Thanks to the growing global demand for hybrid electric AWD, GKN Driveline’s electric axle has successfully attained landmark production figure of 300,000 units. The units of the automotive industry’s most successful eAxle range have now come off the production lines at the company’s eDrive centers of excellence in Japan and Italy.
GKN has pioneered the launch of eAxle technology since 2002, acquiring systems integration and production experience to transfer the technology from niche vehicles to high-volume mass-market applications.
In a statement, GKN Driveline CEO Phil Swash said that the company’s early adoption of eAxle technology is enabling to bring the future of electric mobility into vehicles right now and is why GKN is the industry’s key supplier of eAWD systems. He added that with over 300,000 GKN eAxles on the road, their stable production processes and exacting quality standards are making eAWD an attractive option for automotive manufacturers and consumers. “Plug-in hybrids with eAWD are now one of the industry’s fastest growing market segments, and we have seen a significant acceleration in production volumes at our global sites in the last two years in response.”
Swash believes that around 40 percent of new vehicles will have some element of electrification within the next decade. He revealed that they are developing the next generation of technologies to ensure they maintain their leading position, as well as adding production capacity across the globe.
Thanks to high-precision production and efficient assembly processes at GKN Driveline’s eDrive production plants in Tochigi, Japan and Bruneck, Italy, the newest GKN systems have been made suitable for an array of vehicle segments, from premium SUVs to high-end sports cars.
Vehicles featuring GKN eDrive technology include the Volvo S90 and XC90, BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, Mitsubishi Outlander, Porsche 918 Spyder, and BMW i8. Typically, automotive manufacturers utilize GKN eAxles on the rear axle of front wheel drive platforms to offer a dynamic, efficient and affordable hybrid eAWD model.
According to GKN automotive president engineering Peter Moelgg, GKN’s eAxle technology has passed a key production milestone at a time when demand for both AWD and plug-in hybrids is escalating tremendously. He explained that with 300,000 units now delivered, GKN’s eAxle is the clear leader when it comes to market acceptance, with proven technologies and production maturity. Moelgg continued: “As the industry’s driveline efficiency expert, we focused on preparing eAxles for mass production from the outset because the technology offers the most real-world efficiency and the best value for consumers in terms of performance and system cost.”
GKN is fully focused on the development of next-gen electric drive technologies, including higher performance systems with greater functionality and more differentiating capabilities integrated, and more streamlined system designed to drive mass market acceptance of hybrids.
In March this year, the company announced the development of its newest generation of eAxle, which transfers technology developed for hybrid super sports cars into mass-market vehicle platforms.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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