Motorsport manufacturer makes gearboxes for electric vehicles

Xtrac, traditionally a company that focuses on motorsport applications, has produced a gearbox for use in electric vehicles.

At one time, the trend was to have electric motors directly connected to wheel hubs. However, it has recently been discovered that the efficient and lightweight motors, commonly favoured by electric vehicle manufacturers, need to rotate quickly relative to the wheel, making a gearbox necessary. Xtrac development director, Cliff Hawkins said: "Lessons learnt about efficient design and manufacture have given Xtrac's gearboxes a definite advantage. The space available to house batteries and other essential driveline components is at a real premium in electric and hybrid vehicles; essentially requiring the same set of skills as packaging an engine and transmission into a racecar." Hawkins said that Xtrac plans to produce 100 prototype transmissions for hybrid and electric vehicles by the end of this year. He explained: "These are mostly destined for technology evaluation, ultimately for high volume road cars and with all manner of innovative power train configurations."