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31 August 2017

Bosch E-axle Bringing Extended Range to Vehicles Of All Types

Extending electric vehicle range is not all about the battery, says German supplier Bosch in revealing its new “e-axle.”

The new technology takes aim at incremental efficiency by integrating three powertrain components – motor, power electronics, and transmission – into one unit that saves weight, space, and cost.

The new powertrtain which Bosch predicts will be well received by major automakers is being touted as robust and versatile enough to be applied to EVs, hybrids, compact cars, SUVs, and light trucks.

Front- and rear-axle drive is possible and would be ideal for EVs and hybrids. It can also be applied to vehicles weighing up to 7.5 metric tons (16,534 pounds), which speaks to light-duty pickups, SUVs, vans, and a few medium-duty commercial vehicles.

The company said the new system can accelerate better and maintain high speeds longer than competitive technologies. This in turn improves motor and power electronics and extends range per charge.

E-axle is capable of delivering between 50 and 300 kilowatts. Torque at the axle can go from 1,000 to 6,000 Newton meters (737 to 4,425 pounds-feet).

EVs will be lightened with the e-axle able to deliver about 150 kW weighs only about 90 kilograms (198.4 pounds). Bosch said that weight is much less than the previous versions of the three components needed to run an electric drive train.

Bosch says it focused on improving electric motor and power electronics components, which in turn improved energy efficiency.

The e-axle has already been tested with a few customers. The German auto supplier plans to start mass production in 2019.

It’s being designed as compatible with global manufacturing specifications, and will also be customizable to all types of vehicles for quick integration into a vehicle manufacturer’s production process.

SEE ALSO:  Apple May Partner With Bosch On Autonomous Electric Drive System

Bosch expects it to be a hit, already having supplied components to over 500,000 EVs and hybrids on roads around the world. The company expects sales to general billions in euros.

“With its e-axle, Bosch is applying the all-in-one principle to the powertrain,” said Dr. Rolf Bulander, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.

“Economically speaking, the e-axle may turn out to be a major coup for Bosch,” Bulander said.

Automakers and suppliers have for years been developing components that can make vehicles of all types more efficient, with lighter, smaller, long-range lithium-ion batteries having become the benchmark for EVs.

Companies such as Protean Electric, with its in-wheel electric motor, have had a slight presence in the market. Bosch may be in a better position to partner with automakers at mass scale for hybrids and EVs.

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