Electric Vehicles
Patents and Trademarks

BMW's Electric M Cars Will Be Getting An Active Differential

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While we have no confirmation yet on when to expect the first electric M model, rest assured that it will have genuine M handling characteristics.

BMW's next-generation EVs

CarBuzz has discovered a new patent that BMW has filed with the World Intellectual Property Office, detailing a design for a differential that future electric vehicles may use.

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Two vs. four

EVs with one motor on each wheel of an axle are able to apply torque vectoring already, but when using two motors on a single axle, this type of performance impacts overall range.

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The dual-motor solution

To improve efficiency, BMW proposes using sliding sleeves, magnetic couplings, or claw couplings to join and unjoin these motors as needed.

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A new way of driving

This EV-specific differential would work best on an AWD car that powers both axles, or possibly a front-wheel-drive-biased AWD vehicle, which could then act like a RWD at times.

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Knock-on benefits

Since only one motor will be used at a time in many situations, this means less drain on the battery. So, while performance is enhanced, so too is maximum driving range.

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