Magna has taken a novel approach to the electrification of cars and trucks. And it is fairly simple, making it easier for manufacturers to survive the electric zeitgeist. It’s called the “eBeam” and it essentially replaces the conventional rear axle with one incorporating an electric motor or two in the middle. And it is powerful enough to be used in EV towing and hauling applications.
The Magna eBeam puts out 161 hp to 335 hp with 150kWh to 250 kWh based on one of three variations. One is a single motor with either single or dual speeds. The second is a twin motor version with torque vectoring. And lastly, an all-wheel-drive application adding a front axle combined with management software.
The eBeam is not being advertised as a DIY electric conversion
While it is not being advertised as a DIY electric conversion, that won’t stop some from trying. It is manufactured for large automakers to give them an easy hybrid or all-electric option. This way they don’t have to develop an entirely new EV van or truck. No packaging or integration of electric motors is involved. Only battery placement would need to be solved from a packaging standpoint. So for fleet conversions, this could be ideal.
But it doesn’t make it a plug-and-play solution for electric DIY-ers. It does offer an interesting alternative should an amateur EV transitioner want to incorporate one in his project. That is, providing he or she can put their own system together with this as the drive element. And Magna says it will offer different forms of the eBeam besides being scalable. So physical size, as well as widths, will be offered.
“It’s the first significant improvement to solid beam axles in 100 years”
“It is a bold endeavor to electrify pickup trucks, whose owners demand the towing and hauling capabilities they are currently used to,” says Magna head Tom Rucker. “And we’ve accomplished it with our eBeam technology. We know axles are core elements of a truck’s strength, and we are excited to have developed the first significant improvement to the solid beam axle in over 100 years.”
For four-wheel-drive trucks, it provides an easy EV solution that maintains the all-wheel-drive feature. And having a truck for many means four-wheel-drive. And it is stout enough to handle the rigors of off-road conditions.
Magna isn’t saying which automaker, if any, is using the eBeam
Magna isn’t saying which automaker, if any, is using the eBeam. Nor do any manufacturers indicate incorporating it into ongoing EV development. So at this point, it seems like a great solution to packaging EV systems into existing architectures. And that’s about all we know.
But we can’t help but think that several manufacturers must be at least testing it as part of their EV development. And we keep thinking that made as a package for the DIY gearheads out there should be part of Magna’s product plans.