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Magna helping to electrify pickup trucks with the biggest update to beam axles in a century

Building an electric pickup truck is going to require some hurdles to overcome. One of those important hurdles is making sure that the truck doesn’t lose any the of the towing or hauling capability of the ICE-powered cousins. Magna has a solution.

Called eBeam Technology, the company says it’s a “game changer” for electrification. It’s a drop replacement for the solid beam axles of current trucks. It can support power output exceeding 220 kW.

“It is a bold endeavor to electrify pickup trucks, whose owners demand the towing and hauling capabilities they are currently used to, and we’ve accomplished it with our eBeam technology,” said Tom Rucker, President, Magna Powertrain. “We know axles are core elements of a truck’s strength, and we are excited to have developed the first significant improvement to the solid beam axle in over 100 years.”

Magna’s technology makes the transition to electric or hybrid electric easier since it’s already done much of the heavy lifting here. Optimum truck payload is maintained in this setup.

eBeam supports power ranges between 120 kW and 250 kW. There’s a single motor, single speed support. There’s a single motor, two speed support. Then there’s even a twin motor setup for a single speed configuration that includes torque vectoring.

Magna also says it’ll support electric four-wheel drive by offering complete powertrain solutions, including the software to make it all work seamlessly.

Is this going to end up in a pickup truck soon? Magna made no announcements of partnerships with the announcement of eBeam, but interested OEMs can surely give them a call. Choosing a consumer-focused show — MPG’s virtual media day with Automobility LA — for the reveal means the company is focused on this going mainstream.

We could think of a ton of completely useless applications to this, too. A rear-drive electric pickup with active torque vectoring would be a fun basis for an electric hot rod truck. Or just an electric hot rod.

Excuse us while we go plan up some crazy stuff.

Written by Chad Kirchner
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