At the CES show in Las Vegas in January, Magna, the world’s largest Tier One supplier to the automotive sector, announced a new electric drive motor for electric vehicles that is smaller, lighter and more efficient than any unit previously manufactured by the company. The new drive system weighs 75 kg (165 lbs). It is 20 percent smaller in height and is up to 93 percent efficient in real world driving conditions.
The new motor can be used to drive either the front or rear wheels of a vehicle and can be turned 90 degrees to improve system integration in the front and rear of the vehicle. This is a “further development that is unique in the industry,” Magna said. An optional decoupling unit is also available to disconnect the unit when it is not required.
Now, Magna says it has received an order to supply its eDS Duo rear wheel drive system for the high end vehicle platform of a North American OEM. The 800 volt system can deliver up to 726 kW (973 hp) of power and 8000 NM (5900 ft-lbs) of torque. While Magna has not identified the customer, its announcement did say it is “growing its electrification customer base.”
That suggests the customer in question has not yet ordered any EV components from Magna, That rules out Ford, which cooperates closely with Magna. General Motors is also an important customer; Magna manufactures the battery housings for the GMC Hummer EV, for example. So who else could it be?
Magna And Stellantis?
Hmmm, it seems the folks at Dodge have offered a number of hints that its electric cars will have oodles of tire smoking torque. 8000 NM would certainly light up the rear tires of an electric Charger or Challenger in fine style. In addition, the Ram REVolution electric pickup truck could also benefit from that much torque to boost its towing capacity. Perhaps the Magna eDS Duo is the new Hemi for the 21st century?
Whoever the customer is, it has ordered a variant of Magna’s 800V eDS Duo. As the name suggests, the unit integrates two electric motors, two inverters and two gearboxes in one package. So even though this is intended to power the rear axle of a vehicle, each wheel has its own motor. That eliminates the need for a differential and opens a number of possibilities for torque vectoring — sending only the amount of power needed to each rear wheel to avoid tire slippage.
Magna says it is responsible for the design of the transmission and housing, the cooling system and the integration of the electric motors and inverters “to ensure reliability, efficiency, and continuous power levels.” The drives will be built at the Magna plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, staring in 2025.
“We are dedicated to assisting our customers in their transition to electrification by providing them with industry-leading electrified platforms for a sustainable, emission-free future,” says Diba Ilunga, President Magna Powertrain. “This award reflects our expertise in electric powertrain system engineering and integration, as well as our collaborative approach with a highly valued customer to deliver cutting-edge solutions.”
When Magna presented the next generation of its 800-volt eDrive system at CES in early January, the Duo with two complete drive units in one housing was not mentioned. Apparently the order has been finalized since then. Electric motors are champions at delivering gobs of torque in small packages, and so the EV revolution will soon roll forward another notch.
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