Tech area: GKN brings its high-end hybrid eAxle tech to more affordable segments image

The UK-based auto supplier has developed a hybrid differential setup, usually used by super sports cars such as the Porsche 918 Spyder and BMW i8, for more affordable compact cars.

GKN Driveline is one of the world’s leading suppliers of automotive driveline systems and it is well known for developing the eAxle technology found on the plug-in hybrid Porsche 918 Spyder, as well as for fitting the first two-speed eAxle in the plug-in hybrid BMW i8. It also supplies the eAxle on the Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine PHEV. The British company has announced it has developed an eAxle module especially for the compact plug-in hybrid cars, with the claim of giving a performance boost and a reduction in CO2 emissions of more than 50 percent.

The new system is an evolution of the one designed for the Porsche 918 Spyder. The single-speed design minimizes weight to just 20.9 kg while optimizing efficiency, installation space and costs for mass-market vehicle applications, GKN said. A two-staged geartrain with a gear ratio of 12.5 provides up to 2000 Nm torque and 65kW power for a pure-electric drive and balanced wheel torques for all-wheel drive mode. An electromechanically actuated dog clutch disconnects the electric motor at higher vehicle speeds and an open coupling minimizes rotating losses when disengaged.

The supplier promises that the eAxle can improve the 0-100 km/h acceleration times by several seconds, provide a useable pure electric range and reduce a vehicle’s CO2 emission rating to less than 50g/km. Front-wheel drive platforms can now integrate GKN’s compact single-speed eAxle modules into the car’s rear axle to provide a combination of plug-in hybrid and electric all-wheel drive.