Bosch has revealed its new e-axle which might just fast-track the electric vehicle revolution and make it more affordable than ever…

WHILE DEVELOPMENT is continuing apace on building a better battery to improve range on electric vehicles, Bosch claims its fast-tracked and made more affordable electric drivetrains. It’s called the e-axle and unlike other electric drivetrains, this one combines the motor, power electronics and transmission as one unit that directly drives the vehicle’s axle.

“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.

Bosch claims the e-axle can be installed in hybrids and electric cars, compact cars, SUVs, and even light trucks – a huge market. But there’s more to it than just being more compact. Bosch is also making its unit customizable to suit a range of different customers.

“The e-axle is the ‘start-up’ powertrain for electric cars and established automakers. It allows them to save valuable development time and to get their electric vehicles to market considerably faster,” Bulander said. Indeed, the start of production is slated for 2019 with Bosch claiming its e-axle is already being tested by OEMs.

The e-axle’s main party trick is its versatility. “Instead of reams of specifications, a few parameters are enough for Bosch to customize the e-axle,” says 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, Bosch said.

The e-axle can deliver anywhere between 50kW to 300kW and torque at the axle can range from 1000Nm to 6000Nm. When installed in hybrid and electric vehicles, front- and rear-axle drive is possible. An electric axle delivering 150kW weighs roughly 90kg.

While there are alternatives to the Bosch e-axle, the brand claims its product can operate at full tilt for longer than its competitors.

The e-axle which integrates the power electronics into one unit is the latest version of Bosch’s original electric axle which featured in the Peugeot 3008 and Fiat 500e. Bosch claims its new unit can be installed into vehicles up 7500kg.

Question: Do you think an off-the-shelf electric axle that can be customized to suit the car maker will fast-track switch to electric cars?


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1 comment

  1. Even for u repentant Petrol Heads some form of electric motivation could be great.

    Imagine this: A rear mounted transverse V8 (RWD of course). A Bosch electric motor providing FWD. Rather than a bulky battery pack, a small storage device that’s charged by braking. The electric system powers the car in stop-start peak hour traffic and when the PCM detects loss of RWD traction.

    I guess that could be seen as an enthusiast’s view on electric cars. The V8 rumble remains. It’s a sad day when an all electric Telsa can dust off the very best of the petrol powered supercars! Maybe that’s why some of the big names are looking at the hybrid option?

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