e-AAM is Charged Up

Despite the mess that Saab has been in these past few months, things at spinoff company e-AAM, a joint venture between Saab engineers and American Axle, are ramping up. They’re increasing their office space at Innovatum Office Park in Trollhättan, and are one of the ten largest employers in the city.

Photo by Stefan Benn Hage

TTela has a great in depth piece with the management at e-AAM. I strongly urge you to read it (English translation here). Some interesting tidbits, there are several companies around the world interested in the technology, including American, German, and Chinese. Also, they’ve managed to design through software a way for the car to turn itself without the driver turning the wheel (I’m guessing this is for automated actions like parallel parking unless something was lost in translation, it may mean more an e-ReAxs system). They’re working to have it applied to electric vehicles with FWD platforms (hello Chevy Volt and others).

E-AAM’s Interaction Manager Peter Johansson explains that their modular solution is much more attractive than the specific and complicated systems currently under development by other automakers.

The beauty of it, if we’re talking four-wheel drive, is that you get an equally low or lower consumption of electricity than four-wheel drive with front wheel drive. The electric motor provides extra power during acceleration and braking recycles energy. There will also be safer to drive including an offer individual control of each wheel and the different torque at each wheel. And, unlike mechanical systems, this system is much faster. And the icing on the cake, it’s easy, pull down the emissions of vehicles and have a competitive price. Sounds like a good deal?

Photo by Stefan Benn Hage

Saab will of course have the technology first on the new 9-3, despite it’s delayed development that’s pushing its on-sale date to 2013. We’ll have our own interviews with the E-AAM crew soon.


Thanks to Lennart for the tip!

18 thoughts on “e-AAM is Charged Up”

  1. Saab needs to balance being innovative and just adding gizmos that are complex. Too many gizmos and things break down. The Saab 900 of 1981 had the turbo, which was a gizmo in those days, but many of the other things were just well designed variations.

    • +1
      Being first is not necessarily a good thing. I’d rather that the bugs were sorted on the, say, Audi version first before committing to it to the new 9-3. Also, I note that ‘manufacturing will take place in Poland’. That sounds a bit depressing for car workers in Thn currently under-occupied.

    • I think the e-AAM team would agree with you. That’s why they’re designing an inherently simple, reliable, modular solution for 4 wheel drive. Electric motors are inherently more reliable and simpler than combustion engines, and the system they’re designing takes full advantage of its high available torque from 0 RPM. It’s a super elegant, super cool solution that in my opinion, dwarfs the impact of the turbo. Instant power, instant traction, and advanced handling benefits for minimal tradeoffs? No brainer.

  2. Very very interesting and very very Saabish! 🙂
    I find it very important for Saab to be first with this intelligent system. And I wish that Saab this time will be able to earn money on the patents and also will do something to make it well known that Saab are behind this great innovation!
    Much to few people are actually aware of Saabs role, regarding innovations like the turbo, seat-warming and many many others.

  3. If the next 9-3 doesn’t have these sorts of things to help set it apart, there is no reason to build it. The world already has too many very good conservative cars following the same road. Saab has traditionally upset the game by taking the other road. Glad to see they are still taking it.

    • well…you could also sell the technology to other car makers, don’t you think so?
      I like the good news about this lets say groundbreaking technology. I hope Saab will be alive and kicking to have it in the new 9-3!!

  4. Good stuff; this is, as a concept, a fairly simple idea and like many simple ideas it turns out to be a very clever one! Kudos to e-AAM and all involved in this project 🙂

  5. This is pretty exciting technology. Combined with Android based telematics the 9-3 could be incredible. I certainly hope it is my next car.

  6. If my memory serves me Peter Johansson was the person involved in XWD system and his father before him was involved in the system that was sold to Haldex.

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