Production

Electric drives changes speed

GKN Automotive’s latest pure electric demonstrator vehicle shows how better hardware and more advanced software control can deliver enhanced dynamics

The eTwinster 2Speed Electric demonstrator, GTD19, is built on the chassis of a B-segment Jeep Renegade SUV. With the engine bay cleared and the company’s own eTwinster 2speed eDrive integrated in its place, the GTD19 demonstrates how effective torque vectoring on the front axle can be – and how much is possible with the right control expertise.

As electric drive systems progress progress from simple longitudinal acceleration to more lateral control, GKN Automotive’s software control expertise can help deliver the enhanced dynamics drivers want.

The addition of a torque vectoring module and an extra speed with seamless on-torque shifts not only extends the vehicle’s pure electric range, the eTwinster 2speed demonstrator also benefits from greater torque range and acceleration. The maximum speed is higher as well.

With GKN Automotive’s own battery management on board, the demonstrator shows another level to the company’s integration capabilities for electric vehicles. From organizing the cell and battery management to controlling the vehicle’s torque, every aspect of the electric vehicle’s driveline is GKN-controlled.

The interfaces for a battery electric vehicle are completely different to combustion motors. The battery does not always the same level of power available and that can affect the calibration. To predict the vehicle’s behaviour, GKN engineers factor in the thermal management of all the electrical parts into the vehicle dynamics.

Using its extensive AWD know-how, GKN has developed a battery torque-scaling module that translates electrical data into mechanical data. The electric drive controls can use all-wheel drive signals and software modules to give the vehicle consistent driveability.

The GTD 19 showcases the higher level controls that electric vehicles need. GKN’s all-wheel drive expertise and unique software tools mean the result is remarkable performance.