Meritor to build out electric vehicle platform of products

The Mach brand from Meritor will provide an alternative to generic aftermarket parts.

Company also announces new aftermarket brand to support vehicle owners

Meritor has announced a new electric vehicle platform of axles and suspensions as more truck OEMs and fleets shift resources to developing electric vehicles.

The new platform features an “e-carrier” that will be the foundation upon which various drivetrain configurations will be placed, including full electric, hybrid, single or tandem axles with various options based on application, according to Jay Craig, CEO.

“Essentially, we’re focusing on integrating an electric motor into the differential carrier,” Craig said. “As we look to future emissions regulations and our customers’ desire for more efficiency, we’re developing new and innovative solutions to expand our product portfolio.”

The electrified platform is designed for city-delivery, medium-duty and transit bus as well as off-road and severe-duty applications.

Meritor said it designed the e-carrier as a drop-in replacement for a conventional mechanical carrier, allowing a fleet to turn a diesel-powered vehicle into a hybrid-electric model. Because the electric motor is integrated into the axle, space is freed up for batteries and other electrical components, offering easier packaging and installation, the company said.

Meritor said it was developing the following products as part of the platform:

  • Integrated two-speed electric carrier platform capable of delivering 150-200 kilowatts of continuous power for mounting on existing axle platforms, fitting a wide variety of applications on rigid and independent suspensions
  • 13Xe rigid axle, capable of 200 kilowatts of continuous power and featuring customizable gearing to cover linehaul, school bus, refuse, pickup and delivery, utility and other applications
  • Electric-driving independent suspension for applications such as military, emergency, off-highway and construction vehicles that will benefit from increased performance as well as better ride comfort and handling
  • Electric eCorner module for low-floor applications such as medium-duty Classes 4 and 5, pickup and delivery and transit buses.

Cheri Lantz, vice president and chief strategy officer, said Meritor’s next-generation Quadraulic brake and next-generation air disc brake have been designed for use on hybrid or electric vehicles with regenerative braking.

“These emerging electric solutions reflect Meritor’s commitment to develop axle, suspension and brake technologies that support our technology roadmaps and future product plans based on our customers’ needs,” Craig said.

Meritor also announced that ThermAlert wheel-end heat-sensing system will be standard on its automatic tire inflation system for trailers and that its EX+ air disc brake has been optimized for 2018.

According to the company, the EX+ is built to maximize productivity by reducing maintenance time and costs, the gear-synchronized, twin-piston design delivers even force across the brake pads simultaneously, resulting in better performance and uniform pad wear. The EX+ offers shorter and smoother stopping distances and reduced brake fade. A patented double-sealing technology minimizes water exposure to seal the EX+ for life. It simplifies pad service steps – including 30-minute pad changes – and lowers maintenance costs with faster inspection and repair times.

Finally, to compete with low-cost, no-name aftermarket parts, Meritor has launched the Mach brand of aftermarket products.

The Mach portfolio will initially support brakes, drivelines, drive axles, suspensions, transmissions and steering products with more categories to come in the future.

“With a rise in the number of competitors selling products at various price points and quality levels, Meritor’s Mach brand will offer a wide range of replacement part options at affordable prices that are validated by our engineers,” said Rob Speed, president, Aftermarket & Trailer. “Although the Meritor, Meritor WABCO and Euclid brands will continue to offer the highest durability and lowest total cost of ownership, end-users looking for lower price points from a proven Tier 1 supplier will be able to count on Mach-branded products.”

All Mach products will come with a standard one-year warranty and supported by Meritor’s field sales and customer service teams.

Products will be available by the end of 2017.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.