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Eaton’s Vehicle Group sets up new business focus on ePowertrain for EVs

EV gearing solutions (Source: Eaton)

Power management company Eaton has announced that its Vehicle Group has formed a new ePowertrain business focused on products from Eaton's electric vehicle transmission, speed reducer, and differential portfolios (Electro Vehicles, EV).

Combining the product lines into a new ePowertrain business unit creates synergies between Eaton's powertrain and EV experts and allows the Vehicle Group to offer commercial and light-duty EV solutions to its global clientele.

"Automakers face many challenges when developing an EV powertrain, including optimizing efficiency and weight, noise, vibration, harshness (NVH), and dealing with packaging constraints," said Anthony Cronin, EV product lead. Transmissions and differentials at Eaton's Vehicle Group.

"At Eaton, we can help manufacturers meet these challenges by leveraging our years of experience and in-house resources to design, validate and manufacture highly accurate, high-quality countershaft, transmission, and differential solutions."

The Eaton portfolio of multi-speed transmissions includes two-, four- and six-speed electric transmissions for commercial vehicles. Eaton's EV transmissions are based on a proven, robust, and efficient countershaft architecture typical of Automated Manual Transmissions (AMTs), and shifting is synchronized without a clutch using a traction motor.

Unlike direct-drive gears, which have long been the norm in EVs, Eaton's gear portfolio offers significantly higher efficiency at high speeds, as well as higher torque at start-up and low speeds. The EV gearboxes feature a lightweight countershaft gearbox that features a range of torques and electric shift actuation, allowing the use of smaller electric motors.

Eaton's Vehicle Group leverages the company's expertise in the production of transmissions and custom-built transmissions for passenger and commercial vehicles, making it a global leader in the design, development, and supply of EV transmissions.

Whether it is a major industrialization project or a niche application, Eaton works with its customers on joint development programs or acts as the sole supplier of EV reduction gear components or systems. Eaton's expertise in both design and manufacturing enables it to optimize solutions from technical, commercial, and production perspectives, thereby reducing the risk of multi-iteration designs and realizing shorter development times.

Eaton performs full system analysis using state-of-the-art tools and in-house expertise. In this way, EV transmission solutions can be designed that are optimized for efficiency and reliability - with low NVH values and lower manufacturing costs. A comprehensive system concept is essential when tailoring a design to specific customer needs since several factors influence the development of transmission solutions. These factors are mainly the gears, the bearings, and the lubrication system.

Eaton's Vehicle Group offers a wide range of specialized differentials for EVs with performance comparable to differentials designed for traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. With the increasing transition to EVs in the passenger car market, Eaton has the right resources to provide the solutions manufacturers need.

Eaton traction control differentials provide better traction in adverse conditions such as snow and mud and improve trailer stability. As a global supplier, Eaton has extensive knowledge of vehicle dynamics and safety standards and has worked with global automakers for decades to integrate differentials into new vehicle platforms. Eaton has been supplying differentials for the car market since 2015.

Eaton offers a full line of differentials for EVs, including automatic locking differentials and electronically shiftable locking differentials. Each of these is highly engineered, tested, and validated for a variety of traction control applications. Performance is verified at Proving Grounds, Eaton's testing facility in Marshall, Michigan. It is home to more than 600 acres of test facilities and courses.

"Our new ePowertrain division can provide our customers with an optimized, integrated EV powertrain that will help simplify their engineering development process," said Cronin.

"We will work with our global clientele to identify the ideal combination of gearing, gearing, and torque solutions that best meet their EV needs." 

Author : Debi Dash
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