TREMEC Electric GT has a new ICE-to-EV conversion product called TKe. It’s a drop-in electric drive unit that mounts in the transmission tunnel of a vehicle. Among other things, this keeps the engine bay free for battery and electric systems. We had the opportunity to learn about TKe and see a car with the drive unit installed at the 2023 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show.
What Is The Specialty Equipment Market Association Show?
The Specialty Equipment Market Association Show is commonly known simply as the SEMA Show. It’s an annual happening in Las Vegas, Nevada, that encompasses four days. At its core, it’s an automotive-based trade show that contains approximately 2,400 exhibiting companies, covers 2.2 million square feet, and draws over 161,000 people. One of the SEMA Show’s major features is new products; thus, it’s only fitting that the new TREMEC Electric GT TKe was on hand to wow crowds.
If you’re into cars, you know the TREMEC name. The company’s portfolio of products includes manual transmissions, dual-clutch transmissions, EV and HEV drivetrain products, gears, shafts, clutches, and friction materials. Through the years the company’s clients have included Ferrari, Ford, AM General, GM, Nissan, Kenworth, Peterbilt, and more. In August of 2023 TREMEC acquired Electric GT, Inc. Electric GT is a provider of plug-and-play EV conversion systems.
The new company is branded TREMEC Electric GT. The company provides the components necessary for ICE-to-EV conversions. This includes batteries, cabling, drive motors, inverters, gearboxes, and control systems. TREMEC is developing electric drive units (EDUs) for the OEM, specialty vehicle, and aftermarket segments. These combine motor and inverter technology with TREMEC’s 60 years of experience designing and manufacturing gearboxes. The acquisition of Electric GT enables TREMEC to strengthen its product offerings in the rapidly growing ICE-to-BEV vehicle conversion market.
TKe is an EDU designed specifically as a drop-in drive unit for EV conversions. The unit is designed for transmission tunnel installation. With the drive unit in this position, the engine bay is available to house the battery and electric systems. TKe is a 2-in-1 drive unit with a connected inverter that’s calibrated to walk the line between performance and efficiency. Some of TKe’s features include 800V architecture, a carbon fiber-wrapped surface magnet motor, and super-efficient silicon carbide inverter technology.
Furthermore, the EDU has TREMEC’s gearbox technology that includes a robust helical gearset, a water-cooled motor for minimum integration complexity, and thermal capability that allows for repeated standing starts without power derating. Additionally, the motors are ultralight and compact with single-tooth winding. Finally, the TKe has an integrated electromechanical park lock.
Impressive Horsepower And A Top Speed Of 140-Plus MPH
When it comes to performance, the TKe is a powerhouse. It generates 495 peak horsepower and 429 Nm of torque. Motor speeds are up to 17,000 rpm, which offers a wide range of performance with a single ratio gearbox. Gear ratio range options are 2.4:1 or 3.2:1. Additionally, TREMEC says the TKe offers a maximum vehicle speed of 140-plus mph. Lastly, the TKe only weighs 143 pounds.
Uses A Traditional Transmission Mount
The TKe uses the same footprint as TREMEC’s manual transmissions. This means you can bolt nearly 500 horsepower to the traditional transmission mount. Further, the unit attaches directly to the driveshaft. With the TKe in the transmission location, mounting the batteries under the hood will keep the weight up front in place of the engine weight where it belongs. TREMEC displayed the TKe in a 2003 Ford Mustang at SEMA. The company says that the car maintains its original weight and front-to-rear balance even with the eGT 413 system battery pack at 75 kWh. Altogether, the car has three modular battery boxes and is said to have a range of 250 miles. Furthermore, the car has a 7 kW onboard charger and 50 kW DC fast charge capability.
The Bottom Line
We’re digging the compact, lightweight TKe Drop-In Electric Drive Unit. The fact it can be simply bolted in and then connected to a rear driveshaft is slick. Word is that TREMEC is working on a way to mate the unit to a transfer case. This is exciting news, and it will be cool to see the TKe unit in four-wheel-drive SUVs and pickup trucks.