BAE Systems and Eaton develop electric drives for trucks

Electric drive specialist BAE Systems has teamed up with energy management company Eaton to develop electric drive solutions for commercial vehicles. According to the partners, a US Class 7 demonstration vehicle is already in the works.

The collaboration will see London-based electric propulsion manufacturer BAE Systems combine its silicon carbide and gallium nitride electric motor and power electronics solutions with Eaton’s four-stage transmission to offer a complete electric drive system for medium-duty commercial vehicles. The US Class 7 includes vehicles of around 11.8 to 15 tonnes. Eaton is an Irish-American energy management specialist best known for acquiring the Swiss charging infrastructure provider Green Motion in 2021.

The two Anglo-Saxon companies have now signed a memorandum of understanding on the planned cooperation. The aim is to provide OEMs with a “durable, high performance, compact, efficient, and optimized system” while allowing them to work with multiple zero-emission platforms.

“Our complementary strengths and industry knowledge in providing clean transportation solutions will address a critical need for new, clean technology options for the global truck market,” says Steve Trichka, vice president and general manager of Power & Propulsion Solutions at BAE Systems. So far, the company’s propulsion systems have been primarily used in transit buses, boats, and military and industrial vehicles. They are developed and manufactured at the company’s plants in Endicott in New York State and Rochester in the UK.

“Eaton is delighted to collaborate with BAE Systems to provide more electrified powertrain solutions to our commercial vehicle customers. Our medium duty 4-speed EV transmissions are proven in the industry to offer class-leading performance through superior acceleration and gradeability, while delivering advanced efficiency for the EV system”, says Mark Kramer, business unit director, ePowertrain, Eatons Vehicle Group.


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