Harden Electric Vehicles Concept Drive Unit Housing 22/04/2020

Hey guys, so we have received a number of messages asking to show you some of our concepts and designs, and so we thought that we’d give you a look at what we have been working on lately, which is a drive unit housing to mount 2 motors in the back of a vehicle, be that as a conversion or a production vehicle.

We have gone with 2 motors (And thus 2 gearboxes) for one reason, and that is performance, yes we know, not everyone wants to go with performance and they want to just have an efficient little car, we are working on that as well at this time, so please be patient.

Main body overview
Complete unit including Bill of Materials

So as you can see in the image above, we have gone with a 6 part design for the main body and all of it will be a machined 6061 aluminium billet at this stage, we have done this to get a good balance between strength and weight, as the more weight you can save, the more batteries ytou can stick in a car. So this unit did not need to be heavy, so it’s not!

So why 6 parts we hear you asking? Well, in a conversion space, and believe me, we here at Harden Electric have done a lot of engine conversions of various types over the years, and we understand that not every vehicle can accept something mounted in the same location, so the mounting brackets are kept in mind to be interchangeable, this means that you can buy the motor housing, and we can develop specific brackets for the application the housing is being used for. Want to drop it in the back of a Falcon Ute? We can make brackets for that! Commodore Ute? Different Brackets again, the brackets shown are considered to be generic for illustrative purposes at this time.

Front view unit complete
Front view of complete unit

Here is a front view of the complete unit for people that want to know, this is looking from the front of the vehicle towards the rear, which means for the average person, the drivers side of on the left here, and the passenger side is on the right

Side view unit
Side view of complete unit

In this image you can see the side view of the unit looking from the passenger side across to the drivers side, located in the centre is where the motor will mount and the driveshaft from the motor will locate through, this includes a larger size for the motor mounting face to locate to in order to assist in fitting bolts into the holes, and provide some more support and stability to the motor.

You can also see in the top right one of the rear mounting brackets sized to suit an M18 bolt as well as a 50mm bush in order to help dampen vibrations to the motor.

Top view unit
Top view of complete unit

As you can see in this aerial view of the unit, you can see cutouts to access the mounting for the electronics of the motor, as well as the two upper edges where the motor controllers can be mounted on top of the whole unit, keeping them out of the way.

This also gives you a view of the front mounting brackets, once again designed to accommodate an M18 bolt and a 30mm bush.

Passenger side shell
Passenger side shell complete

This view shows the passenger side shell of the unit, which slots into the drivers side by use of 6 locating dowels as well as 2 x bolts on the back edge of the housing.

Drivers Side Shell
Driver side shell complete

And here we have the passenger side shell of the unit, as you can see overall size is narrower than the passenger side on account of this unit receiving the locating dowels in the rear edge.

Front mount bracket
Front mounting bracket concept

This image shows one of the front mounting brackets, again designed to utilise 3 x M18 bolts, 2 of those to affix to the main motor shells, and then 1 to affix to the vehicle connection bracket.

Rear mounting bracket concept

Here we have one of the rear mounting brackets, once again it will affix to the main by via 2 x M18 bolts and a third M18 bolt will mount to the vehicle mounting arm.

Gearbox?

Yes, we are developing a gearbox at this stage, however with our recent shift towards a more tailored conversion unit given the current economic climate, we need to factor some more items into the gearbox design, such as the ability to change ratios depending on our customers desires.

Obviously not everyone will need a 9.1:1 ratio, and not everyone needs a 6.5:1 ratio, so we are looking to make a number of suitable gearboxes for suitable applications, and the ability to swap in drive gears so that you can use off the shelf axles to go to your existing vehicle hubs.

This means no chasing of custom and expensive parts, and you should be able to order any parts required for the gearbox from your local parts store.

Differential?

Don’t need one! Kind of.

This system is intended to use a process known as torque vectoring, and whilst that alone is a post in and of it’s own, basically, the steering inputs will tell the controllers which wheel is inside, which is outside, and it will balance that against the drive being provided to the wheels, so each wheel will get the correct amount of torque to help guide you around the corner.

For those that are interested in how it all works, any wheel travelling around the outside of a bend by virtue has to spin faster than the wheel on the inside to accomplish the same motion, torque vectoring will give more power to the external wheel, turning it faster than the inside wheel, the same as your standard differential in a car.

Here is a good video from 1937 explaining how a differential works for you, and torque vectoring will achieve basically the same result, however it will use more advanced technology and allow better tunability to the system.

More technical specs!

Ok, we know that some of you out there won’t be satiated by some pretty pictures, so that is why we wanted to give you some more technical specs:

Weight Complete21.328kg
Weight Drivers Side Shell9.573kg
Weight Passenger Side Shell9.589kg
Weight front mounting bracket0.547kg
Weight rear Mounting Bracket0.536kg
Volume7,899.124cm³
Overall Length735.4mm
Overall Width324.3mm
Overall Height278.218mm

So why not steel?

Once again, this is a weight factor, and we may go back to some form of steel further down the line, but so far in this concept stage, we have chosen 6061 aluminium for weight reasons.

Here is a comparison table showing the differences between some common automotive materials:

Material6061 AluminiumCast IronCast SteelMild SteelTitanium
Weight21.328kg56.479kg62.008kg62.008kg34.993kg

As you can see, 6061 Aluminium gives us a nice middle ground between weight and performance, as well as cost. Steel is cheap and heavy, Titanium is Light and Expensive, and Aluminium is light and (relatively) cheap compared to other materials.

Questions?

As always, we have the comments below open, if you’d like to get an answer to anything covered in this article, feel free to drop us a line below, if you have any other queries, feel free to drop us a line via our Contact page here on the website, if we get enough enquiries, we just may do a post regarding that topic.

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