Everything You Need to Know About the Corolla’s E-Axle
Toyota recently announced that the company is considering a hybridized, all-wheel-drive Corolla that will use an electric axle, also known as an e-axle. If you’re not familiar with e-axle technology and what this could mean for you, read on to learn everything you need to know about the Corolla’s new feature.
What Is an E-Axle?
An e-axle provides power for electric and hybrid cars. When car manufacturers build a vehicle with an e-axle, they integrate the system into either the rear or front axle. This will then deliver the power that turns the wheels. Most e-axles are completely contained and made using lightweight yet high-strength components, like aluminum. They also contain other parts, such as shafts, pinions, bearings, and differential gearing.
If the manufacturer installs the e-axle on the rear axle, the vehicle will have an electric motor or internal combustion engine on the front wheels to move it. If one of these systems also works with a hybrid battery pack, the vehicle can have an impressive amount of power.
Early E-Axle Technology
Toyota was one of the first vehicle manufacturers to put an electric motor on a front-wheel-drive vehicle’s rear axle, which turned it into an all-wheel-drive model. Additionally, Toyota had another first when, in 2016, it introduced the RAV4 Hybrid. The RAV4 Hybrid came with a 2.5-liter engine and one electric motor on each axle. It was able to deliver 194 net horsepower, which compared favorably to the 176 horsepower offered on the traditional model. The RAV4 Hybrid also offered significant fuel efficiency over the regular model.
Benefits of E-Axles
E-axles could play a significant role in the future of car manufacturing because of their numerous benefits. Since e-axles have less weight, they’re more efficient. They also help manufacturers reduce development costs and meet new mandates for better fuel economy while also keeping up with lower emission standards. Vehicle manufacturers can then pass these savings on to you. Plus, you’ll also enjoy technology that offers better handling, range, and performance.
Could a Corolla With an E-Axle Be Released?
Although the vehicle manufacturer stopped short of confirming a Toyota Corolla with an e-axle is definitely coming, it did admit it’s thinking about it. In fact, Toyota North America general manager Jack Hollis said in an interview that, “there’s no doubt that it is [being considered].” Harris also said that Toyota president Akio Toyoda has also expressed a desire to offer every car with an electrification option.
If Toyota did introduce a Corolla with an e-axle, industry experts agree that chances are good the model would feature a system that’s comparable if not exactly the same as the one used on the Prius AWD-e. That particular system has an additional electric motor that gives the vehicle extra traction in all conditions.
Although Toyota executives aren’t ready to make an official comment about the possibility of an all-wheel-drive hybridized Corolla, the company did recently announce that for the first time ever it will offer a hybrid Corolla. Since the systems are interchangeable, it’s possible we’ll see an all-wheel-drive e-axle Corolla in the future.