Magna International Inc already supplies major vehicle makers – including Mercedes-Benz – with powertrain components and has developed electrification capabilities to help automakers achieve a zero-emission future. The latest initiative is Magna’s new EtelligentForce technology.
Magna International kicked off 2022 by showing its EtelligentForce technology. This 4WD EV powertrain system is designed specifically for utes and light commercial vehicles and is said to maintain the payload and towing capacities of existing internal-combustion-engine (ICE) utes.
EtelligentForcevis an electrically-powered, drop-in replacement kit for the conventional front diff and beam live axle fitted to nearly every ute and many 4WD wagons. Naturally, there’s no need for a prop shaft.
The initial models are designed to integrate with a full battery electric or hybrid powertrain system and can be fitted to high-payload vehicles, such as RAM, Ford and GM 2500-series and 3500-series US-market pickups.
Designed specifically to transition pickup trucks and light commercial vehicles to hybrid or full battery electric powertrain systems, EtelligentForce integrates with existing truck architectures, without requiring unique suspension, chassis or brake systems.
This approach presents an economical solution that helps bring new electrified trucks to market more quickly, while also preserving towing and payload capabilities.
“It is a bold endeavour to electrify pickup trucks, whose owners demand the towing and hauling capabilities they are currently used to and we’ve accomplished it with our EtelligentForce technology,” said Tom Rucker, President, Magna Powertrain.
Magna currently is the largest automotive parts supplier in North America and third-largest in the world. Magna has begun manufacturing for OEMs including Fisker, REE Automotive and Jaguar Land Rover.
The EtelligentForce powertrain system is being delivered to Rivian, for the R1T ute and Ford is using Magna’s battery enclosures for the F-150 Lightning Pickup.
The entire EtelligentForce system consists of Magna’s eDrive technology in the front of the truck, and its eBeam electrified axle in the rear. The result is an all-electric ute that’s still capable of towing around 6.5 tonnes, comparable with its ICE truck counterparts.
The powertrain system has total peak power of up to 430kW – 250kW from the rear eBeam and 180kW from the eDrive in the front.
The eBeam can be fitted into an existing vehicle, replacing a traditional rear axle in a ladder frame chassis quite easily, leaving the existing brakes, suspension and chassis as is.
Magna’s system lets automakers choose from three variants within family: single motor, single speed; single motor, two speeds or twin motor, single speed including torque vectoring.
North American mass production is planned for 2025.
The Magna release comes shortly after the Huber/AL-KO rear axle initiative for motorhomes.