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3-in-1 eDrive systems

New eDrive system bringing hybrid capability to premium electric vehicles


The new three-in-one eDrive System developed by GKN Automotive provides zero-emissions plug-in hybrid capability to several new 2020/21-model to premium plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).


Designed for Jaguar Land Rover’s first three plug-in hybrid models, the eDrive is located in the rear axle and has to work with various primary drive engine / transmission combinations, requiring a unique combination of disconnect and park-lock function.


To meet requirements of several hybrid applications, the ultra-compact rear-drive module combines both a disconnect system and a park by wire system – an industry first. The vehicle can switch between two- and four-wheel drive modes in under half a second which, together with excellent system integration, enables the seamless coordination of electric and combustion power for the best compromise of highway efficiency and all-wheel drive traction.


The fast connect and disconnect times are made possible by the software, for the first time at GKN developed entirely in-house, that enables faster synchronisation of the electric motor speed through an advanced speed controller. Another special feature of the application is the park lock, which meets particularly demanding requirements. The high efficiency requirements of the electric powertrain also call for a sophisticated cooling strategy. In all, nine patent families have been issued reflecting the high degree of innovation required.


The eDrive System was developed in Europe in close collaboration with the vehicle manufacturer, with the full system assembly carried out in-house at GKN’s joint venture production site in Shanghai. The close cooperation between Jaguar Land Rover and GKN as 1st tier system supplier from the very beginning of system definition, throughout the whole development and industrialisation process, was essential for the successful product launch. The close customer relationship helped to manage the complexity of the various applications, the system integration challenge and to successfully launch the product in China.