UK based Swindon Powertrain have developed a compact, high power density EV system that is highly compact and is ready to integrate electric powertrains for light commercial, sports, classic and recreational vehicles. The new compact 80kW ‘crate’ EV powertrain simplifies switch to electrification for niche vehicle manufacturers who are currently frustrated by the lack of compact, high power EV systems available to buy in low volumes.
“To date, niche manufacturers have not had access to compact, high-power EV powertrains they could source in low to mid volume, leading to a vacuum of supply,” says Swindon Powertrain’s managing director Raphaël Caillé. “When you factor in development costs, specialist OEMs haven’t been able to electrify their vehicles as quickly as they would like. Our ready-to-install ‘crate’ powertrain will accelerate EV adoption in sectors poorly served by the larger tier one manufacturers and integrators.”
Funded by the Niche Vehicle Network and working in partnership with electric motor manufacturer iNetic and automotive specialist Code, Swindon Powertrain’s HPD project will create a turn-key ‘crate’ transverse system with the highest power/volume ratio on the market. So compact is the 70kg HPD EV powertrain -600mm wide by 440mm deep by as little as 280mm tall, that the motor, inverter, single-speed transmission and cooling system assembly fits under the bonnet of a classic Mini, in a quad bike or under the loading platform of a light commercial vehicle.
The HPD project will develop tooling, including castings, and identify manufacturing techniques to have the unit in production by June 2020. Core R&D and validation will be covered by the programme, easing development costs further for integrators. This project follows Swindon Powertrain’s programme earlier this year to electrify an original Mini, integrating an all-new and robust EV system into its tight confines.
Multiple mounting points and flexibility for inverter and cooling pack locations will enable it to fit a range of vehicles from sports car through to commercial vehicles while waterproofing options makes it suitable off-road leisure and recreation vehicles.
Other sectors set to benefit include OEMs that could use it as an e-axle for hybrid passenger car applications as well as the growing number of retrofit classic cars being converted to EVs. “Some of these classic EVs currently use second-hand parts of unknown provenance,” adds Caillé. “The HPD project draws on our engineering expertise from over 48 years in motorsport to offer a reliable, compact and durable solution for this sector too.”