GKN Automotive is expecting the sales of electrified drivelines to grow over 141% year-on-year (y/y) in 2020, the company announced in a press release on 26 February. The growth includes six new major mass production projects in 2020. The company expects to be producing around one million eDrive units per year by 2025 for global markets.
The company also said that it has started winter testing its latest 3-in-1 G400 eDrive unit in Arjeplog, Sweden, using Tesla Model 3 and Fiat Ducato platforms as testbeds. This includes a GKN Automotive eMotor (126 kW), inverter, offset gearbox with open differential, and software controls integrated into both vehicles' electrical architectures. In the Tesla platform, the scalable system is integrated on the rear axle, and in the Ducato body, it is on the front axle.
“The application of our G400 eDrive module into two very different vehicle platforms showcases how we are evolving and refining our scalable electric driveline technologies. As our order book continues to grow rapidly, we are accelerating the development of our standardised range of eDrive units to cater for a variety of platform sizes and torque requirements,” said Hannes Prenn, CEO of GKN Automotive ePowertrain.
Significance: GKN Automotive has been developing eDrive technologies since 2002 and has delivered over one million eDrive units, including integrated 2-in-1 eMotor and transmission modular systems such as the ERAD in the Volvo XC60 and XC90, and the new LEVC TX5 London taxi. GKN Automotive also supports numerous other OEMs with their evolving line-ups of electrified vehicles, including Groupe PSA and FCA. The DS 7 CROSSBACK E-TENSE 4×4, which launched in Europe at the beginning of 2020, features GKN Automotive’s latest advanced eAxle technology.
The company is now focusing on developing a range of 2-in-1 and 3-in-1 electric drive systems for pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, to cover all mass-market torque requirements from 2,000 Nm to 5,800 Nm. To meet this increased demand, GKN acquired inverter development capabilities by establishing a partnership with power electronics specialist Delta Electronics Inc.
By integrating their transmission and eMotor technology with Delta’s inverters into modular units, GKN Automotive is looking to decrease costs and reduce component packaging for automakers. In its latest G400 modular eDrive unit, the systems are set up as a '2-in-1' (eMotor and transmission) plus inverter configuration. The inverter retains its own separate housing at Wintertest, for maximum serviceability, but will eventually be fully integrated.