A new 4-in-1 electric axle solution has been unveiled that integrates the thermal management system, the electric motor, power electronics, and transmission into the axle drive.
Created by Schaeffler, the 4-in-1 e-axle, takes a new approach with the combination of the drive components of a conventional electric axle with the thermal management system, which was an independent module in most cases until now. “This creates a highly integrated and complete compact system, which requires significantly less space than non-integrated solutions,” says Dr. Jochen Schröder, head of the E-Mobility business division at Schaeffler.
Furthermore, less energy is lost in the form of heat because unnecessary hoses and cables can be dispensed with.
With its 4in1 electric axle, Schaeffler is developing its most comprehensive drive system for electric cars. “Such highly integrated complete systems are attractive for established automobile manufacturers and new players,” says Schröder. This reduces the development time and the costs for the complex new development of the entire drive. Nevertheless, the company will continue to offer its customers individual components and subsystems for electric and hybrid drives, such as electric motors, transmissions, bearings, and the thermal management system. The range also includes the combination of two or three drive components. Schaeffler is opening up a particularly large market, primarily since electric axles will be used in vehicles ranging from passenger cars to light commercial vehicles – with purely electric drives and drives based on fuel cells. This would also extend to tailored electric axles and components for the electrification of commercial vehicles and heavy-duty applications.