›The term ‘e-axle’ is perhaps a little misleading, as
it’s generally used to describe an integrated drive
unit rather than a true axle assembly. In some cases,
however, it takes on an altogether more literal meaning.
US-based driveline specialist, Dana has developed a
range of heavy-duty e-axles for trucks and buses. These
are intended as a straight swap for the complete solid axle
assembly on a combustion-engined design, providing up
to 237kW and claimed to yield considerable weight savings
over a separate electric drive system.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, ZF has arguably
gone a step further with its mSTARS system, intended for
passenger cars. This is a complete axle-carrier assembly
for a semi-trailing arm suspension system, right down
to an optional rear-wheel steering system, all designed
to accommodate the company’s fully integrated 150kW
electric drive unit. This not only houses the electric
motor, but also the two-stage single-speed spur gear
drive, differential, power electronics and control system.
November/December 2019 • VehicleDynamicsInternational.com