The air conditioning compressor-from a comfort feature to an operationally reliable component

– Air conditioning compressors play a much greater role in hybrid and electric vehicles than in those with a combustion engine
– The air conditioning service is becoming more important, opening up new service volumes for workshops

Since the acquisition of Behr Hella Service (BHS) by MAHLE Aftermarket, intense activity has been underway at the logistics centers in Poland, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, France, Turkey, Russia, the USA, Brazil, South Africa, and China. MAHLE air conditioning compressors-both mechanically and electrically driven-are in particularly high demand.

Air conditioning compressors are at the heart of the refrigerant circuit. They condition the cabin and control the temperature of probably the most important component in the electric vehicle powertrain: the battery. After all, keeping the traction battery at the right temperature has a crucial impact on the service life, charging speed, and cruising range of the electric vehicle. Traction motors and power electronics must also be cooled. This is transforming the role of the air conditioning compressor. While it was previously responsible for comfort in the cabin, it is now a component of the powertrain, protecting it from damage and ensuring the operational safety of the vehicle. Electric vehicles have to use electrically driven compressors because the circumferential ribbed belt cannot be used as a drive as in the case of a combustion engine. But hybrid vehicles or vehicles with a combustion engine also benefit from electrically driven compressors since they can be operated on a demand basis, thereby reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

“The extended functionality of the air conditioning compressor in the area of e-mobility and in hybrids is boosting the significance of the A/C service, thereby creating greater service volumes for workshops,” says Olaf Henning, Corporate Executive Vice President and General Manager MAHLE Aftermarket. “It is up to workshops to inform drivers of hybrid and electric vehicles about the consequences of a system failure. These range from reduced cruising range or vehicle stoppage to damaged components. Of course, we support our customers by providing them with information material, training, and our proven A/C service and diagnostics solutions,” Henning continues.
In 2020, its anniversary year, MAHLE Aftermarket has 1,100 different air conditioning compressors in its range. When purchasing, MAHLE Aftermarket”s customers benefit from its extensive expertise in the OEM business, 100 years of experience in the development and production of components for vehicles, as well as more than 30 years of experience in the area of A/C service.

MAHLE is a leading international development partner and supplier to the automotive industry as well as a pioneer for the mobility of the future. The MAHLE Group is committed to making transportation more efficient, more environmentally friendly, and more comfortable by continuously optimizing the combustion engine, driving forward the use of alternative fuels, and laying the foundation for the worldwide introduction of e-mobility. The group”s product portfolio addresses all the crucial issues relating to the powertrain and air conditioning technology-both for drives with combustion engines and for e-mobility. MAHLE products are fitted in at least every second vehicle worldwide. Components and systems from MAHLE are also used off the road-in stationary applications, for mobile machinery, rail transport, as well as marine applications.

In 2018, the group generated sales of approximately EUR 12.6 billion with more than 79,000 employees and is represented in more than 30 countries with 160 production locations. At 16 major research and development centers in Germany, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Spain, Slovenia, the USA, Brazil, Japan, China, and India, more than 6,100 development engineers and technicians are working on innovative solutions for the mobility of the future.

MAHLE International
Christopher Rimmele
Pragstraße 26-46
70376 Stuttgart
+49 711 501-12374

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