Mitsubishi Advances Electric Power Steering

Given the facts that hydraulic power steering has become well established and that electric steering is challenging the incumbent, there is a proliferation of developments in the electric power steering (EPS) arena that will undoubtedly make the transition more compelling.

Given the facts that hydraulic power steering has become well established and that electric steering is challenging the incumbent, there is a proliferation of developments in the electric power steering (EPS) arena that will undoubtedly make the transition more compelling.

Case in point: Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has developed what it claims is the “world’s smallest and lightest” motor control unit for EPS. It integrates the motor and controller into one unit, and by aligning them on the same axis, it improves the internal structure of the controller.

Mitsubishi is no stranger to these systems. But consider this significant modification:

· The present model, the 1G-D80-BLM2, measures 137 x 111 x 120 mm and weighs 2.75 kg.

· The new model, the 2G-D80-BLM860, measures 112 x 102 x 110 mm and weighs 1.91 kg.

Said simply: 50% smaller and 30% lighter.

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What’s more, the company has upgraded the motor’s steering assistance capabilities by improving motor output performance by 30%.

Says Mark Rakoski, director, Sales and Engineering, Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, “In the U.S., increased CAFE regulations make applying electric power steering to vehicles a sensible solution, particularly when one compares the fuel economy improvements”—on the order of 3 to 5%--“to the additional cost of electric power steering in vehicles.”