GKN Automotive hits multi-million electric vehicle milestone
The growing popularity of electrified vehicles and the partnership with Jaguar’s e-racing team has prompted GKN Automotive to reach the milestone of its eDrive system powering more than two million electrified vehicles worldwide, the UK-based company announced on Thursday. -United. 20 years.
In an interview with Forbes.com, GKN Automotive ePowertrain President Dr. Dirk Kesselgruber explained that the growth of electrified vehicles around the world is taking place beyond the regions most often seen as hotbeds of their popularity.
“We’ve seen the disruptive growth of electrified cars even in markets where we didn’t expect it all that much,” Dr Kesselgruber said. “We thought China would be the dominant processing market, now we see
Europe is accelerating and now, let me say, with some very attractive offers in the United States, consumers are attracted to electrification. We see the market being disrupted.
Key to GKN’s eDrive system is its ability to increase energy efficiency and performance and provide flexibility to customers. It is available as a complete and fully integrated three-in-one system inverter, motor and transmission; two-in-one combination system; or simple modules and components.
The company is also upgrading eDrive from a 400-volt to 800-volt system, Kesselgruber said, explaining, “The higher your voltage level, the faster your charging speed can be with the same current. So you can nearly double your charging speed while putting the same stress on battery speed. With fast charging, you can reduce battery size. Reducing battery size is the most important factor in making the car affordable. »
GKN Automotive’s long-term relationship with the Jaguar brand dates back to 1935 and led to becoming the official racing partner of the Jaguar TCS Formula E racing team, working primarily on Jaguar’s I-TYPE 5 electric racing car. It’s a relationship that has paid more than just promotional dividends for the company according to Kesselgruber.
“Unlike other races, it gives us the opportunity to transfer a lot of learning into civilian vehicles. The beauty of electrification is that whether you go for extreme performance or go for a small size, the design imperative is exactly the same, efficiency,” Kesselgruber said. “GKN engaged with Jaguar on the development of the powertrain. We mainly focus on cooling the drive unit and we also go into controls, control software. We are already applying this type of learning to civilian drive units on how to cool the motor, how to power the module switching to get maximum output with minimum switching losses.
GKN Automotive is actually a unit of GKN, a company established over 200 years ago that has grown from a steel producer to a multi-technology company focusing primarily on the automotive industry. In 2018, it was split into its key divisions, including GKN Automotive, which is now its own company, according to Kesselgruber.
Its customers include 90% of the world’s automakers and it targets what the company calls “new industry players”.
Looking ahead, Kesselgruber sees the future of vehicle electrification focusing on increased efficiency as well as developments in battery technology that increase charging speed while reducing costs and improving battery durability.
Indeed, he sees lucrative business opportunities as new technologies make electric vehicle batteries digitally smarter, predicting: “If you have a fully connected vehicle, a smart vehicle, connected to an energy storage system, you can imagine the fantastic business model”.