Drivetrain manufacturer GKN Driveline will supply its eAxle technology for a plug-in hybrid version of the BMW X1 for the Chinese market. BMW already uses GKN eAxles in the plug-in version of its 2 Series Active Tourer.
GKN conducted application and development work for the technology at its facility in Shanghai, but it will be building the new system in Bruneck, Italy.
For compact car applications, GKN’s single-speed design has a transmission ratio of 12.5:1, reducing the electric motor speed in two stages. The system generates up to 2,000 N·m (1,475 lb-ft) and 70 kW of additional torque and power – enough for a vehicle to run at up to 78 mph in electric mode, and for an AWD mode that accelerates faster than conventional mechanical AWD systems.
When hybrid operation is not required, an electromechanically actuated dog clutch disconnects the e-machine from the driveline, minimizing losses at higher speeds. The electric axle weighs just 44.5 pounds, and its compact dimensions (18 x 9 x 10 inches) facilitate installation in smaller vehicles.
“The combination of our proven driveline innovation experience, all-wheel drive expertise and eAxle production capabilities are making eAWD viable in compact vehicles,” said Peter Moelgg, Chief Executive of GKN’s AW&E Drive business. “GKN’s hardware and software expertise is also supporting the development of future platforms – these will need driveline suppliers to interface effectively with the rest of the vehicle’s electronic architecture.”
Source: GKN Driveline