Electric power steering (EPS) supplier Nexteer Automotive has won a number of substantial orders from major European car manufacturers, although no details are yet available as to their idendity.

The contracts are for single pinion systems with the supplier noting premium steering feel requirements, packaging constraints or crashworthiness considerations are contributing to the trend.

Single pinion EPS features mounting the electric motor next to the steering pinion in the engine compartment, instead of on the steering column.

"These contract wins for our single pinion system confirm Nexteer's leading position in EPS systems development," said Nexteer executive director global sales and marketing and executive director for Europe, Laurent Bresson.

"Our focus on EPS has enabled us to develop a steering system that exploits advances in materials and manufacturing processes. Nexteer technology is already fitted in some of the most critically acclaimed cars of recent times, including the Citroen DS3."

The migration from hydraulic to electrical power steering is being driven by the pressure to reduce CO2 emissions.

A growing number of future vehicle platforms will fit EPS to help comply with CO2 reduction targets, adds the company.

"Replacing a hydraulic system with an on-demand electrically powered system reduces fuel consumption by up to 6%, which corresponds to around 8g/km of CO2," said Bresson. "That can be up to 30% of a carmaker's CO2 reduction target for 2015."

Since the technology's launch in 1999, Nexteer has supplied more than 14m units.