such as connectivity, cameras, sensors, and high-end computing for safety and autonomous functionality.
The introduction of electric vehicles has only intensified expectations, pushing the industry to respond with the ability to provide more power, seamless advanced driver assistance, infotainment displays and more seating comfort functionality and intelligent sensing.
The key to making all this work -connection systems.
"Connection systems are critical to the next-gen EVs, since the products we develop for EVs need increased performance and in some cases, smaller packaging,” said Carl Esposito, Senior Vice President and President, E-Systems. "These patented building blocks allow us to provide our customers, and ultimately the consumer, with increased safety and advanced connection reliability, resulting in a more efficient system solution to go further on a single charge."
Electrical distribution and connection systems route electrical signals, electronic data, and manage electrical power within the vehicle for all types of powertrains.
Connection systems include a portfolio of products such as terminals, connectors and engineered components which are key elements of wire harness architecture to connect electronic modules, sensors, actuators, and other types of auxiliary devices. They can vary significantly in size and complexity depending on the amount of power or data being transferred and the number of connections being made at any point in the electrical distribution system.
For more than a decade, Lear has been heavily investing in EV connectivity solutions and the company’s technology –including in Battery Disconnects Units, Service Disconnect Systems, Integrated Power Modules – has been successfully implemented in a variety of vehicles dating back to the Chevrolet Volt Gen I, which was first introduced in 2010.
Lear leverages its in-house metal stamping tooling capabilities to develop a variety of new technologies that support its customers’ needs.
For example, Lear’s Connection Systems High Current terminal family can safely handle current load of up to 385A which is outperforming competitors’ corresponding terminal sizes. The technology is used in EV batteries, service disconnects, high-voltage (HV) fuse connections and DC fast charge connectors.
Lear’s Battery Interface System carries enough electricity to power to 1,200 high definition50” LED televisions.
Lastly, to meet new demands for Next-Gen EVs, Lear is introducing a 30mm version (HC30) in 2023 for DC Fast Charge and Service Disconnect systems.
To support all these technologies, Lear also provides routing aids and coverings which reduces size and weight. Trimming size and weight enables increased content growth and reduces the amount of power drained from an EV charge.
"Lear’s in-house tooling, stamping capability and deep bench of talent is our competitive advantage to offer our customers modular and scalable solutions" said Enrique Orta, Global Vice President of Connection Systems. "Our high-voltage components are scalable to cover a wide range of applications, from entry-level to performance EVs."
Lear Connection Systems has more than2,000 workers in 18 facilities throughout nine countries, dedicated to researching and developing new products to transfer and protect signal and power in vehicles. Lear is focused on customizing product solutions to help optimize the performance of the entire electrical architecture. Break throughs in electrification will not happen without game-changing solutions to help "big idea" technologies hit the road.
This Lear Contributed Article also appeared on SME Motorized Publication website on July 15, 2022.