Rising global demand for vehicles with hybrid electric all-wheel drive (eAWD) has helped GKN Driveline’s electric axle (eAxle) technology achieve a landmark production figure. More than 300,000 units of the company’s eAxle range have now come off the production lines at its facilities in Italy and Japan.
GKN introduced eAxle technology in 2002, acquiring systems integration and production experience to transfer the technology from niche vehicles to high volume, mass-market applications.
Phil Swash, GKN Driveline’s chief executive, said, “GKN’s early adoption of eAxle technology is helping bring the future of electric mobility into vehicles right now, and is why the company is the industry’s leading supplier of eAWD systems. With more than 300,000 GKN eAxles on the road, our stable manufacturing processes and exacting quality standards are making eAWD an attractive option for automakers and consumers.
“Plug-in hybrids with eAWD are now one of the industry’s fastest-growing market segments and we have seen a significant acceleration in production volumes at our global sites in the past two years in response. We believe that approximately 40% of new vehicles will have some element of electrification within the next 10 years and we are developing the next generation of technologies to ensure we maintain our leading position, as well as adding production capacity across the globe,” he added.
Vehicles that feature eDrive technology include the Volvo XC90 and S90, Mitsubishi Outlander, BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, BMW i8 and Porsche 918 Spyder. Automakers typically use GKN eAxles on the rear axle of front-wheel-drive platforms to offer an efficient, dynamic and affordable hybrid eAWD model.