HANOVER, Germany—Continental's hose and line business will focus "more strongly" on e-mobility as a major growth market and on helping automotive manufacturers cut emissions and meet increasingly strict environmental standards.
Hoses and lines are essential to emission-free and low-emission mobility, according to Philip Nelles, head of Continental's mobile fluid systems business unit.
In 2020, the unit received orders worth around $328 million for hoses and lines to be used in battery and hybrid drives for vehicles produced by German, Asian and North American manufacturers, he said.
That level of demand, Nelles said, reflects rising global demand for zero-emission electric vehicles and hybrid electrics vehicles.
Thermal management is a key requirement in these EV/HEVs applications: Batteries are most efficient when operated at temperatures ranging from 68 to 104°F, and the lifespan can be increased by either cooling or heating batteries in response to ambient temperatures.
This leads to complex circuits, which place significantly greater demands on individual components, including hoses and lines.
"Hoses and lines help to keep batteries and highly sensitive control circuits cool in electric and hybrid vehicles," Nelles said in a release. "Among other things, this has a beneficial impact on the range of battery-powered vehicles."
Another consideration is weight-reduction to help minimize the loss of energy during acceleration and braking of EVs and HEVs.
Lines of smaller cross-section—for example on the high-pressure side and in battery cooling lines—save weight due to less coolant being needed than with earlier systems, Nelles said.
The right mix of rubber, polyamide and aluminum materials, and efficient line geometry ensure adequate inherent stability of the resulting systems.