QinetiQ and Texelis enter strategic partnership

Posted on 18 May, 2021 by Advance 

Texelis and QinetiQ have entered into a strategic partnership to jointly deliver in-wheel Electric Hub Drive technology to military armoured vehicles.

Image courtesy QinetiQ

Under the Strategic Partnership, Texelis will manufacture the Hub Drive technology at scale to meet market demands; while QinetiQ will bring the core electrification technology and expertise. The joint approach will leverage both organisations’ unique engineering and technology expertise.

Hub Drive technology combines electric propulsion with mechanical and regenerative braking in a compact package. Efficiency and size has been the weakness of previous attempts at electric propulsion for wheeled military vehicles where the direct drive of motors to wheels has been used. The partnership will deliver a Hub Drive transmission where electrical machines are small-sized for the high-speed propulsion, with all the advantages in terms of acceleration and agility, with the high torque demands for hill climb and obstacle crossing handled by the range-changing gearbox.

The agreement will see Texelis apply its deep vehicle mobility expertise to design the suspension system for the electric wheel hub. Coupled with QinetiQ’s 25-year heritage in the design and development of power-dense electrification technology the partnership will deliver leading solutions to the defence market at pace.

As well as the Hub Drive technology the partnership will bring to market the Wheel Station Controller (WSC) and Power and Services (PAS), through a design for manufacture process. Texelis will be responsible for initialising assembly lines to produce the electric drive hub and WSC at its site in Limoges, France.

Jean Vandel, Managing Director for Defense, Texelis, commented: “This is a very important area of development, both for Texelis and the military vehicle market worldwide. The Electric Hub Drive enables enhanced power, system efficiency and the ability to operate silently using the battery as a source of power. This allows us to rethink the vehicle power architecture completely and discard conventional axle and driveshaft design constraints. This offers vehicle OEMs much greater freedom to design the best, most flexible vehicles for tomorrow’s battlefield.

“We are extremely pleased to join with QinetiQ under this strategic agreement to enable military customers to access this design.”

Mike Sewart, Chief Technology Officer at QinetiQ, commented: “We are very excited to be partnering with Texelis in this fundamental component of military platform modernisation. QinetiQ’s Electric Drive capability has been in research and development for many years. We’ve leveraged our insight into global platform mobility solutions and electrification and designed a solution to be used in the most advanced of military scenarios.

"Through our strategic partnership with Texelis we will be enhancing and scaling this capability to deliver solutions for our customers at pace.”