Mitsubishi Motors has been granted a patent for a vehicle drive unit with an internal combustion engine and two electric motors. The unique design places one motor in front and the other in the rear, with one offset upward. This configuration optimizes space and efficiency in the vehicle. GlobalData’s report on Mitsubishi Motors gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Mitsubishi Motors, HEV energy management was a key innovation area identified from patents. Mitsubishi Motors's grant share as of February 2024 was 74%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Patent granted for vehicle drive unit with two electric motors

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Mitsubishi Motors Corporation

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11912133B2) discloses a vehicle drive unit that includes an internal combustion engine, an electromotive unit with two electric motors, and an inverter. The first electric motor generates electricity by driving the internal combustion engine, while the second electric motor is powered by a driving battery. The arrangement of the electric motors in the vehicle front-rear direction allows for efficient use of space, with one motor offset upward in the up-down direction compared to the other. The unit also features harnesses connecting the inverter to the electric motors and a predetermined space above the motors for terminal blocks.

Additionally, the vehicle drive unit includes a transmission between the internal combustion engine and the electromotive unit, as well as a braking device and a braking force adding device. The inverter is tilted forward to accommodate the braking force adding device located on the rear side of the electromotive unit. A radiator in front of the electromotive unit covers the predetermined space when moved backward, and a refrigerant pipe for cooling the inverter is connected to the front and rear ends of the inverter. Furthermore, a container for storing liquid is positioned on the vehicle rear side in line with the inverter in the vehicle's longitudinal direction, adding to the overall functionality and efficiency of the vehicle drive unit.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.