Power management company Eaton today announced its Vehicle Group has formed a new ePowertrain business unit, which will focus on products from Eaton’s electrified vehicle (EV) transmission, reduction gearing and differential portfolios. Combining the product lines into a new ePowertrain business unit creates synergy among Eaton’s powertrain and EV experts and allows the Vehicle Group to offer its global customers solutions for commercial and light-duty EVs.
“Automakers face many challenges when developing an EV powertrain, such as optimizing efficiency, weight, and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), and dealing with packaging constraints,” said Anthony Cronin, product director, EV Gearing and Differentials, Eaton’s Vehicle Group. “Eaton can help manufacturers overcome these challenges by utilizing our many years of experience and in-house capabilities in design, validation and manufacturing of high-precision, high-quality gearing, transmissions and differential solutions.”
Eaton’s portfolio of multispeed transmissions includes 2-, 4- and 6-speed electrified commercial vehicle transmissions. Eaton’s EV transmissions are based on proven, robust, and efficient layshaft architecture typical of automated manual transmissions (AMTs) and shifting is synchronized without a clutch using a traction motor.
Unlike direct-drive transmissions that have long been the standard in EVs, Eaton’s transmission portfolio offers significantly greater efficiency at high speeds as well as increased torque at launch and low speeds. The EV transmissions feature a lightweight countershaft gearbox that boasts a range of torque capacities and electric gearshift actuation, allowing use of smaller electric motors.
EV Gearing Solutions
Leveraging its expertise in producing transmissions and contract-manufactured gear-sets for passenger and commercial vehicles, Eaton’s Vehicle Group is a leader in the global design, development and supply of EV reduction gearing.
Whether a large-scale industrialization project or a niche-market application, Eaton partners with customers on joint-development programs or acts as a single service provider of EV reduction gearing components or systems. Eaton’s expertise in both design and manufacturing allows it to optimize solutions from a technical, commercial and production aspect, reducing the risk of multi-iteration design and enabling shortened development times.
Eaton conducts total system analysis, using state-of-the-art tools and in-house expertise, to design EV gearing solutions optimized for efficiency and reliability, with low NVH levels and reduced manufacturing costs. A full-system approach is essential when tailoring a design to a specific customer need, as several factors influence the development of gearing solutions. Chief among those factors are the gears, bearings and lubrication system.
Eaton's Differential Design
Eaton’s Vehicle Group offers a wide range of specialized differentials for EVs with performance comparable to differentials designed for traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. As the passenger vehicle market increasingly transitions to EVs, Eaton has the capability to provide the solutions manufacturers need.
Eaton’s traction control family of differentials provide improved traction in adverse conditions such as snow and mud and improve stability while trailering. As a global supplier, Eaton has extensive knowledge of vehicle dynamics and safety standards, as well as decades of experience working with global automotive manufacturers to integrate differentials into new-vehicle platforms. Eaton has been supplying differentials to the EV market since 2015.
Eaton offers a full range of differentials for EVs, including automatic limited-slip, automatic locking and electronic selectable locking differentials. Each is highly engineered, tested and validated for a variety of traction control applications. Performance is verified at Eaton’s Proving Ground testing complex in Marshall, Michigan, which is home to more than 600 acres of testing facilities and tracks.
“Our new ePowertrain business unit can provide our customers with an optimized, integrated EV powertrain, which will help simplify their engineering development process,” Cronin said. “We will work with our global customers to determine the ideal combination of transmission, gearing and torque solutions that best meet their EV needs.”