Bosch introduces e-axle “start-up” powertrain for electric cars
The Bosch electric axle drive, or e-axle, reportedly combines three powertrain components into one unit. The motor, power electronics, and transmission form one unit that directly drives the car’s axle. This is intended to make the powertrain not only more efficient, but more affordable as well.
“With its e-axle, Bosch is applying the all-in-one principle to the powertrain,” said Dr. Rolf Bulander, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH and Chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector. Bosh views the new powertrain as a potentially huge business opportunity due to flexible components that allow the e-axle to be installed in hybrids and electric cars, compact cars, SUVs, and light trucks.
Bosch said it will customize the powertrain to each automaker’s requirements, intending to save customers the time-consuming task of developing new components. Samples of the electric axle have already been tested with customers. The start of mass production is planned for 2019.
The company added that the axle has a high level of versatility, which means it can be adapted to many types of vehicles. “Instead of reams of specifications, a few parameters are enough for Bosch to customize the e-axle,” said Dr. Mathias Pilin, the executive vice president for electromobility. All the customer has to do is state what performance, torque, and installation space they require, and Bosch then optimizes the rest of the powertrain to fit these parameters, says the company. In this way, a complete, customized powertrain can be delivered directly to an automaker’s assembly line.
The powertrain can deliver between 50 and 300 kW, and is therefore also capable of powering large vehicles such as SUVs completely electrically. Torque at the vehicle axle can range from 1000 to 6000 N·m (738 to 4425 lb·ft). When installed in hybrid and electric vehicles, front- and rear-axle drive is possible. An electric axle delivering 150 kW weighs roughly 90 kg (198 lb).
At the IAA 2017, in booth A03 in Hall 8, Bosch will present its latest solutions in each of these three spheres. Follow the Bosch IAA 2017 highlights at www.bosch-iaa.de and on Twitter: #BoschIAA.