GKN Automotive has launched the next phase in its electrification strategy. The supplier of electric driveline technology is standardising a range of intelligent integrated “3-in-1” systems for pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, in a move to decrease cost and increase efficiency.
The 3-in-1 systems effectively integrates the electric motor, the inverter and a single-speed transmission module that scales up the torque. The inverter retains its own separate housing for maximum serviceability. The whole unit is managed by the SPICE software engineering processes enableing it to manage the system’s complete integration.
Although aimed at mass scale manufacturers, the units could be integrated into Retro-EV conversions with the right level of technical application. However mounting and final drive will deliver the biggest challenge.
GKN’s intelligent standardisation strategy is designed to offer three families of electric drive to cover all mass-market requirements. The systems are the result 17 years of eDrive development and production of over a million eDrive units.
Standardising these systems is the next step in making electrification more affordable which is what will be of most interest to the Retro-EV conversion community
Industry forecasts indicate that by 2026, one in every 10 new vehicles sold worldwide will be a battery electric vehicle. The high efficiency of “P4” electric axle drive architectures will make them central to most pure electric and plug-in hybrid strategies and are expected to account for 94% of new EV sales volumes.
P4 electric drive architectures is some way from being applicable to retro conversions as it connect the motor directly to the vehicle’s axle. For new vehicle applications this makes it more efficient and cost-effective than “P2” and “P3” systems that hybridise the main transmission like current Retro-EV conversion do. P4 systems send torque directly to the wheels and recover energy directly from the wheel when braking. P4 electric drive systems integrate the inverter and electric motor into a compact transmission module that applies torque to the axle, but without significant re engineering of a vehicle it is unlikely that this technology will find its way onto Retro-EVs