Automotive Industries

Automotive Industries

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Issue: Aug 2011

GKN Driveline Sees Strong Interest in Electric-Drive Vehicle Systems

by Steve Barclay

GKN Driveline has nearly 40 electric and hybrid-electric vehicle projects currently underway for major automakers around the world, signaling a major push within the industry to speed development of electric cars and light trucks.

"Interest is especially high among vehicle manufacturers hoping to convert an existing front-wheel-drive platform to an all-wheel-drive hybrid program," said Dr. Ray Kuczera, vice president of engineering for GKN Driveline Americas. "This type of conversion has the potential to increase fuel economy by up to 35 percent."

He noted that GKN Driveline has furnished more than 250,000 electric rear-drive axles to Nissan and Mazda in Japan over the past 10 years, giving the company considerable experience in this rapidly growing market segment.

"In parallel with hybrids, interest in electric cars and vehicles with extended range capability has been apparent at auto shows for several years,"...

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