May 8, 2018 12:00 AM, EDT

Dana, Workhorse Focus on E-Drive Axle

DanaMatt Petit

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Dana Inc. and Workhorse Group Inc. showed a concept model medium-duty truck designed for city delivery featuring Dana’s Spicer Electrified, an integrated e-drive axle whose lighter weight allows for higher payloads.

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Dana likened its e-drive axle’s transformative potential to its founder’s invention of the encased universal joint more than 100 years ago. The first u-joint was shipped in 1904, and the component proceeded to disrupt and replace the conventional chain drive used in cars.

“This alliance uniquely positions us to jointly develop sustainable solutions that will encourage city delivery fleets to go electric and feel confident in the vehicle’s performance and cost of ownership,” Workhorse CEO Steve Burns said in a statement.

The truck was on display during the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo here April 30-May 4.

The e-drive axle, which contains its own motor, weighs 388 pounds less compared with a traditional electric-vehicle drive system, according to Maumee, Ohio-based Dana. It is designed to last 25 years and is maintenance-free.

Due to the integrated design, the e-drive axle also offers optimized packaging with more chassis space to position batteries inside the frame rails and accommodate features such as side steps.

Workhorse has been developing sustainable electric vehicle solutions since 2007 and has nearly 3 million miles on its EVs in last-mile delivery routes with large-fleet customers, according to the Loveland, Ohio-based company.