GKN Automotive has unveiled eCrate, a new plug-and-play eDrive concept designed to meet the growing demand among niche electric vehicle players and EV conversion companies for modular eDrive unit.

The new eCrate concept utilises GKN Automotive’s 20 years of eDrive experience to create a cost-effective modular electric drive system with optimal efficiency and performance and market-proven technology in an off-the-shelf format.

With a choice of three systems, the first of which could be available as early as 2025, prospective customers can select the best solution for their required application from a 113 kW 2-in-1 combination system (motor and transmission) or a fully integrated 3-in-1 system comprising an electric machine, transmission and inverter, in a choice of 113 kW or 185kW output.

Targeted toward the growing number of niche and low volume electric vehicle players, as well as the retro-conversion market, the concept aims to test market appetite for a new approach to eDrive sales.

Suitable for various purposes, including small to large cars and light commercial vehicles in series production, the concept has the potential to help accelerate the transition to full electrification by empowering start-ups and established low volume players.

Dirk Kesselgruber, Chief Technology Officer at GKN Automotive, comments: «We have spent the last 20 years producing leading eDrive technologies for global vehicle manufacturers, enabling them to drive the electric revolution. Based closely on our existing technology, our new eCrate concept will bring this technology to even more customers looking for high-quality and cost-effective electric drive units in a plug-and-play format. By introducing new innovative and sustainable solutions, we are helping to drive a cleaner, more sustainable world».

It is a combined motor and transmission system: this powerful system boasts an impressive 113 kW output.

Next, 2-in-1 System: GKN is taking it up a notch with this system, offering both 113 kW and 185 kW output options, followed by 3-in-1 System: hold on tight because this system packs a punch with not one, not two, but three output options: 113 kW or 185 kW.

With over 20 years of experience in producing electric motor technology for global vehicle manufacturers, they’ve got the expertise to back it up and to ensure their systems, GKN has put them to the test in vehicles based on the Tesla Model 3 and Fiat Ducato.