A Son of the Purple Sage
Magna's eBeam takes the place of a conventional live axle.
What’s so cool about this strategy is that the EV trucks built with this system might a tu look something like the trucks we are used to driving, instead of silly looking spaceships like the
“Mar 11, 2021
Automakers are exploring many solutions for electrifying the sort of trucks that Americans can't get enough of. In terms of conventional manufacturers, Ford is arguably out in front. Credit the already available Ford F-150 PowerBoost gasoline-electric hybrid pickup, as well as the upcoming F-150 electric. Heck, even Ram's eTorque "mild hybrid" system is a fuel-saving step in the right direction. Upstarts like Bollinger, Lordstown, Rivian, and now Canoo want a piece of the pie, too, but aren't reliant on "legacy" truck platforms. But for more traditional pickups, like the sort already running around your town as work or lifestyle vehicles, Magna has an interim solution called eBeam.
We're talking about an application for trucks with a traditional ladder-frame chassis and live rear axle. The eBeam drops right in, in theory, utilizing all the original mounts, suspension, and so forth. But there wouldn't be an input for the driveshaft, as the eBeam is an integrated e-motor axle that comes in 120- and 250-kW power ranges. Magna says one- and two-motor versions are in development, with the two-motor version offering torque vectoring across the axle. The single-motor version presumably incorporates a differential, taking the place of a conventional truck's "pumpkin."
What's the advantage of this over, say, developing a dedicated skateboard chassis with independent rear suspension, as newer competitors are doing? The answer is traditional truck capabilities: the ride height, payload, towing, and so forth that traditional trucks provide. And the way that the aftermarket (both for personal vehicles, and say, for up-fitting commercial and recreational vehicles) interfaces with traditional truck suspension and chassis systems. Also, it should be said, it doesn't require the engineering or manufacturing of a dedicated chassis.”