Automotive Engineering - February 2024 - 25

PROPULSION FEATURE
Tremec has sights set on the EV conversion aftermarket with the
'eCrate " EDU that can fit in the donor vehicle's transmission tunnel
Tremec has sights set on the
EV conversion aftermarket with the 'eCrate " EDU that can fit
in the donor vehicle's transmission tunnel.
with our [existing] manual transmissions. We see a lot
of opportunity to bring the same product from an
OEM level into the aftermarket just like we've done on
the transmission side. "
Apart from its EDUs for EVs, Tremec also developed
a single-motor " drop-in " EDU for conversions. The unit
incorporates a permanent-magnet traction motor, SiC
inverter and helical gearset that are cleverly packaged
as an " eCrate " system to fit in an existing IC vehicle's
transmission tunnel.
To boost the profile of its EDUs' aftermarket potential,
in August 2023 Tremec acquired Electric GT, a
developer of plug-and-play ICE-to-EV conversions. In
a media release about the acquisition, Tremec said it
can now, " [provide] the customer with all the components
necessary for the conversion, including batteries,
cabling, drive motors, inverters, gearboxes and the
control systems necessary to install and operate the
system safely and effectively. "
Memmer said the company's aftermarket strategy
offers a high-value system perspective that has significant
potential. " If you're doing a classic car, if you're a
builder who specializes in classic cars, you don't necessarily
know how to go out and piece all these [EV
conversion components] together. But if we give you a
whole system - here's the batteries, here's the cabling,
here's the drive unit, here's everything you need - and
you do what you do well, which is fabricate and fit it
into the vehicle, we'll give you all the rest. That's where
I think where the market goes. "
Whether for OEM fitment or the aftermarket, the
company's volume targets for its EDUs are in line with
its current performance-market presence. " Our targets
right now are low-volume production in 2026, volume
production in 2028, " Memmer said. " And I think there's
plenty of opportunities that align those. 'Low-volume'
for us would be in the hundreds - 500 a year to a couple
thousand, 2,500 a year. 'High volume' or 'volume'
for us would be any individual program over 10,000 a
year. Somewhere in that 10,000 to 50,000 range. When
we say 'high-volume,' we're talking about tens of thousands,
but not hundreds of thousands. Not that we
would turn that down, " he laughs.
AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING
In 2023, Tremec acquired EV conversion specialist Electric GT, maker of this EV
version of the Fiat 124 Spider, among other conversion efforts.
Value-adding with technology
Memmer said Tremec has developed both IPM and surface permanent-magnet
(SPM) motors, settling on PM as " the only real option
for us in terms of performance level that we need and package
space. " He said IPM and SPM designs have tradeoffs in power density,
packaging size and cost.
" On the IPM side, you have to get a little bit bigger, although
they're starting to become pretty close. And they have some advantages
in cost. There's a lot of technology going into how you wind
the copper, to try to increase the density there. As we work with suppliers
on both sides, we see there isn't a one-motor solution that
works for everybody. One of the things we've tried to do is understand
the options and then pick the right motor for the application.
There's always cost and packaging and performance and thermals
[considerations]. All of those things are trade-offs.
" So rather than just saying we're only going to do this kind of motor
and that's the only thing we're going to offer, " Memmer continued,
" we're going to try to keep that relatively open to pick the right motor
for the application. And that's something else we try to offer to the
customers - we'll work with them to understand their requirements. "
Tremec also takes seriously its in-house software and mechatroniccontrols
competency - be it for ICE-supporting dual-clutch automated-manual
transmissions or EDUs. " Most of our software development
is in Belgium, " Memmer said. " We have calibration engineering
here locally in the U.S. and we have a little bit of software in Mexico,
but limited. But almost all of it is in Belgium. That's where we do all
the DCT software where we're doing all the EDU development. "
February 2024 25
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: TREMEC; TREMEC; TREMEC ELECTRIC GT

Automotive Engineering - February 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive Engineering - February 2024

Automotive Engineering - February 2024 - INTRO1
Automotive Engineering - February 2024 - SPONSOR1
Automotive Engineering - February 2024 - CVR1
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