Dana Corp. used this week’s North American Commercial Vehicle show in Atlanta as a platform to introduce its new line of driveshafts and a new axle.
Ryan Laskey, vice president of engineering for the Commercial Vehicle and Core Driveline business, also talked about Dana’s development of the e-Axle, which will launch in China in bus applications. He said China should have over 300,000 pure battery-electric transit buses operating in the country by 2020, creating a large business opportunity for the electrified axle.
The e-Axle combines power electronics and a motor with cooling, control strategy solutions, gearbox and housing. The e-Axle will eventually make its way to North America. “We see a very good crossover in medium duty, Class 4-6 duty cycles with transit buses,” he said, noting that as the kilowatt per hour costs to operate electric vehicles drops, there will be openings for the e-Axle in Class 7 and 8 vehicles as well.
Dana’s new driveshaft was also introduced. The SPL 250 Lite builds on the SPL 250, but offers a 25-pound weight savings over competitive models. An SPL 350 Lite was introduced earlier this year.
The SPL 250 Lite handles torque ratings up to 25,000 Nm and has been specifically engineered to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) levels; improve performance; and enhance vehicle dynamics without compromising strength, Steve Slesinski, director of global product planning for Commercial Vehicle Driveline Technologies said.
The driveshaft features ratios as low as 2.47 (the 350 Lite goes as low as 2.0) and is available with a choice of service-free or standard re-lube designs to accommodate fleet preference.
Dana also announced an expansion of its Spicer D-Series steer axles with integrated air disc brakes. The expansion includes the addition of an aluminum hub option on steer axles with a 14,600-pound gross axle weight rating (GAWR).
“Dana now offers multiple options for the industry’s only integrated air disc brake steer axle that supports up to 14,600-pound GAWR, putting us in a unique position to offer our customers a choice on applications that cannot be matched,” said Mark Wallace, executive vice president of Dana and president of Dana Commercial Driveline Technologies. “Spicer D-Series steer axles deliver best-in-class performance and durability, enabling improved vehicle stopping power and reduced maintenance without the added weight that typically results from specifying air disc brakes.”
Dana said that its Spicer D-Series steer axles reduce weight by up to 76 pounds when compared with existing products. The axles are available in both standard and wide beam widths, delivering broad application coverage for the commercial-vehicle market.