The automotive industry's first two-speed eAxle

GKN has produced the industry's first two-speed eAxle for EVs.

Showcasing in the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, the new technology is the first to enable electric drive to boost the vehicle’s performance across its entire speed range, using two gear ratios.

GKN's two-speed eAxle

GKN produces world's first two-speed eAxle Image: Newspress

From concept to production in just 24 months, GKN created the new gearbox to improve acceleration and pure electric range for the latest generation of hybrid and fully electric vehicles.

As well as performance benefits, the new technology enables an electric motor and all its associated systems to be downsized, reducing mass and further increasing efficiency.

The 27kg, two-speed eAxle measures less than 325mm by 562mm by 313mm.  Theodor Gassmann, GKN Driveline’s Vice President Product Technology eDrive Systems described the gear shifts as "completely transparent to the driver.  The smooth electromechanically actuated shift between the synchronised ratios has enabled our eAxle to set new benchmarks for comfort and NVH. The eAxle combines superior efficiency of 97% with high gear shift comfort and low gear noise. And yet the shift mechanism is a proven technology with components already in series production, providing a robust and cost-effective solution.”