A Canadian company has come up with simple and clever way to add electric power to traditional utes and 4WDs.
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Canadian automotive company Magna has released innovative technology that converts traditional utes and four-wheel-drives to electric power with minimal mechanical changes.

The device – effectively an electric motor housed within a differential or axle casing and dubbed eBeam – is bolted where a traditional differential sits, and provides power to the wheels.

This is different to many other electric vehicle conversions which house an electric motor in the engine bay, running power through the existing drivetrain.

The electric conversion is available for rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive applications, and has been designed and tested by Magna engineers who also count themselves as truck enthusiasts.

magna ebeam electric truck conversion

Currently, eBeam is being offered directly to vehicle manufacturers, rather than an aftermarket kit to exisiting owners.

Motortrend has reported that several car makers are interested in Magna's eBeam technology, although none have officially signed up yet.

Magna’s e-Beam technology is an elegant solution for rear-wheel drive light commercial vehicles in particular, in which simple leaf-sprung rear suspension and solid axle allows a bolt-in fitment.

This means the electric conversion doesn’t require any additional changes or customisation to the existing suspension, brakes or chassis.

Importantly, this also means that payloads and towing capacities – crucial ingredients of utes and trucks alike – aren’t effected in the electric conversion.

The eBeam comes in three variants: single-motor one-speed, single-motor two-speed, and twin-motor single-speed with torque vectoring. Power outputs vary between 120kW and 250kW.

magna ebeam electric truck conversion

This solution from Magna doesn’t include the batteries that will power the electric motors, and their size will largely dictate the operating range of an electric vehicle.

This electric conversion also promises to be a simpler power solution for light commercial vehicles, with less component and moving parts overall compared to an internal-combustion powertrain.

Because of their wide range of usage on-road and off-road – and their heavy-duty architecture – trucks and utes have so-far withstood widespread electrification.

However, this could soon change as automotive companies like Magna continue to develop innovative technologies like eBeam, which will pave the way for hybrid and fully-electric trucks and utes.