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GKN supplying eAxle to plug-in hybrid Volvo S90

GKN Driveline, which works as a development partner on all-wheel drive and plug-in hybrid systems for Volvo Cars, is producing an eAxle system for the new Volvo S90 plug-in hybrid. (Earlier post.) The eAxle system fits in the same space as a standard rear drive module, enabling Volvo Cars to offer customers a plug-in hybrid as a simple, high-performance upgrade.

GKN’s eAxle takes power from a 65 kW, 240 N·m electric machine with a nominal maximum input speed of 13,000 rpm and, via a two-stage single speed gearbox with a ratio of 10:1, delivers a nominal output torque of 2400 N·m.


The system supports both pure electric driving and full all-wheel drive capability in which the rear wheels are driven by electric power and the front by the T6 2.0L gasoline combustion engine.

In AWD and power mode the engine operates continuously and a 34 kW engine-mounted ISG ensures the charge level in the battery pack to supply the eAxle with requested power.

The technology first launched on the new Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid SUV. (Earlier post.) The co-axial design means that the eAxle is no bigger than the S90’s standard rear drive module.

The system has a high internal efficiency of around 97.5% and uses a differential with electronic disconnect to decouple the electric motor at times to minimize losses.

The Volvo S90 plug-in hybrid can travel up to 28 miles in pure electric mode.



Good interim all weather AWD technology, at least until affordable extended range AWD BEVs and/or FCEVs become available


If this can be used on any car to make it plug in with atleast 50 kms e drive range it will be adopted all over the world very fast.


The commoditization of high-performance electric motors and power electronics is nearly complete. There is very little holding back 48v electrification at this point and significant PHEV penetration could follow within a few years. The cost burden of additional regulatory items (mandatory back-up cameras, emergency autobraking, etc.) will slow electrification simply because consumers can only endure so many additional costs.

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