April 18, 2007

Hybrid rear axle unveiled at SAE World Congress

Detroit, Michigan – IAV Automotive Engineering, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has unveiled a rear-axle differential with integrated motors that can enable a parallel hybrid powertrain without affecting the vehicle’s existing engine and transmission configuration, reports the Green Car Congress. The system is on display at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) World Congress in Detroit.

The prototype, based on the rear axle of a BMW X5, incorporates a 30kW motor on each wheel, with a rated torque of 258 lb-ft each. It can provide the basis of a parallel hybrid system with the addition of a battery pack and control unit, and the integrated motors can recuperate braking energy. The company says that the system could serve as the basis for an electric axle, or as retrofit for a 4WD system.

IAV says it is in discussions with manufacturers over a possible future for the axle, but currently has no commitment. The unit has been tested in simulation but has yet to be tested in a vehicle.

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