New Technology For Electric Cars Tested

New electric car technology
No sooner does one automotive advance take place when another one follows on right behind, like buses. The latest breakthrough is for electric cars. A company called GKN Automotive has, hot off the press, introduced yet another world first; an EV with a two-speed transmission and torque vectoring on the front axle.

The test vehicle is equipped with an optimised two-speed ‘Seamless Shift eTransmission’ and technology for smart shifting, which has, we learn here at MHH International, the potential to importantly extend vehicle range as well as provide greater torque, acceleration and a higher top speed. Exceptional stability and driving performance is possible thanks to the torque vectoring capability of the company’s so-called ‘eTwinster’ system.


Test Car


Based on the standard Jeep Renegade, the demonstration vehicle has apparently been undergoing extensive winter testing to demonstrate how car manufacturers can use drivetrain innovations to achieve industry-leading standards in electric cars. It shows quite clearly to the layman how the technology is evolving and improving to further enhance efficiency, safety and driving dynamics.


The set-up in the Renegade provides pure electric power with two-speeds. The electric two-speed gearbox is configured to ensure the shifts are seamless, with minimal losses in power and torque and increasing the potential for faster acceleration, improved efficiency and a higher top speed.


New torque vectoring technology delivers specific advantages for vehicle stability, agility and safety. Aiding modulation of the high initial torque of the electric motor, the ‘eTwinster’ system governs acceleration making it swift and smooth, while also providing greater lateral control and optimised front-wheel driving dynamics for both safety and driver satisfaction.


New electric car technology, MHH International


Torque Vectoring


Torque vectoring provides a vehicle’s differential with the ability to vary the torque to each wheel. This method of power transfer has recently become popular in all-wheel drive motors, for example. Some newer front-wheel drive vehicles also have a basic torque vectoring differential. As automotive technology improves, more vehicles will be equipped with this technology. This allows for the wheels to grip the road for better launch and handling characteristics.


In the test vehicle an advanced eDrive system replaces the fossil-fuel engine with a 120kW e-motor, delivering maximum torque of 3,500Nm (!) and vectoring of up to 2,000Nm to either of the front wheels when required. The system keeps the front wheels in check during acceleration and it can correct an understeer moment experienced by a driver entering a corner at speed, an issue with many front-wheel drive cars.


The Future


It seems that our electric driving future is assured and coming at us at pace. Innovations appear almost on a daily basis. Just recently it has been revealed that the dreaded range issue could well be resolved in a very clever way, if recent research proves to be viable. It has been demonstrated that carbon fibres can be used to store energy directly, which could be of major benefit to electric vehicles.


As any one car can only carry a specific amount of batteries, the carbon fibre idea means that manufacturers could theoretically turn the entire body of a car into its battery. Making the whole outside of the vehicle the power source will greatly expand the storage implying that travel distances can be hugely increased before re-charging.


How we might feel about moving around surrounded by enough electricity to power a small town could be a problem but it’s all the buzz apparently.


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