GKN has announced that it has secured orders for a major global platform for its range of electric axle systems and that production is now underway at the company’s eDrive production facility in Bruneck, Italy. The first application of the technology will be the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer PHEV.
The company’s new electric axle drive has been designed for compact car applications. The lightweight single-speed design has a transmission ratio of 12.5:1, reducing the electric motor speed in two stages. The system generates up to 2,000Nm and 70kW of additional torque and power – enough for a vehicle’s pure electric mode to achieve speeds of up to 125km/h and for an all-wheel drive (AWD) mode that accelerates considerably faster than conventional mechanical AWD systems.
The entire unit weighs just 20.2kg and has a length of 457mm, a width of 229mm and a height of 259mm, facilitating packaging and installation in confined spaces.
When hybrid operation is not required, the e-machine can be disconnected from the driveline by an integrated disconnect device, which uses an electromechanically actuated dog clutch. This minimizes rotating losses at higher vehicle speeds when disengaged. Gear and bearing arrangements have also been optimized for efficiency, NVH and durability.