Kreisel Electric in Austria is one of the more innovative companies in the electric car world. Its batteries have won awards for being lighter than those available from other companies. Kreisel also dared to convert Steve McQueen’s historic Porsche 910 — one of only 35 ever made — to an electric powertrain last year.
Now the company, in cooperation with Sala Drive, has developed an automated two speed transmission specifically designed for use in electric powertrains. The new transmission is production ready and can handle inputs of up to 800 horsepower and 660 ft-lb of torque. Such high load capability makes it ideal for use in small to medium size delivery trucks or larger trucks and buses up to 15 tons. The transmission is capable of working with dual motor axles as well as single motor arrangements.
“We set ourselves the demanding task of building an ultra-light, electric supercar based on a historic sports car as the ideal application for our transmission. The challenge here is that there is nothing even remotely like a standard component available here, no matter where you look. So we developed the essential components ourselves on the basis of our own requirements profile,” Kreisel CEO Markus Kreisel tells Green Car Congress.
The transmission is able to shift between gears in as little as 0.25 seconds, thanks to a system of internal sensors that continuously monitor its operation. A limited slip differential is also integral with the transmission to ensure uninterrupted torque application even on slippery roads. A internal oil reservoir and electric oil pump provide proper lubrication under all operating conditions without input from the driver. The transmission also features a modular interface that supports a wide range of motor and transmission applications.
One of the features of electric vehicles so far has been their lack of complexity compared to vehicles with internal combustion engines and conventional transmissions. Adding a transmission to an electric vehicle may seem like a step backwards from that ideal. But having such a transmission available could lead to commercial vehicles with smaller, lighter, and less costly battery packs, which would help make electric powertrains suitable for a wider range of vehicles.
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