Denso provides electric components for Toyota bZ4X, Subaru Solterra EVs including current sensors that are 40% smaller, integrated electricity supply units, heat pumps that serve as heat sources for climate control systems, radiant heating systems in BZ4X

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KARIYA, Japan , April 18, 2022 (press release) –

Mobility Supplier’s energy management technology boosts vehicle performance –

DENSO Corporation today announced it is providing key electrification components to Toyota and Subaru’s all-new, all-electric bZ4X and SOLTERRA, scheduled to be released in May 12, 2022 and mid-2022 respectively. DENSO products help the battery electric vehicle (BEV) go farther, charge faster, optimize battery use, and most importantly, perform better.

Newly-developed DENSO products featured on the bZ4X and SOLTERRA include:

  • Current Sensor, which detects the flow of charging and discharging battery electricity
  • Electricity Supply Unit (ESU), which integrates the functions of battery charging, electrical power conversion, and electrical power distribution
  • Heat Pump System, which extracts heat from the air and uses it as a heat source for the vehicle climate control system
  • Radiant Heating System, which warms the passengers lower body, only for bZ4X

Other DENSO products on the bZ4X and SOLTERRA include:

  • Sensors, which monitor battery voltage and temperature
  • Battery Monitoring Electronic Control Unit (ECU), which monitors the status of the battery
  • BEV ECU, which combines sensor information to control energy flow

Inverters, which are used in the eAxle, Blue Nexus Corporation’s driving modules for electric vehicles 

In BEVs, the battery is their sole energy source. Minimizing the amount of energy needed and efficiently recovering energy in order to use all of the energy generated helps to make BEV more practical. To efficiently manage energy throughout the BEV, DENSO is developing technologies that help monitor the vehicle’s status and efficiently control energy use.

DENSO’s major new products to be used in the bZ4x and SOLTERRA

Monitoring the Status of the BEV
Precisely identifying the status of the vehicle is essential to maximizing its use of energy. DENSO’s new current sensor and ESU provide the bZ4X and SOLTERRA critical vehicle information to efficiently control the vehicle’s energy.

Current Sensor

  • Handing high currents in the ±1,200A range used in BEVs while being 40% smaller in size. Completely redesign IC and new structure without a core enabled these futures. Magnetic core was tend to size up the products. The news structure enabled to detect currents without it.
  • Detecting the current more precisely using a new detection method called magnetic balance. When the sensor magnetized, it more likely to not detect precise current. New method enabled to the sensor to be less magnetized. 

Electricity Supply Unit (ESU)

  • Combining a group of products essential for BEV into one unit with the functions of battery charging, electrical power conversion, and electrical power distribution. ECU that controls battery charging, AC battery charger and DCDC converter developed by Toyota Industries Corporation were combined together.
  • Expanding electric driving range and the passenger space by reducing size and weight and creating large battery capacity.

Reducing battery charging times with quick-charging function. 

Controlling and Using the BEV’s Energy Efficiently
The efficient control and usage of energy in BEVs can make them more practical. The bZ4X and SOLTERRA will use DENSO’s new highly efficient heat pump system, which consumes less power, but efficiently extracts heat from the air for heating functions, and radiant heating system.

Highly Efficient Heat Pump System

  • Developing the first in the world heat pump system, which activates a defrosting function while the BEV is moving. This improves the energy efficiency of BEV when the heat pump system becomes frosted in winter.
  • Converting the refrigeration cycle into a receiver cycle, a simple structure. A precise control of the working cycle and a multifunction valve called MCV-e(Multi-flow Control Valve for ev) enabled this. It improves heat pump’s cooling performance while remarkably reducing the number of components comparing to accumulator cycle, which used in common heat pump systems.
  • Exchanging heat between high-temperature water circuit, low-temperature water circuit and the refrigeration cycle using MCV-e. This simplified system integrating water circuits ensures quality and improves scalability.
  • Helping to extend battery life with greater battery cooling performance brought by a high-performance small chiller. A sharp rise in battery temperature is suppressed to ensure stable energy output from the battery. Energy is used up efficiently even when the battery temperature significantly changes, such as when driving at high speed.

Radiant Heating System

Helping to extend electric driving range when the heating is on. Combination with the heat pump system, the highly heated surface efficiently warms occupants only and reduces the energy required.

Ensuring both comfort and safety: the surface of the heater has a thin-film structure that can be heated to over 100°C in about a minute to quickly warm the knee area. With the world first heater structure technology, the moment a passenger touches the heater surface, its temperature drops below 50°C.

Ensuring safety even if passenger keeps touching the heater for a long time. The thin-film structure has a built-in contact sensor that detects an occupant’s contact and stops heating. 

To achieve carbon neutrality, it is important to contribute to vehicle electrification and minimize CO₂ emissions. DENSO will continue to develop electrification technologies to help BEVs offer new value and provide a variety of sustainable solutions to vehicle users and society.

About DENSO Corporation
DENSO is a $44.6 billion global mobility supplier that develops advanced technology and components for nearly every vehicle make and model on the road today. With manufacturing at its core, DENSO invests in its 200 facilities to produce thermal, powertrain, mobility, electrification, & electronic systems, to create jobs that directly change how the world moves. The company’s 168,000+ employees are paving the way to a mobility future that improves lives, eliminates traffic accidents, and preserves the environment. Globally headquartered in Kariya, Japan, DENSO spent 10.0 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021. For more information about global DENSO, visit https://www.denso.com/global

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