- Europe and China cumulatively accounted for 84% of the global e axle market volume in 2020 and the share will grow to 86% in 2025. PHEV passenger cars will remain the dominant application, followed by electric buses
- On global scale, ~64% of traction motors produced are in-sourced and in future, when EV volumes further increase, we expect the share to go even higher. But, the e-axle sourcing pattern will be completely opposite
- Vehicles with high sticker price, typically in mid-size and premium segment can absorb the cost of e-axle and still return a profit
- China, despite accounting for 44% of EV sales in 2020, only ~6% vehicles were fitted with E-axle, compared to 1% in 2018 but by 2021-22, this will change and GAC, Byton, Geometry,Volvo and Polestar will lead the charge by fitting multiple models with E-axle
- “Our next range of premium BEVs with >400km range will have e-axles instead of traction motors. We are looking at many options right now and it will take another 12-18 months to finalize the right e-axle, suitable for 3 nameplates” –Lead -HEV/EV PT Traction Motor, a leading Chinese OEM, China
- More than 12 tier 1 suppliers have developed E axles for passenger vehicles but GKN is still the market leader with >70% market share in 2020 due to tie ups with major OEMs
- BorgWarner will supply E-axles for both RWD and AWD for Ford’s Mach E. Vitesco will be supply E axles for Hyundai and Group PSA at Europe and China
- MAN and Volkswagen in South America have chosen Meritor for their e axle needs
An e-axle combines electric motor, power inverter, transmission and differential in a single package. It allows neat packaging and simplified integration in even older vehicle platforms. GKN produced world`s first mass production two speed e-axle in 2014, for BMW i8. The development came at a time when most of the EV transmission in use was single speed.
E-AXLE MARKET DYNAMICS
The initial adoption of E-axles, started as a result of growth in all wheel drive (AWD), where some premium vehicle manufacturers replaced mechanical AWD with e-AWD. The move was aimed at providing AWD with torque vectoring and reduced CO2 emission. Going forward, we believe this global trend of vehicle electrification will be a major growth driver for E-axle market.
The supply chain of EV manufacturing is completely different than gas powered cars. Also, the supply chain of EVs is still evolving whereas that of gas powered cars is matured and well established. This marked difference in production of EVs has led many OEMs create a separate brand for their “green vehicle” segment.
Owing to complexity in EV manufacturing, OEMs are designing modular and scalable electric vehicle architecture. The advantage being, they could source just one e-axle from a supplier rather than sourcing individual power-train components from multiple suppliers. The market trend is clearly towards more compact, power dense and efficient E-axles.
E-AXLE MARKET SEGMENTATION
E-AXLE MARKET SIZE AND FORECAST
COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SEGMENT
In the commercial vehicle segment, Nikola will generate bulk of the demand for CV e-axle in US as it had 14,000+ pre-orders for its long haul, fuel cell electric truck as of Q3 2020.GM and a few fleet operators were also interested in developing a light pickup truck with Nikola but during Sep-Dec 2020 many deals fell apart. Nikola is now solely focussed on its core product “ electric truck” which it plans to mass produce this year/
As city planning authorities tighten the noose on urban CO2 emissions, the LCVs used for last mile distribution will be electrified first. Dana is already working with Workhorse to create last mile delivery EV platform and supplying Dongfeng in China with e-axles.
MAN and Volkswagen in South America have chosen Meritor to supply e-axles. In Q3-2019,Meritor under its Blue Horizon product line, developed the 12Xe axle for Class 4, 5, 6 and 7 applications and the 17Xe axle for heavy-duty 4×2 and 6×2 trucks.IIt is striving to become an end to end e-mobility powertrain provider for commercial vehicles including battery packs, controls, and e-drive module.
We expect many more collaborations in coming years. Allison, ZF, Bosch, and AxleTech are some of the major suppliers who have launched e-axles for different segments of commercial vehicles
|Sl no||OEM||Vehicle type||Mass production timeline||E-Axle Remarks|
|1||BYD||Fuel Cell Electric bus||2022-2025||No|
|2||Thomas Built||Electric School bus||2021||No|
|3||Peterbilt||Class 8 Electric truck||2021||Yes|
|4||Daimler Trucks||Electric Linehaul truck||2021||No|
|5||Blue Bird and Lion Buses||Electric transit bus||2019||No|
|6||Nikola Motors||Class 8 Electric truck||2021||Yes|
PASSENGER VEHICLE SEGMENT
China accounts for 50% of global EV sales, almost all domestic manufacturers have declared plans to setup a separate EV brand, but very few of them have fitted their vehicles with an e-axle.In 2019, EV sales slowed down to just ~4% YOY. BEVs comprised 78% of total EV sales in 2019 as compared to 74% in 2018.
