Eaton Introduces Three New Products for Electric Commercial Vehicles

The eMobility business of Southfield-based power management company Eaton has introduced three new products for electric vehicles, two specifically for commercial vehicles.

The Brakator offers advanced circuit protection for all EVs. The company also introduced a four-speed transmission and a Flex Power Distribution Unit (PDU) for commercial EVs.

Combining the function of fuses, pyro switches, and contactors into a single coordinated device, the Brakator offers fast, safe, and reliable protection for high-power battery and inverter systems, according to Eaton.

“In the event of a collision, Eaton’s Brakator can work in tandem with a vehicle’s safety systems,” says Jeff Lowinger, president of eMobility at Eaton. “This allows Breaktor to quickly disconnect the high-voltage battery from the rest of the vehicle for unparalleled protection and safety in the event of any unsafe condition.” 

Eaton says its all-new four-speed transmission for heavy-duty electric commercial vehicles meets growing demand in a number of segments, including pickup and delivery, and port drayage in North America, China, and Europe.

The heavy-duty transmission solves the primary issue related to single-speed drives: contradictory requirements for high efficiency at top speeds and increased torque at launch and low speeds. Fine-pitch helical gears ensure a smooth, low-noise operation, while the Eaton Transmission Control Unit’s shifting strategy is designed for fast gear changes and maximum efficiency, which extend range and battery life.

“Electric buses and trucks need to be able to go up hills and run at highway speeds when they are fully loaded,” explains Scott Adams, senior vice president of eMobility at Eaton. “Our solution is to expand the range of the motor by adding an EV transmission. With this addition, the vehicle can perform well on hills and efficiently at highway speeds with a smaller, less costly motor.”

Eaton is working with heavy-duty vehicle engine manufacturer Cummins, headquartered in Indiana, to produce a new Flex PDU for electric commercial vehicles. It is designed to keep the vehicle and its occupants safe while protecting power electronics from short circuits, crash events, and other electrical system faults.

“As power demands in electric vehicles continue to increase, the capabilities of PDUs, which connect the main battery power to the rest of the vehicle, must also increase,” says Adams. “Our intelligent Flex PDU leverages our industry experience and electrical expertise to ensure complete power protection with enhanced vehicle performance and efficiency.”

According to Eaton, its new Flex PDU not only protects vital components and occupants, but it also is an intelligent unit that provides diagnostic information to the original equipment manufacturer via the controller area network, including where the most power is being consumed to maximize performance and efficiency.

Written by Tim Keenan for dBusiness.