A Simple EV Range Extender
With electric cars, every little bit of range counts. While the vast majority of EVs are charged overnight at home, or during the day at work, potential electric car buyers still consider cost and range to be among the primary barriers to purchase. So new technologies that can help extend the range of EVs – and help their manufacturers advertise higher estimates – will help more and more drivers make the switch.
The latest innovation is a small, bolt-on solution from Canadian mega-supplier Magna, which promises to significantly increase driving range for any EV it’s fitted to. It’s called an electro-magnetic eDecoupling unit, and it promises to contribute to increased electric range – up to nine percent, according to Magna. Compact and light, it’s easy to fit to any electric vehicle in development, and Magna says that it will launch soon in multiple electric cars coming from a German premium manufacturer.
How does it work? The eDecoupling unit is basically an electronic clutch that disconnects the electric motor from the driveshaft, which is connected to the wheels, when electric propulsion is not necessary. The resultant decrease in mechanical friction and drag reduces energy consumption and helps to increase efficiency.
Simple software controls the eDecoupling unit, letting it smoothly engage and disengage when needed. Magna says that it can react to changing conditions in less than 100 milliseconds – meaning that when you step on the accelerator and request electric drive, the unit can engage and deliver torque instantaneously, without you feeling it. Seamlessly integrated with an EV’s powertrain controls, the eDecoupling unit is also quiet and smooth, retaining the seamless, silent driving experience that EV owners love.
Magna’s eDecoupling unit is so compact that it’s easy for automakers to integrate into new electric vehicles, no matter what the configuration. The company says it can be mounted both axially or radially, and it requires very little space, which maximizes one of the main advantages of EV drive systems. Magna also says that the device can also be used to improve the efficiency of hybrid vehicles, as well as for applications in everything from compact cars up to large commercial vehicles.
Coming Soon to an Electric Car Near You
Unfortunately, you won’t simply be able to buy a Magna eDecoupling unit and add it to your EV to boost range. Its software needs to be integrated to the vehicle’s various control systems to work properly. The good news is that Magna says you’ll soon be seeing vehicles equipped with this novel economy-enhancing device very soon. At least one high-end German manufacturer is including it in a number of future products, with many more sure to come.