Editor's note: This story is part of a special section on the accelerating pace of automotive development, engineering, innovation and manufacturing to be published in sibling publication Automotive News on Monday, Aug. 2.
When it comes to electrifying trucks, automakers want to make sure their vehicles will have the same brawny towing and hauling capabilities that drivers are used to, even with an electrified axle.
That can take a lot of development time, and these days, automakers are in no mood to let anything take a lot of time.
That's why North America's largest supplier is looking to speed up truck electrification — without sacrificing a truck's best utility traits.
Magna International says its eBeam approach will bring new electrified pickups and light-commercial vehicles to market faster by using new drop-in replacements for traditional beam axles, said Ryan Shaw, Magna's manager of advanced engineering driveline systems in North America.
"It's one of the purest North American automotive sectors, the pickup truck — the holy grail of North American markets," Shaw told Automotive News. "That's where automaker volumes are.