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2020-05-08

In gear for electrification

Trends toward e-machinery offer opportunities for many traditional powertrain component suppliers.

By Mike Brezonick (Diesel Progress magazine)

The growing trend toward electrification of vehicles and equipment has been perceived by some as a kind of shot across the bow for certain conventional technologies. Engines, it is thought, may ultimately be replaced by batteries or power-generating fuel cells. Hydraulic pumps and motors could, in some scenarios, be supplanted by electric motor-driven actuators.

What then, for some of the most basic of traditional powertrain components – transmissions, axles, gearboxes, driveshafts, etc.? Is the clock also ticking for them, with “e-components” poised to muscle in on their territory in trucks, buses and off-road machinery?

Not so much. In fact, in many cases, quite the opposite. Just as a growing number of engine manufacturers embracing electrification, many of the suppliers of traditional powertrain components – both large and small – are viewing the prospects of electrification as more opportunity than obstacle.

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