ATLANTA, Ga. – Meritor is developing a new family of electric drive axles, suspensions, and support systems as it prepares for an era of electrified commercial vehicles.
“Essentially, we’re focusing on integrating an electric motor into the differential carrier,” explains Jay Craig, Meritor president and chief executive officer.
The e-carrier design will be the basis for various drivetrain configurations including electric, hybrid, single or tandem axles, with various options based on application, Craig says. Designed for city deliveries, medium-duty vehicles and transit buses, as well as off-road and severe-duty applications, the electrified, lightweight carrier offers several benefits over remote-mounted electric motor configurations, the company adds.
Meritor’s e-carrier is designed to drop in and replace a conventional mechanical carrier, freeing space for batteries and other electrical components, offering easier installation, and establishing a protected location inside the frame rails to mount batteries.
It eliminates the cost and weight associated with a driveline and mounting a remote motor with brackets, the company says.
Products to be developed in the near term include an integrated two-speed electrical carrier platform that can deliver 150-200 kilowatts of continuous power, and fits a variety of applications on rigid and independent suspensions.
Also to be included is a 13Xe rigid axle capable of 200 kilowatts of continuous power and featuring customizable gearing; electric-driving independent suspensions for military, emergency, off-highway, and construction vehicles; and an electric eCorner module for low-floor applications like Class 4-5 trucks, transit buses, and pickup and delivery.
Rounding out the product line will be a braking system optimized for e-axles, including the Next Generation Quadraulic brake and Next Generation Air Disc Brake, both designed for hybrid or electric vehicles with regenerative braking.
All the components will be part of a demonstration vehicle to be built in 2018, with production beginning as early as 2019.