Canadian automotive supplier Inmotive has launched a new two-speed transmission. The new Ingear features a simple and durable design that’s designed to enable a more efficient powertrain, with extended range, at a lower cost.
Typically, an EV has two reduction gears between the electric motor and the wheels, with the motor turning about nine times for each revolution of the wheels. The Ingear replaces the second reduction gear with a continuous chain drive and a morphing sprocket. To shift, an actuator directs sprocket segments into place during a single revolution of the wheels, effectively increasing or decreasing the gear ratio. The Ingear’s patented geometry keeps the motor and wheels in sync, enabling continuous torque flow throughout the shifting process.
“This next-generation transmission offers an entirely new way of looking at multi-speed transmissions for EVs, and extends significant benefits to a wide range of other market segments as well,” said CEO Paul Bottero. “It is the first two-speed transmission of its kind to be effectively ready for global market adoption.”
Inmotive says that by integrating Ingear into high-volume integrated drive units, OEMs can save more than $1,500 per passenger vehicle, through smaller battery capacity and less expensive motors and inverters, while maintaining the same range and improving acceleration. The company says fleet owners will save about $2,000 in electricity costs over three years.
Designed to wrap around the differential, Ingear is slightly larger than a typical single-speed transmission. Because it shifts in less than a single revolution of the wheels, the motor is kept in constant contact with the wheels, and can continuously apply torque even during the shift. Gear ratios change gradually.
While initial development has focused on the passenger car market, Inmotive says the technology can be adapted for a wide range of vehicles, including commercial, off-highway and fuel cell applications.
Inmotive recently completed its pre-production testing of the Ingear, has integrated it into a demonstration vehicle, and is ready for full market implementation. Test units are available to qualified OEMs. The company currently has development contracts with two global OEMs and is in discussion with several others from around the world for implementation.