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May 24, 2021

QinetiQ, Texelis sign strategic partnership

QinetiQ and Texelis announced last week that they had entered into a strategic partnership to jointly deliver in-wheel electric hub drive technology for armoured vehicles.

By Harry Lye

Under the partnership, Texelis will manufacture hub drive technology at market scale and QinetiQ will supply core electrification technology and expertise. In a statement, the companies said a joint approach would leverage both companies’ engineering and technology expertise.

QinetiQ’s chief technology officer Mike Sewart said: “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.”

Hub drive technology combines electric propulsion with mechanical and regenerative breaking within a single package. The companies added that efficiency and size had been weaknesses of previous attempts at electric propulsion for wheeled military vehicles that use direct drive motors.

The agreement will also see Texelis design the suspension system for the electric wheel hub.

Texelis managing director for defence Jean Vandel said: “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.”

The partnership will also work together to market a wheel station controller (WSC) and power and services (PAS) through a design for manufacturing process.

Texelis will base production at its facility in Limoges, France.

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