The environment and business

Automotive Equipment Group

Business Overview and Environmental Issues for Which Risks and Opportunities Have Been Recognized and Evaluated

Strengthening Our Global Development, Production, and Sales Systems

The Automotive Equipment Group provides powertrain products, body control products, and car multimedia devices globally. As a full support supplier, we work together with our customers to develop cutting-edge technologies and endeavor to provide a wide range of services, from production, sales, and supply to spare parts and rebuilds. To reduce environmental load, our three development sites in Japan (Himeji Works, Sanda Works, and Automotive Electronics Development Center) function as mother factories that manage our 14 production sites in 11 countries overseas to ensure compliance with environmental guideline designs that take into consideration environmental regulations, product environmental restrictions in each country and region, and the disposal and recyclability of products, as well as preventing air, water, and soil pollution.

Environmental Issues for Which Risks and Opportunities Have Been Recognized and Evaluated

  • Climate change
  • Proper management of chemical substances
  • Air, water, and soil pollution

Message from the Automotive Equipment Group

Contributing to the Realization of a Low-Carbon Society through the Development of Low Fuel Consumption and Electrification Technologies for Vehicles

photo: Hiroshi Onishi

Hiroshi Onishi
Executive Officer
In Charge of Automotive Equipment Group

The Mitsubishi Electric Group is contributing to the realization of a sustainable global environment with the aim of being a global, leading green company.

The Automotive Equipment Group is developing its business at the global level. It is engaged in initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions both by installing its products in vehicles to achieve better fuel efficiency and electrification aimed at reducing energy consumption during the manufacturing process. We are also moving forward with the technological innovation of automotive equipment products to realize autonomous driving.

In regards to improving the fuel efficiency of automobiles, engines are becoming more efficient in order to achieve low fuel consumption. Mitsubishi Electric is helping to make vehicles more efficient through related products such as ignition systems for the precise control of combustion in high­compression ratio engines, turbo actuators that control the boost pressure of downsized turbo engines, and the control of these systems.

We are developing motorized equipment that is more compact and has higher efficiency. Examples include a compact motor for electric power steering being applied in large vehicles, a belt-driven motor generator that enables an enhanced deceleration energy regenerative function and quiet idling stop restarts, and an ISG system that contributes to improving fuel efficiency and comfort through higher motor output and improved power generation.

As an example of energy saving during the manufacturing process, a new production building has introduced LED lighting and cutting-edge energy-saving technologies such as automatic light adjustment, and central monitoring and optimized control of air conditioning and ventilation equipment. In addition, we are managing the use of electricity by rigorously enforcing energy-saving measures such as the introduction of photovoltaic generation to existing buildings. These achievements are being implemented at overseas manufacturing bases as part of our global energy-saving efforts.

Initiatives Contributing to the Environment and Society

Climate change Developing Fuel Efficiency Technologies for Internal-Combustion Engines and Electrification Technologies to Help Popularize EVs/HEVs and Improve Safety and Comfort

photo: ISG system directly connects to engine output shaft used in 48V hybrid car

ISG system directly connects to engine output shaft used in 48V hybrid car

We are helping to make automobiles more fuel efficient through products that are compact, lightweight, and offer high performance and high efficiency, such as alternators, starters, and electric power steering systems. Furthermore, we are working to respond to the growing demand for improved fuel efficiency and ever more stringent emissions regulations. To this end, we will provide products for vehicle electrification* with the aim of further improving efficiency and linking technologies. We focus on making the most of Mitsubishi Electric’s strengths, such as designing semiconductor devices, electric circuits and structures, as well as developing vehicle motion control technologies. Our motor generators integrate the start-stop functions of the engine control unit, transmission control unit and starter with the electricity-generating function of the alternator. We also manufacture an ISG system that connects directly to the engine output shaft and enables engine idling stop to restart, energy generation during deceleration, and torque assist during acceleration. By delivering wide-ranging technologies, we are contributing to lower fuel consumption for customers. In February 2015, our GXi alternator acquired Europe's ECO Innovation Technology certification.

  • * Products for vehicle electrification: Products that realize the electrification of automobile parts. They add functions that are equivalent to, or better than, those of fuel combustion-powered equipment to electric-powered equipment.

Main electric-powered products

photo: Main electric-powered products

Climate change Technological Innovation of Automotive Equipment Products for Autonomous Driving

We are proceeding with the technological innovation of automotive equipment products with the aim of creating an "eco-conscious, accident-free, and comfortable urban space."

Mitsubishi Electric has developed a self-sensing technology through combining various peripheral-sensing technologies, such as millimeter-wave radar that simultaneously monitors in forward, backward and side directions, and a forward-monitoring camera, in a sophisticated way. In addition to these technologies, we have developed an infrastructural driving technology that uses high-accuracy 3D mapping in combination with a centimeter-level augmentation service broadcast from quasi-zenith satellites. Autonomous driving technologies that combine these two different types of technologies are installed in an xAUTO test vehicle that is being used to conduct field testing as a step towards the practical introduction of autonomous driving technologies that simultaneously enable high levels of safety and comfort.

Furthermore, a concept car, EMIRAI4, has been developed to consolidate the results of our research in three fields: "Electrification" to reduce fuel consumption using cutting-edge technologies in support a sustainable society, "Autonomous Driving" that contributes to creating a safer, more secure society using self-sensing and network-based driving technologies, and "Connected" for greater personal comfort. Through these business activities, we are engaged in the development of next-generation driving assistance technologies.

  • photo: xAUTO car equipped with autonomous driving technologies

    xAUTO car equipped with autonomous driving technologies

  • photo: EMIRAI4 concept car

    EMIRAI4 concept car

Climate change Car Navigation Systems Helping to Conserve Energy

photo: DIATONE SOUND.NAVI high-end audio and car navigation system

DIATONE SOUND.NAVI high-end audio and car navigation system

To make fuel efficiency more enjoyable for customers, we are developing and supplying car navigation systems that include a function to search for the route with the best energy savings to minimize fuel consumption, and a function to evaluate to what extent the driver is driving in an eco-friendly manner.

Proper management of chemical substances Promoting Proper Management of Chemical Substances in Design and Production

The Automotive Equipment Group is actively expanding its business globally and is striving to ensure compliance with REACH regulations, the ELV directive of the EU, and other environmental laws and regulations around the world that cover its activities and products. Additionally, we ensure compliance with environmental guideline designs that consider the disposal and recyclability of automobiles through the implementation of chemical substance management systems.

Climate change Expanding the Rebuilding Business

The Automotive Equipment Group is expanding our business to automotive electrical parts, such as alternators and starters. As opposed to selling disassembled parts as used parts (reuse) as is, rebuilt parts have been disassembled and functionality that has deteriorated over use is repaired and restored to its original function so that quality equivalent to a new part is achieved (recycle). We are expanding this business as a system that contributes to environmental conservation.

diagram: Rebuilding process

Rebuilding process

Initiatives for Reducing Environmental Impact

Climate change Air, water, and soil pollution Roll out of Measures Implemented in Japan at Our International Sites

The following measures have been promoted at Himeji Works, Sanda Works, and Automotive Electronics Development Center in Japan and are being introduced throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

  • Lean manufacturing to avoid the 3 "M"s: muda, mura, muri (meaning "waste", "variation", and "overburden" in Japanese)
  • Updating to more efficient equipment
  • Improving operation using just-in-time activities
  • Introducing initiatives to prevent air, water, and soil pollution
  • Sharing of best practices