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GKN to reveal world’s most advanced electric driveline

It would be easy to take a simplistic view when it comes to how electric vehicles (EVs) can be made more practical, and therefore more popular. As the limited range they have on a single battery charge is what concerns most potential buyers, all that needs to be achieved to make EVs a practical alternative to internal combustion models is to develop better batteries, right? In some ways that's true, but battery technology isn't advancing anywhere near as fast as we'd like, so other ways of improving EV range have to be explored too. And that's exactly what GKN Driveline is doing by revealing an all-new electric axle concept this week at the 67th Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA).

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GKN to reveal world’s most advanced electric driveline
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It would be easy to take a simplistic view when it comes to how electric vehicles (EVs) can be made more practical, and therefore more popular. As the limited range they have on a single battery charge is what concerns most potential buyers, all that needs to be achieved to make EVs a practical alternative to internal combustion models is to develop better batteries, right? In some ways that's true, but battery technology isn't advancing anywhere near as fast as we'd like, so other ways of improving EV range have to be explored too. And that's exactly what GKN Driveline is doing by revealing an all-new electric axle concept this week at the 67th Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA).

The new eAxle from GKN Driveline is called 'eTwinsterX,' and it's said to offer three big advantages over conventional electric drivelines. To begin with, the design is an integrated coaxial format, which means the electric drive (eDrive) unit is significantly smaller than any existing systems that offer an equivalent power output.

The reduced size also makes it incredibly adaptable and versatile so it can be used for any type of vehicle, from tiny city cars to large luxurious plug-in hybrid SUVs, whether front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The technologies within the eTwinsterX system also mean that it's the first eAxle in the world offering full-blown off-road capability.

Next up is the industry-leading efficiency of the unit. The eTwinsterX system has a unique two-speed transmission transmitting the drive motor's power, which optimizes gear changes for the greatest possible efficiency, as well as also delivering seamless shifting. Another dynamic advantage of the new eAxle is the fact it incorporates GKN's celebrated 'Twinster' torque vectoring technology, which has notable advantages for the stability, agility and safety of any vehicle utilizing the system.

eTwinsterX will begin appearing in demonstrator vehicles from towards the end of this year. The eDrive system has been designed with production applications very much in mind and live trials will be carried out that will include GKN's extensive winter testing program early in 2018. It's expected the first eTwinsterX demonstrator vehicles will be in plug-in hybrid versions of existing models. These test mules will demonstrate the advantages of hybrid systems that can be bolted-on to existing models, as well as illustrating the wide range of benefits the system delivers in terms of performance and efficiency.

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