The world’s leading supplier of automotive all-wheel drive and electric driveline technology and systems, GKN Automotive, will this month deliver its one millionth eDrive system. Demand for GKN Automotive’s expanding eDrive portfolio, which encompasses a range of driveline technologies for electrified vehicles, has increased markedly over recent years. The company currently has five major eDrive mass production projects in progress in China and Europe.
Hannes Prenn, COO of GKN Automotive ePowertrain, commented: “It is always a proud moment when GKN Automotive reaches a significant production milestone, and this one is particularly significant as it underlines our leadership in the fast-growing eDrive segment. The strength and breadth of our current eDrive order book is a testament to our heritage of eDrive innovation, development and integration, as well as our ability to meet the exacting quality and production targets set by our customers.”
GKN Automotive has pioneered advanced eDrive technologies since 2002, developing experience of systems integration and production that is unmatched in the industry. The knowledge began with transmissions, then eMotor and transmission systems, through to fully integrated motor, gearbox and inverter systems. GKN Automotive’s eDrive experience is proven by its support of numerous OEMs with their evolving line-ups of electrified vehicles, including BMW, Mitsubishi, Porsche and Volvo.
GKN Automotive’s family of highly efficient, lightweight, high-power modular eDrive products began with single eDrive transmissions. The company now offers semi-integrated two-in-one eMotor and transmission systems, such as the Electric Rear Axle Drive (eRad) in the Volvo XC60 and XC90, and two other eRad plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicle projects due to enter series production in the next 12 months.
GKN Automotive has continued to pioneer the very latest developments in the industry’s shift to ever more advanced eDrive systems. It is currently supplying a volume OEM with a semi-integrated three-in-one (incorporating eMotor, transmission, and inverter) eRad project for vehicles destined for China and Europe. And later this year, GKN Automotive will supply a global premium OEM with a semi-integrated three-in-one eDrive system.
Common across the portfolio of products is low weight, compact packaging, exceptional efficiency and high power and torque, with scalability enabling designs to be integrated across a wide range of vehicle platforms and packaging requirements.
GKN Automotive is also collaborating with Drive System Design and the University of Nottingham on an £8 million project to design and develop the world’s lightest and most efficient electric vehicle powertrain suitable for the volume market. The initiative is match-funded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC). The APC is an organization created by the UK Government’s Automotive Council to fund UK-based research and development projects, aimed at developing low-carbon emission powertrain technologies.
ACeDrive (Advanced Cooling and Control of High Speed e-Drive) aims to achieve the level of technology and performance outlined in the Automotive Council’s roadmap for 2030. The core targets for the resulting eDrive technology are a 25% reduction in both packaging size and cost, a 20% drop in weight, and a 10% increase in efficiency compared to current equivalents, and production readiness by 2023.
GKN Automotive has a truly global production and supply capability that has seen significant investment to increase capacity in recent years, enabling the company to localise manufacture and supply to best meet customer requirements.
A state-of-the-art 18,000sqm facility in Bruneck, Italy employs over 600 people, and is dedicated predominantly to eDrive production. In China, GKN Automotive’s joint venture – Shanghai GKN HUAYU Driveline Systems (SDS) – is significantly increasing its annual eDrive production from its Shanghai plant and a newly-constructed state-of-the-art facility in Pinghu, Zhejiang Province.
Further supporting increased vehicle electrification requirements in Asia are world-class manufacturing facilities in Japan; one in Tokoname City, and the other in Nagoya, which supplies Mitsubishi with significant volumes of the Multimode eTransmission system for its Outlander PHEV, one of the world’s most popular plug-in vehicles.
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