US vehicle supplier Meritor has expanded its range of electric drive solutions under the Blue Horizon label to include 12Xe electric drives for medium-heavy trucks and 17Xe for heavy trucks. The supplier has already found a prominent first customer.
The 12Xe drive is to be suitable for trucks in weight classes 4 to 7, i.e. a permissible total weight of seven to 16.5 tons. The 17Xe was developed for heavy 4×2 and 6×2 trucks.
The modular design of the 12Xe driveline uses many common parts with Meritor’s 14Xe driveline, which is currently being tested in fleets. Vehicle manufacturers can choose from a range of axles, brakes, transmissions and differentials to adapt the powertrain to the specific application of the vehicle. The electric motor itself can also be ordered with 150, 180 or 200 kW continuous power, the peak power is 250 kW. According to the announcement, testing of the 12Xe driveline is scheduled to begin next year, with Meritor aiming to start production in 2021.
The 17Xe drive is expected to reach 420 kW continuous power and 450 kW peak power. It should also be possible to use it in Europe. Meritor mentions 44-ton heavy-duty long-distance trucks, medium-duty 27-ton refuse collection vehicles, 19.5 and 26.5-ton intercity buses and 26.5-ton coaches in its communication. In North America, they can be used in 40-foot and 60-foot city buses.
Meritor has already found a customer for the 12Xe drive, who is also buying appreciable quantities: Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus. VW’s Brazilian commercial vehicle subsidiary will supply 1,600 electric trucks to the Ambev brewery from 2020. Initially, the vehicles will be fitted with the standard 12X axle and retrofitted electric motor. As soon as the newly developed 12Xe drive becomes available in 2021, it will be used on the 12X axle.
VWCO and several partners – Meritor, Bosch, CATL, Moura, Semcon, Siemens and Eletra – founded the so-called e-Consortium for this major order. “With our participation in the e-Consortium, we are expanding our long-term strategic relationship with VWCO in Brazil,” said Chris Villavarayan, Senior Vice President and President of Global Truck at Meritor. “As the demand for electrical solutions continues to grow, the e-Consortium plans to develop advanced technologies for commercial vehicles today and in the future.
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