Parts giant Bosch is looking to further consolidate its reach in the automotive world with a new bolt-in, one-size-fits-all electric motor.
Bosch is already known for its off-the-shelf stability control systems, anti-lock braking systems, ignition components and more, supplying manufacturers large and small.
But the new electric motor, described as a “start-up powertrain for electric vehicles”, could change the game for EVs as it replaces powerplants currently under development by various carmakers with a low-cost, mass-produced option.
The plug-in system is also designed to replace the 'conventional' engine in new cars, meaning smaller players could suddenly enter the EV market with an affordable and (hopefully, for Bosch) reliable electric motor.
While brands such as Tesla, BMW and Nissan have plenty of experience with electric cars, companies with little experience in the battery-powered world may jump at the chance to put electric cars in their showrooms.
Designed to row in electric cars or hybrid models ranging from city cars to SUVs and light trucks, the new Bosch e-axle will go into production from 2019.
The unit delivers between 50kW and 300kW. While we don’t know which cars will adopt the off-the-shelf system, it could be used as the sole power source for compact cars or as a hybrid power unit for high-performance machines such as the next-generation Nissan GT-R or Porsche 911 Turbo.
Bosch isn’t the only company looking to supply electric solutions to car companies – Delphi, ZF, Valeo and other industry bodies want to cash in on the looming wave of electric cars.
Dr Rolf Bulander, chair of Bosch’s mobility solutions department, says the e-axle combines an electric motor, transmissions and power control electronics into one package.
“The e-axle is the ‘start-up’ powertrain for electric cars – also at established automakers. It allows them to save valuable development time and to get their electric vehicles to market considerably faster,” Bulander said.
“Economically speaking, the e-axle may turn out to be a major coup for Bosch.”