From Porsche 918 Spyder and BMW i8 to ‘Affordable Compact Vehicles’
GKN Driveline says it’s adapting technology developed for the high-end Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid electric and BMW i8 luxury battery car to mass-market vehicles.
GKN say it’s developed an eAxle module to allow C-segment vehicle developers a plug-in hybrid option with improved performance and a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of more than 50%.
“GKN leads the industry in eAxle technology, and we want to make plug-in hybrids a simple upgrade for consumers and manufacturers,” GKN automotive engineering president Peter Moelgg said in a release.
From the ‘Halo’ to the Highway
“With our systems now proven in halo hybrid sports car programs and premium SUVs,” Moelgg said, “automakers are working with us to launch eAxle technology in a much broader range of vehicles. Innovations by our hardware and software engineers will place the performance and efficiency benefits of plug-ins within the reach of many more motorists.”
GKN says that the new eAxle is an evolution of the system GKN designed for the Porsche 918 Spyder. The single-speed design minimizes weight to just 20.9 kilograms while optimizing efficiency, installation space and costs for mass-market vehicle applications.
Power to Spare
GKN’s work “is helping move the balance of power in vehicles from internal combustion towards electric drives.” The company says. A typical C-segment plug-in hybrid could have an engine output of around 100 kilowatts (134 horsepower), with a GKN eAxle supplying an additional 65 kilowatts (87 horsepower), improving acceleration while reducing emissions.
GKN says too that front-wheel drive vehicles can integrate single-speed eAxle modules into the vehicle’s rear for a combination of plug-in hybrid and electric all-wheel drive functionalities.
All-Wheel Drive Options
“GKN’s position as the only hybrid technology supplier that can also deliver complete all-wheel drive systems makes us an ideal partner on these programs,” said Rainier Link, GKN Driveline managing director for eDrive systems.
“Our vehicle integration teams can support automakers in the tuning of their vehicle’s eAWD mode, ensuring that the torque delivery results in the right front-rear balance and delivers the brand’s trademark driving characteristics,” he said.
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Source: GKN Driveline with Fleets & Fuels follow-up