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Eurosatory 2018: AxleTech unveils electric independent suspension concept

15 June 2018

Michegan-based powertrain specialist AxleTech unveiled its next-generation 5000 Series Electric Independent Suspension Axle System (eISAS) concept at this month’s Eurosatory exhibition.

Featuring custom-designed electric motors as part of the axle, the 5000 Series eISAS concept acts as a complete electric powertrain system, eliminating the need for a traditional drivetrain, including engine, transmission, and gearboxes.Axletech's next-generation 5000 Series Electric Independent Suspension Axle System concept was unveiled at this year's Eurosatory exhibition. (Axletech)Axletech's next-generation 5000 Series Electric Independent Suspension Axle System concept was unveiled at this year's Eurosatory exhibition. (Axletech)

The system also provides maximum regenerative braking capabilities, allowing the energy from braking to recharge the vehicle’s batteries and realise improved efficiencies. The eISAS concept axle would also utilise parallel axis gearing instead of traditional bevel gearing, thus maintaining axle ground clearance and allowing maximum torque to be delivered to the wheels.

In terms of powerplant configuration the eISAS concept is engineered for use in either full battery-only electric vehicles or in platforms where the electric powertrain would act as a range extender for another power source, such as a fuel cell or internal combustion engine.

While the 5000 Series eISAS concept is intended for future with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) up to 58,000 pounds (26.3 tonnes), AxleTech plans to develop similar powertrain concepts for lighter vehicles as part of its strategy to roll out the concept more extensively for both military and commercial applications.

Speaking to Jane’s at Eurosatory on 12 June, Bob Nichols, Axletech’s senior manager for sales of electric vehicle systems, confirmed interest from US military sources in electric powertrains, but suggested they were “waiting to see which vehicle to try first” and were “being guided by industry”.

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