Magna has just developed a drop-in EV system for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. And the best part is that there is no loss of payload or towing capacity. It’s called EtelligentForce, and it is a more robust all-electric truck system Magna is adding to its eBeam kit for half-ton trucks. It is intended for current combustion-engine trucks without upgrading suspensions or brakes.
What is Magna’s EtelligentForce?
EtelligentForce is essentially an electric motor that is tied to a solid-beam axle. The drive system is able to be easily packaged into the frame of trucks. So it adds plug-in hybrid capability to existing ICE trucks.
Owners can go with the single electric motor for the rear axle, or add a second motor to the front axle as well. The single motor gives the truck an added 180 kWh for 241 hp. Those numbers add an additional 335 hp to 576 hp, depending on how it is tuned, with the rear axle motor.
Magna also says that no modifications are necessary to either the body or frame of the truck. That means there is ample room for full suspension movement without hitting cross members or other components in the frame. Additionally, Magna says the eDrive system is “a combination of an integrated decoupling unit and predictive controls strategy.” This all ties together with the e-motor, inverter, gearbox, and software.
When will the EtelligentForce electric truck systems be available?
Towing capacity can reach 14,500 lbs with both motors. It expects to make these drop-in units available by the end of 2024. In the meantime, Magna says it will continue to refine its EV products for potentially better performance and more range. So we could see an increase in some of these numbers before production begins.
We already covered its eBeam kit for half-ton trucks, but here’s some brief info on it. The eBeam system was designed for half-ton truck applications. It utilizes the same application of its eDrive system by supplying a solid axle and electric motor combination. So there is no packaging or integration of electric motors necessary to pull off the conversion.
Though both of these electric truck systems will be targeted to truck manufacturers, they should also be available for DIY projects. Magna plans on offering various sizes and widths are planned. Magna will have to provide the rest of the EV system since this is only the drive unit, or components can be sourced elsewhere.
There are other plug and play EV conversions already available
There are also several plug-and-play EV systems available, including from both GM and Ford. Ford’s Eluminator crate motor is available from Ford Performance. It measures less than two feet in length. GM’s eCrate Connect & Cruise conversions provide all of the components necessary to convert old or new vehicles to electric drive. These kits use a double-stack electric motor to replace the ICE engine.
And independents like eClassic have made available EV conversion kits for years. Everything has been converted using these kits, from hot rods to vintage trucks and 356 Porsches. So the early adopters have made it a smoother transition should you want to do this yourself.