QOTD: Which Model Could Use a Dose of Electricity?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd which model could use a dose of electricity

Yesterday’s post about Nissan’s struggle to adapt its novel e-Power system to larger, American-friendly vehicles reminded this writer of a product Bosch unveiled last year. Called the eAxle, the compact, lightweight unit is comprised of an electric motor, associated electronics, and transmission.

Basically, it would allow an automaker to easily and cheaply convert a vehicle to electric drive, or include it as part of a gas/electric hybrid offering. Outfitted with an eAxle in the rear, a car could actually become two wholly distinct vehicles — a conventional front-drive, gas-powered vehicle as well as a rear-drive battery electric vehicle. A 201 horsepower eAxle apparently weighs less than 200 pounds installed, and Bosch claims it can downsize and upsize the unit to deliver between 60 and 400 horses.

Intriguing. After reading about it last year, I entertained fantasies of switching off my car’s ICE while stuck in traffic and going gas-free rear-drive, then switching back while on the highway. Or maybe I could turn my lowly economy car into a gas/electric all-wheel-drive monster.

How would you put the eAxle to work?

With its so-called “start-up powertrain,” Bosch claims the all-in-one design kept wiring and cooling hardware to a minimum, thus further reducing size and cost. The supplier hopes automakers take note when the eAxle enters mass production next year. It could be just the thing for a car company looking for a quick and easy way to add electric propulsion to their stable.

Bosch’s technology soon drew interest from startup long-haul truck maker Nikola Motor Company, which hopes to put a fleet of hydrogen/electric semis on the road by 2021. The two companies entered into a partnership last fall to use eAxle technology as the basis of the vehicle’s powertrain. (Luckily, the unit is scalable to up to 4,425 lb-ft of torque.)

It remains to be seen whether Bosch’s creation generates much interest from conventional automakers. However, as this a hypothetical exercise, we’d like to know how you’d use it. What vehicle out there today (or maybe tomorrow) could use a high-torque electric motor powering its front or rear wheels? And which model(s) stand to benefit most from a dual-propulsion system, providing drivers with two distinct driving experiences while eliminating range anxiety?

It’s up to you. Sound off in the comments.

[Images: Bosch]

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  • SCE to AUX Base Price: $99,795 US / $115,133 CANAs Tested: $100,370 US / $115,133 CANBoth versions can't cost the same in CAN $.
  • SCE to AUX @Matt Posky: This may surprise you, but I agree with your criticisms is this story.This vehicle has the look and weight of the Telluride, but without the right chops. A vehicle like this is intended to be a great highway cruiser loaded up with all the stuff one takes on a trip - not a 0-60 racer.My former Sedona (RIP, sniff) had a great blend of space, power, and towing capacity. It was lovely for countless road trips, but it was a ponderous commuter.The EV9 won't make a great road trip car due to its short range, and it is too hulking to make sense as a commuter. They should have fitted a 150 - 200 kWh battery so it could at least go some distance, and that might justify the bulk.No way I'd go in for ~$60k for this vehicle.
  • Jeff S I like the looks of this car and in today's dollars it might not be that bad a buy but my issues with this Genesis would be Hyundai's reliability in recent years has been below average and getting a car like this serviced at a Hyundai dealership. I do like the rear reclining rear seats and the massage settings. Beautiful car but I would take the safer option of a preowned Lexus which gives you better reliability and lower maintenance costs than the South Koreans and the Germans. Genesis is definitely a luxury car with the extras that are standard but it is still a Hyundai. These will depreciate a lot as do the German cars which once they get old a Pandora's box of issues crop up and they become expensive to maintain. Good write up.
  • Tylanner Cinnabon is the holy grail but Starbucks or Dunkin will do. I will only resort gas-station coffee in extraordinary circumstances.
  • Akear My Fusion is nearing the 200,000 miles mark. However, I do not want to replace it with an unreliable Escape, which could blow its engine by 60,000 miles. Ford has gone down hill since Fields was forced out. Both Hackett and Farley have made Ford the nation's recall king. What happened..................