Suzuki invests in Inmotive to accelerate joint development of two-speed EV transmission
Japanese automaker makes investment in Inmotive Inc, the Canada-based inventor of the Ingear, an ultra-efficient multi-speed powertrain technology for a wide range of applications, through its corporate venture capital fund.
Suzuki Motor Corporation has invested in Canada-based Inmotive Inc through Suzuki’s corporate venture capital fund, Suzuki Global Ventures. In December 2022, Suzuki and Inmotive tied up for joint development of a two-speed EV transmission, and have since been working together for its development for use in a future Suzuki electric vehicle.
The two companies believe that the joint development has the possibility of extending electric vehicle range through efficient use of motor torque while also lowering costs due to using a smaller electric powertrain unit and improving driving performance in various driving scenes. Suzuki Motor Corp aims to accelerate the development with its investment in Inmotive.
Toshihiro Suzuki, President, SMC, said: “This investment further enhances our close working relationship with Inmotive, and we will take great strides toward a successful deployment of the 2-speed transmission on Suzuki vehicles. Through SGV, we will continue to make investments that address key issues globally.”
On July 13, Inmotive Inc announced that it had received confirmation from a major global OEM that its Ingear is the world’s most efficient two-speed transmission for EVs. Validation was conducted via an efficiency test bench at the OEM’s facilities using a full transmission assembly with torque cells mounted at the input (motor) and output (CV shaft), which showed that the Ingear achieves over 99% peak efficiency. As per the company, simulations show a two-speed Ingear increases EV range by seven to 13% compared to the range of a single-speed unit.
WHAT IS INGEAR?
Inmotive Inc has invented Ingear, an ultra-efficient multi-speed powertrain technology for a wide range of applications. The Ingear extends EV range at very low additional cost and weight, while providing continuous torque during smooth shifts. The company says Ingear’s “highly reliable design also increases torque, acceleration, gradeability and top speed.”
The adoption rate of EVs has been hampered by range anxiety, performance issues and high cost. Inmotive states that it addresses these problems with its two-speed Ingear transmission, which provides double-digit performance improvements while allowing for cost reduction by downsizing batteries and other components. Inmotive believes Ingear will accelerate the adoption of EVs globally because it reduces both capital and operating costs of EV ownership.
HOW INGEAR WORKS
Most EV motors are single-speed. Typically, there are two helical reduction gears between the motor and the wheels. The motor turns about nine times for each revolution of the wheels.
Ingear replaces the second reduction gear with a continuous chain drive and an innovative morphing sprocket that resizes during a shift. The entire shift happens during a single revolution of the wheels.
To shift, an actuator directs outer gear segments in or out of the chain path, while the motor speed is carefully adjusted so that shifts are barely perceptible and can be completed in as little as 19 milliseconds.
Combined with a chain and chain-tensioner, Ingear provides for 2:1 or similar gearing ratios. The extremely efficient chain is always kept in line with the morphing sprocket.
Low-gear is used to move the car from a standing start to half of highway speed. High-gear is used for higher-speed driving. By enabling the electric motor to operate more efficiently, more of the battery’s power is used to move the car, and less is wasted as motor and transmission heat. Less waste means more range from each charge.
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Ingear images: courtesy Inmotive
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