Danfoss Editron has partnered with drivetrain specialist Meritor and battery integrator Electra Commercial Vehicles to form the Meritor-led Electric Powertrain Integration for Heavy Commercial Vehicles (EPIC) consortium.
The group has secured £15.9m in funding from Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC) and Innovate UK to develop a next-generation, zero-emission electric powertrain that will provide commercial vehicle OEMs with a decarbonised solution.
The move was made following the slower progress of the electrification of heavy-duty vehicles behind light and medium-duty vehicles, partly due to existing electric and hybrid powertrains being costly, heavy and restricting battery packaging.
Through the EPIC partnership, the three members will design and develop an electric powertrain system consisting of a high-power electric motor and high-efficiency silicon carbide inverter delivered by Danfoss Editron and a three-speed transmission, geared differential and lightweight brakes provided by Meritor.
Commenting on the project, Danfoss Editron’s global sales director for on-highway Adrian Schaffer, said: “The EPIC project will deliver an innovative and revolutionary approach to electrification by commercialising a new, fully-integrated solution for the on-highway market. The electric powertrain system will be a fantastic new option for customers interested in integrated solutions, plus complement our existing robust offering and leadership in electric systems.
“There is currently a tremendous change happening across heavy-duty markets, with more companies demanding electrification solutions than ever before. This technology will play a vital role in meeting this growing demand.”
Jeff Herrin, vice president of research and development at Danfoss Power Solutions, said: “We’re thrilled to be part of this powerhouse team that is joining forces to develop a next-generation, zero-emission electric powertrain. EPIC will provide a game-changing solution to commercial vehicle OEMs, enabling them to meet global CO2 reduction targets by increasing efficiency, reducing weight, lowering cost and unlocking longer range than existing solutions on today’s market. The EPIC project will unlock the electrification potential of 310,000 heavy commercial vehicles in the UK, which are worth nearly £2.5 billion to the country’s supply chain annually and projected to save over 33 million tonnes of CO2 between 2025-2034.”
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