It’s not often news about something as mundane as electric and hybrid drive cooling pumps generated so much mystery. That’s what German auto-tech firm Rheinmetall created with its latest announcement, saying it had agreed to a substantial parts order from “an international automaker”.
The open-endedness of such a statement has some people wondering who that automaker is. Especially considering the inked deal was to the tune of “double-digit millions of euros,” according to Germans themselves.
The order is for the in-house-designed CWA400 electric coolant pumps, hoped to be the next generation in hybrid/electric vehicle cooling technology. This new deal would make Rheinmetall the only source of these electric coolant pumps, and the company touts that these parts are able of operating at temperatures exceeding 130 degrees Celsius (266 Degrees Fahrenheit).
What do these things do? Coolant pumps “stabilize the temperature of the batteries and converters as well as the power electronics and electric drive motors.” When an electric vehicle is switched off, these pumps continue operating to ensure the batteries and motors cool completely. In hybrid applications, these pumps will cool vital components like the turbocharger.
But one enormous question remains: what automaker signed Rheinmetall to such a huge deal? There is at least one context clue. The official statement (attached below) claims the CWA400 pumps are earmarked for installation in a luxury hybrid application paired with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.
The innovation in the design of these cooling systems primarilly comes from the potential to function in multiple propulsion applications. Everything from gasoline/electric hybrid systems to full on EV’s and even hydrogen fuel cells could benefit from their electric motors being sufficiently cooled by technology.
We will update this story when and if the mystery carmaker reveals itself as the recipient of these valuable bits of German engineering.