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Texelis and QinetiQ have agreed a strategic partnership to jointly deliver in-wheel electric hub drive technology to the armoured vehicle market, the companies announced on 18 May. Texelis will manufacture at scale to meet market demand, while QinetiQ will bring the core electrification technology.

Hub Drive technology combines electric propulsion with mechanical and regenerative braking in a compact package. Efficiency and size have been weaknesses in previous attempts at electric propulsion for wheeled military vehicles, in which the direct drive of motors to wheels has been used. The partnership will deliver a Hub Drive transmission, in which small electrical motors provide high-speed propulsion, with significant acceleration and agility benefits, as well as meeting the high torque demands for the range-changing gearbox to handle climbing and obstacle crossing. The agreement will see Texelis apply its deep experience in vehicle mobility to the design of the suspension system. Coupled with QinetiQ’s 25-year heritage in design and development of power-dense electrification technology, the partnership will deliver market-leading solutions.

As well as the Hub Drive technology the partnership will bring to market the Wheel Station Controller (WSC) and Power and Services (PAS), through a ‘design for manufacture’ process. Texelis will be responsible for initialising assembly lines to produce the electric drive hub and WSC.

This is a very important area of development, both for Texelis and the military vehicle market worldwide. The Electric Hub Drive enables enhanced power, system efficiency and the ability to operate silently using the battery as a source of power. This allows us to rethink the vehicle power architecture completely and discard conventional axle and driveshaft design constraints. This offers vehicle OEMs much greater freedom to design the best, most flexible vehicles for tomorrow’s battlefield,” commented Texelis Managing Director for Defence, Jean Vandel.

QinetiQ’s Electric Drive capability has been in research and development for many years. We’ve leveraged our insight into global platform mobility solutions and electrification, and designed a solution to be used in the most advanced of military scenarios. Through our strategic partnership with Texelis, we will be enhancing and scaling this capability to deliver solutions for our customers at pace,” added Mike Stewart, Chief Technology Officer at QinetiQ.

The ability to operate silently at need is one advantage of the Electric Hub Drive that will prove attractive to a wide range of military users. (Photo: Texelis)

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