As a highly efficient source of energy to propel electric vehicles, electric truck axles are designed to go beyond simply delivering torque and power. They also balance performance, durability and reliability to allow for maximum time on the road per charge.
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Here is a transcript of the video:
Manufacturers like Allison Transmission, Meritor and Dana continue to advance electric axles in all sorts of categories, making them simpler, more power dense, reducing packaging size and weight, reducing noise emissions and increasing system efficiency. Lately, improving design flexibility for battery placement and truck body positioning has also been an important area of development for these companies, prompting the market to design more efficient electric vehicles and more efficient.
The combination of improved packaging and reduced weight also helps OEMs who need to use large batteries without compromising cargo space or charging capacity. The new electric axles can use fully integrated electric motors, improving performance, efficiency and cooling, while reducing the impact on package flexibility.
Beyond E-axle capability, it is also important to be aware of maintenance requirements, primarily high voltage safety. We covered some high voltage safety tips last week – it all applies here too.
As a reminder, just like servicing conventional diesel vehicles, fleets should always follow the OEM recommended practices for electric vehicles. Major safety and maintenance topics for electrified vehicles should include the fundamentals of an electrified system and its components. This includes EV architecture, charging, pre-use inspections and maintenance schedules.
The majority of heavy-duty electric vehicles operate at 650V with peaks up to 800V, so some precautions need to be taken to maintain the vehicle safely. But much of the E axle will be familiar to techs, with the brakes, suspension and wheel ends still being common with the conventional axles we all know and love.
Of course, technicians will need to understand high voltage systems and safety protocols, but be aware that manufacturers are already well along in providing this training. The good news is that overall maintenance requirements are inherently lower for electric drive systems compared to diesel powertrains because there is a reduction in systems and parts as a whole.