The EV market in China is heavily skewed towards low powered compacts using single speed transmission. The entry level cars(A00 and A0 segment) made up for just 16% share of overall NEV car sales in 2020
Read our EV transmission report to know more about it.
In passenger vehicle segment, Europe is leading and also driving global market growth for E-axles.BMW+ Mini was the market leader in EV(BEV+ PHEV)s in Europe, it had 15% share of ~500,000 EVs sold in Europe in 2019 but in 2020 its share reduced to 7% . The E-axle equipped 2 Series Active Tourer sales grew by more than 6% in 2019.Going forward, the sales of BMW and Mini PHEVs will have a significant impact on E-axle volumes in Europe.
Audi is trying to catch-up fast and announced in Feb 2019 that it will start offering PHEV variants of its high-end models like A6,A7, A8 and Q5.But, it is more likely to use dedicated hybrid transmission than E-axle.
The onset of WLTP in Europe in Sep`18 has provided a much needed boost to EV manufacturing in the region and driven PHEV adoption.
In US, where SUVs and Pickups make up for ~71% of annual new car sales, ~25-28%of those vehicles are fitted with mechanical 4WD/AWD. As the average transaction prices of SUVs and pickups now exceed $45,000, we expect few of them to be powered by E-axle in their next refresh/update.
Tesla had 70% market share of electric vehicles in US, and 17% share of global BEVs in 2020, but it does not have e-axle in any of them.It uses its in-house developed induction/PMSRM motors for propulsion.Tesla Model 3 is the best-selling passenger car globally, in terms of revenue, generating ~$8 Billion in US alone.
|Supplier||Weight(Kg)||Max Power output(kW)||Start of Production||Passenger vehicles||Commercial vehicle|
Low scale of EVs has not allowed suppliers to achieve economies of scale. Further, the OEM margins on BEVs and PHEVs are already low, as the market is driven more by regulation than consumer demand.
There are about 15 Tier-1 suppliers active in E-axle market. GKN is the undisputed market leader in this space but its leadership is likely to be challenged in coming years by Nidec. In Feb 2020, Nidec launched two E-axles i.e. a 50kW version for PHEVs/Kei cars where it has no presence as of date and a 200kW version which will be aimed at Premium BEVs.
Nidec’s products are used in GAC’s Aion S, Aion LX, Aion V, GAC Toyota’s iA5, Hycan 007 and Geometry C. They expect innovators to utilise E-axle in their vehicle range which will later shift to early adopters and early majority. Nidec believed, the profits will mainly come from early adopters onwards post 2025
GKN`s products have featured on more than 15 EV models across the globe. In addition, it has a very diverse portfolio including single-speed, co-axial and multi-speed e-axles which allows it to cater to diverse requirements and gives it an edge over others.
In Q3-2019, Vitesco( Continental) struck deal with PSA and Hyundai for supply of E-axles to high volume platforms. Vitesco`s new electric drive system will be supplied for PSA`s e-CMP modular electric platform, powering battery electric vehicle models such as the Peugeot e-208 and Opel Corsa-e. The Hyundai China through its joint venture Beijing Hyundai will equip two models with Vitesco Technologies’ electric drive system: the Encino compact SUV and the Lafesta sedan.
To learn more about the e-axle market from a supplier point of view. Read our article E-axle market, an unmissable opportunity for auto suppliers
Bosch has a more versatile and scalable product, which can cater to passenger as well as commercial vehicles but its market reach has been limited so far. There are also some new entrants like Sona Group, Hyllion and AxleTech(now acquired by Meritor).
The biggest challenge for E-axle suppliers is to fight of competition from hybrid transmissions in PHEVs and single speed(very cost effective) transmission in BEVs. The cost factor is secondary because conversion of an ICE only to PHEV costs about $4,000 including batteries.
- Robert Bosch GmbH
- GKN Driveline
- Linamar Corporation
- AVL List GmbH
- ZF Friedrichshafen
- Dana Incorporated
- Continental AG
- Nidec Corporation
- Schaeffler Group
- Magna International
- American Axle Manufacturing
- The Sona Group
THIS ELECTRIC AXLE DRIVE SYSTEMS MARKET REPORT WILL ANSWER FOLLOWING QUESTIONS
- The market size (volume-Units and value-$M) of global E-axle Market in 2021-2026 and every year in between?
- Market size and forecast segmented by application, geography, power output and EV type
- Market dynamics(trends, risks and opportunities), by region
- Present and forecasted sub-components margin
- Market share of suppliers in BEV and PHEV segment respectively
- About new companies active in this market
- Cost breakup of E-axle
- Latest trends in E-axle market
- Disruptive innovations in E-axle market
- Breakdown of new Electric concept vehicles by powertrain
- Future e-axle evolution roadmap
- E-Axle manufacturing in US, Europe and China
- OEM-supplier relationship in E-axle market
- 5 key predictions for next 5 years
- Unmet needs and opportunity for new suppliers