GKN Automotive launches strategy to make electric propulsion more affordable
GKN Automotive announced the launch of the next phase in its electrification strategy. The leading supplier of all-wheel drive and electric driveline technology and systems is standardising a range of intelligent highly 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 integrate an electric motor, inverter together with the single-speed transmission module that scales up the torque. The inverter retains its own separate housing for maximum serviceability. The company’s Automotive SPICE® Level 2- and 3-certified software engineering processes enable it to manage the system’s complete integration.
GKN Automotive’s intelligent standardisation strategy enables three families of electric drive to cover all mass-market torque requirements. The systems distil the company’s substantial experience in industrialising electric axle and driveline systems, and harnesses data and system integration knowledge accumulated from 17 years of eDrive development and production of more than a million eDrive units.
“GKN Automotive is the world’s leading supplier of P4 electric drive systems. This next phase of our electrification strategy will produce the highly integrated, modular, scalable architectures required for high volume vehicle applications. Standardising these systems will make electrification more affordable and will enable OEMs to offer consumers highly optimised e-mobility at the right price,” said Hannes Prenn, COO of GKN Automotive ePowertrain.
GKN Automotive’s Family 2 eDrive system is already production-proven with a number of premium automotive brands. It provides peak torque of 1,800 – 2,700 Nm and is suitable for A-, B- and C-segment applications. The Family 3 eDrive system covers C- and D-segment applications with peak axle torque of 2,700 – 4,100 Nm. The Family 4 eDrive system provides 4,100 – 5,800Nm for D-segment and large vehicle applications. Intelligent standardisation of the company’s own electric motor and inverter modules will further reduce system costs.
Industry forecasts indicate that by 2026, one in every 10 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. To provide the best balance of cost and performance, single-speed systems are expected to account for 94% of P4 eDrive volumes.
P4 electric drive architectures connect the motor directly to the vehicle’s axle, making it more efficient and cost-effective than “P2” and “P3” systems that hybridise the main transmission. 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.
GKN Automotive has become one of the industry’s most trusted and experienced tier one suppliers of P4 electric drive systems. The company was the first to market with eAxle technology in 2002, and in 2019, was the first to produce one million units. It has served as a tier one system integrator on programs for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Jaguar Land Rover, BMW Group, Volvo Cars, PSA Peugeot Citroen and Geely.