new high-tech axle from germany promises to make evs faster

The new 4-in-1 axle not only saves space and weight, but adds additional comfort to the vehicle by integrating electric motor, power electronics, transmission and thermal management into one axle drive.

Schaeffler is fettling and manufacturing the electric axle for medium-duty pick-ups, especially for the North American market. Such vehicles include Ford’s recently launched F-150 Lightning.

The axles are more than 2 metres wide and weigh around 300kg. Schaeffler makes the components of the electric axles at several locations.

The electric motor, transmission, power electronics and the entire rear axle are combined into a single unit and delivered ready for installation.

An efficient thermal management system also ensures that an electric car equipped in this way can drive further and charge faster on one battery charge than with a conventional drive unit.

“E-axles are a central component of our electro-mobility strategy,” said Matthias Zink, Member of the Board of Managing Directors for Automotive Technologies at Schaeffler AG.

In electric cars, heat is a scarce and particularly valuable commodity because, since the waste heat from the combustion engine is not available to heat the interior.

Range and fast-charging capability also depend to a large extent on whether the battery can be kept within a suitable temperature window.

Schaeffler has been offering thermal management systems for all types of vehicle drives for some time. What is new here is to combine what were previously mostly separate thermal systems with the drive components of a classic electric axle.

The lack of unnecessary hoses and cables also means that less energy is also lost in the form of heat.

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