Bosch has launched the electric axle drive, or e-axle powertrain for electric cars. It has combined three powertrain components into one unit. The motor, power electronics, and transmission form one compact unit that directly drives the car’s axle. This makes the powertrain not only far more efficient, but more affordable as well, the company claims.
Samples of the electric axle have already been tested with customers. The start of mass production is planned for 2019. The powertrain can deliver between 50 and 300 kilowatts, and is therefore also capable of powering large vehicles such as SUVs completely electrically. Torque at the vehicle axle can range from 1,000 to 6,000 Newton meters. When installed in hybrid and electric vehicles, front- and rear-axle drive is possible. An electric axle delivering 150 kilowatts weighs roughly 90 kilograms, and thus far less than the combined individual components used so far, Bosch said.
“With its e-axle, Bosch is applying the all-in-one principle to the powertrain. It is precisely for this reason that the new powertrain is a potentially huge business opportunity for Bosch. The components are very flexible, which means the e-axle can be installed in hybrids and electric cars, compact cars, SUVs, and even light trucks – a huge market,” said Dr Rolf Bulander, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH and chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector.
The novel electrical powertrain is playing a key role in the company’s drive to be the global mass-market leader for electro mobility from 2020. On the world’s roads, there are already well over 500,000 electric and hybrid cars fitted with Bosch components.