HPBO develops Active Grille Shutter for electric vehicles

Energy efficiency and the reduction of CO2 emissions are important product development issues for HBPO, too. The Lippstadt-based company has been supplying Active Grille Shutters for vehicles with combustion engines for years. As components in the vehicle front-end or in the front-end module, they help to reduce the air resistance, thus lowering fuel consumption and indirectly saving CO2. This year, the company also launched the first air control system for an electric vehicle sold worldwide. The properties of the “shutter” are similar to those of the Active Grille Shutter installed in other vehicles.


Just like vehicles with combustion engines, electric vehicles have aerodynamic properties that affect consumption. In the case of the vehicle equipped by HBPO with a shutter, the design space in the vehicle front is so limited that the installation of a “classic” Active Grille Shutter is not possible. Nevertheless the development of an air control system for electric vehicles was still on the wish list. For this reason, the HBPO Research & Development Team started looking for a solution three years ago. First ideas and feasibility studies have shown it is possible – the result is the HBPO “shutter”; which works in a similar way to a Venetian blind.

The shutter has a vertical opening and can be installed wherever the conventional Active Grille Shutter is not a feasible solution.


The effect of the shutter system correlates to that of the conventional Active Grille Shutter, although it works in a completely different way. Air can flow through by retracting and extending a technical fabric that moves along and is wound up by two guide rails. The requirements made on such a technical unit – due to temperature loads, continuous operation and dynamic pressure – are quite considerable, even for electric vehicles.