ATLANTA — Dana Inc. announced the start of production for its electrified axle for Classes 4-5 commercial vehicles, enhancements to its SPL Series driveshafts and broadened its maintenance and inspection videos.

Dana reported its Spicer Electrified eS9000r e-Axle will be available for ordering by vehicle manufacturers in the third quarter. It is engineered as a fully integrated e-Axle, including a gearbox and motor. The eS9000r is incorporated into most existing chassis, reducing driveline complexity while allowing batteries to be located between the frame rails to simplify truck body positioning. The eS9000r axle also incorporates Dana’s patent-pending electronically controlled parking pawl system (that locks the transmission).

It also has a maximum power of 237 kilowatts (or 317 horsepower) at 650 VDC (volts direct current) for grade startability of 20%, a water glycol-cooled Dana TM4 Sumo LD motor and TM4 CO150 inverter and a system weight with disc brakes of 815 pounds.

Dana anticipates Classes 4-5 trucks will be the first to deploy electrification in a widespread manner in North America.

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“Over the past couple of years, we have made major investments in motors, inverters, e-axles, software capabilities in the range of $300 million to make sure we are setup for the short term and long term as far as how our industry in changing,” said Tim Farney, Dana’s vice president of global vehicles. “We want to position ourselves as a leader in this e-propulsion area, so we are going all in on it.”

Earlier, Dana launched an e-axle in a Class 3 vehicle in China.

Dana made its announcement Feb. 23 during American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting.

Enhancements to its Spicer SPL Series driveshafts will be available immediately for the Spicer medium-duty SPL series, while updates to the heavy-duty SPL series will be available in late spring. All new driveshafts and related componentry will be completely interchangeable with current SPL product on the market.

The medium-duty series enhancements include a maximum torque rating increase of up to 15% for the SPL170 model and an up to 7% increase for the SPL140 model.

For heavy-duty, series enhancements involve an improved, patented seal design, providing extended durability.

“We are building on our legacy of driveshaft business from 116 years of being experts in this space. We are actually able to improve the ratings of the driveshaft, starting immediately, said Steve Slesinski, Dana’s director of product planning. “These aren’t complete redos. These are improvements to existing product lines.

“Through the use of special materials, special processes, our engineers are working closely with the original equipment manufacturers’ engineers to make sure the right driveshaft is really spec’ed properly in the vehicle. These are 100% interchangeable with the existing components.”

Dana

Steve Slesinski, Dana’s director of product planning, via John Sommers II for Transport Topics.

Meanwhile, its Driveline Forensics technician training series was expanded to include maintenance and inspection videos covering front nondrive steer axles and rear-drive axle carriers. Dana will continue to expand the Driveline Forensics series throughout the year.

The series is hosted by technician and multimedia personality Cristy Lee.

New courses coming in March include: steer axle lubrication, drive axle inspection, drive axle carrier assembly removal and drive axle carrier assembly prep and replacement.

In related news, Hyliion Inc. announced it will provide three vehicles to Penske Truck Leasing, all of which will incorporate its 6X4HE Class 8 hybrid system. The vehicles will be displayed at Dana’s booth during TMC.

In March 2019, Dana said it became the largest investor in Class 8 electrification company Hyliion, expanding its ability to offer complete diesel-electric hybrid systems — which both companies view as disruptive to longhaul trucking and traditional powertrains.

As part of the strategic partnership, Dana becomes Hyliion’s source for traditional driveline components, as well as fully integrated e-Axles, which include motors, inverters, controls, gearboxes and thermal-management technologies.

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