GKN reveals new electric rear axle for PHEVs
Component manufacturer GKN Driveline has developed a lightweight, all-in-one electric rear axle for plug-in hybrids, due to debut in 2019 in a European carmaker’s product line-up and sold globally.
The new eAxle is a similar solution to GKN’s e-axles used in the BMW i8, Porsche 918 and Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine; it offers fully electric two-wheel drive while battery charge allows, and can also work in unison with the combustion engine to offer four-wheel drive when needed.
At 325mm wide, 300mm high and 54kg in weight, it’s around 20mm narrower and 2.5kg lighter than comparable systems, according to GKN. Its water-cooled motor produces 65kW (88bhp), supplied to the rear wheels through a single-speed reduction gearbox.
Peter Moelgg, chief executive of GKN Driveline’s eDrive and AWD business, said: “Automakers increasingly want complete eDrive systems from suppliers, rather than sourcing the different elements from different companies. This is the first all-in-one eDrive system to replace external wiring with a bus bar and to eliminate unnecessary mechanical interfaces. The result is an eDrive system with higher power density that is simpler to install.”