TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE:TRW) today announced that it is debuting a larger version of its Electrically Assisted Steering (EAS) system in Europe for the first time with Ford Motor Company later this year.
Ford has been using the fuel-saving steering gear in North America for the past two years on Taurus, Fusion, Flex and Mercury Milan models, as well as Lincoln MKS and some MKTs.
TRW also confirmed that a second major global automotive manufacturer would use this Belt Drive – also called Rack Drive – Electrically Powered Steering (EPS) on mid-size passenger cars beginning in 2012. The Belt Drive system only consumes power when steering assist is needed.
The energy consumption of an EPS system is typically less than seven percent of a conventional hydraulic rack and pinion power steering system. This equates to a fuel savings of 0.3 to 0.4 L/100 km, with a corresponding reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of approximately 7-8g/km (up to 3.5%).
The Belt Drive EPS system supports rack loads of up to 15 kN or higher depending on vehicle kinematics and dynamic requirements. Column Drive systems are typically used on systems with output levels up to 85-100 Nm.