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Eaton’s Vehicle Group Launches Electric Vehicle E-Drive Gearing Design, Development and Manufacturing

February 19, 2021

Power management company Eaton today announced its Vehicle Group is developing gearing solutions for electrified vehicles (EVs). Leveraging its expertise in producing transmissions and contract manufactured gear-sets for passenger and commercial vehicles, the Vehicle Group aims to be a leader in the global design, development and supply of EV reduction gearing. The new technology complements Eaton’s eMobility power electronics portfolio in the electrified vehicle powertrain market.

Eaton meets electrified vehicle challenges

Automakers face many challenges when developing an electrified vehicle, such as optimizing efficiency, weight, noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), and dealing with packaging constraints. Eaton can help manufacturers meet these challenges by applying its many years of experience and ​in-house capability in design, validation and manufacturing of high-precision, high-quality gearing systems for transmissions and powertrains.

“We are partnering with OEM customers to leverage our expertise in simulation, design and manufacturing​ to optimize the efficiency, NVH and weight of high-precision gearing systems ​tailored to specific customer needs,” said Anthony Cronin, director, EV gearing, Eaton’s Vehicle Group.

Whether a large-scale industrialization project or a niche-market application, Eaton can partner with customers on joint-development programs or serve as a single service provider of EV reduction gearing components or systems. Eaton’s expertise in both design and manufacturing allows us to optimize solutions from a technical, commercial and production aspect, reducing the risk of multi-iteration design and enabling shortened development times.

Eaton transmission experience drives efficiency

Eaton conducts a total system analysis, using state-of-the-art tools and in-house expertise, to design EV gearing solutions that are optimized for efficiency and reliability, with low noise and manufacturing costs. A full-system approach is essential when tailoring a design to a specific customer need, as several factors influence the ​development of gearing solutions. Chief among those factors are the gears, bearings and lubrication system. To achieve optimization in these three areas, Eaton applies a series of in-house design and manufacturing techniques, including:

  • Gear root geometry optimization for maximum strength. ​
  • Micro and macro gear geometry modelling to improve NVH, efficiency and reliability.
  • Thrust load and bearing loss minimization​ to improve reliability and simplify or downsize bearings.
  • Simulation and selection of lubrication solutions for full-system reliability and efficiency.

Optimized transmission lowers development costs

Eaton engineers evaluate existing layouts or develop “clean-sheet” solutions that work within a customer’s packaging constraint. The Eaton team also provides solutions for scaling the EV gearing layout for platforms with multiple torque requirements.

By combining system design expertise and manufacturing know-how in high-quality precision gears, Eaton has identified opportunities to improve gearing system efficiency by up to 1 percent, reduce weight by up to 20 percent and size by up to 10 percent. These benefits can be applied to both light-duty and commercial electrified vehicles.

Additionally, by applying its manufacturing expertise, including power honing, power skiving, grinding and superfinishing, Eaton can manage the relative production cost of high-quality precision gears. With electrified vehicles, even small efficiency improvements provide vehicle manufacturers new opportunities to manage vehicle range or improve cost and weight.

“The development of EVs is pushing the boundaries of EV gearing. Reliable, efficient and quiet gearing systems are critical to high-speed motor adoption in electric drives​,” said Cronin.

Learn more about Eaton’s Vehicle Group EV Gearing solutions.

Eaton’s mission is to improve the quality of life and the environment through the use of power management technologies and services. We provide sustainable solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical power – more safely, more efficiently, and more reliably. Eaton’s 2020 revenues were $17.9 billion, and we sell products to customers in more than 175 countries. We have approximately 92,000 employees. For more information, visit www.eaton.com.

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