Electrification Is Pushing Adoption Of AWD

AUG 8 2018 BY VANJA KLJAIC 20

The boom in global all-wheel-drive vehicle demand is forecasted to continue

A Wards Intelligence report, “AWD Electrified,” reveals how the shift to CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) is driving the proliferation of AWD systems in electric vehicles. The electrification – which brings a two-motor powertrain solution to these vehicles – is pushing the adoption rates of AWD systems throughout the larger markets.

A shift to CUVs and away from the traditional, two-wheel drive sedans and coupes is the primary driving force. However, the automakers are pushed to offer AWD vehicles to consumers thanks to improvements in fuel efficiency, easy control of AWD systems and dynamic handling benefits – all part of the fully electrified powertrains in newer vehicles.

Furthermore, AWD allows people to fully utilize their vehicles in various offroad situations. This allows them the newly found freedom to travel wherever four wheels will take them, giving consumers a wider variety of possible travel spots.

“There’s an interest in consumers for getting away from all the buzz of the city and the buzz of our cell phones and so on and…going out there and having those experiences with yourfriends or your family,” says Seth Metzger, vice president-light vehicle engineering at global powertrain supplier Dana. “It’s either for safety and/or mobility, or in other cases that ability to go anywhere and get out of the city, so to speak, to enjoy the outdoors.”

Luxury brands are leading the charge. However, in the U.S alone, several more volume-oriented brands are posting installation rates above 30%. And the movement to battery-electric vehicles is leading to a new generation of AWD technology, making it even easier and cost-effective to provide drive to all four wheels. For industry insiders, a strong belief that the growth will accelerate in the forthcoming years prevails. In a recent industry survey conducted for this report, 54% of respondents expect AWD penetration in CUVs to reach at least 70% in five years, with 4% believing it will soar to 90% or more.

Thanks to ever stricter regulations and newer technology adoption, a major shift towards electrified AWD can be expected as automakers and suppliers focus on satisfying consumer demand for the technology while meeting fuel-economy standards. Thanks to the high popularity of the AWD Tesla Model S and Model X, now joined by the dual-motor Model 3, other car makers are joining in on the AWD all-electric party as well. The future seems to be both electric and all-wheel drive as well.

Source: Wards Auto | Wards Auto

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20 Comments on "Electrification Is Pushing Adoption Of AWD"

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ggpa

This is not new. AWD comes and goes in cycles. I remember in the 90’s many manufacturers offered AWD on cars, minivans etc

Magnus H

It’s not easy to find an AWD on a < €50K EV.

James

And AWD sedans. While this article focuses on CUVs, sedans also benefit in versatility and safety in all weather conditions.

Living in Seattle means an eye towards wet and slippery roads and lots of hills.

It’s amazing how much more sure-footed you are in any car or truck in these conditions when you have the confidence of AWD. Tis why I ordered the non P version of my M3 with Dual Motors.

EVShopper

I was amazed how much better it felt to drive my Subaru Impreza with AWD in the rain when we bought it in 2012 vs the FWD or RWD vehicles we had.

2xTesla

The issues is the overconfidence in AWD in poor weather conditions. Marketing would have believe that people can drive the same way regardless of road conditions now that they have AWD. They are more of a hazard with AWD than they were when they didn’t have it and slowed down because of weather.

Brian

Yup. Evidenced by the fact that every year the ditch is littered with upside-down AWD SUVs after the first snowfall. It’s like clockwork. You never see FWD cars off the road, just the AWD ones with overconfident drivers.

Leafowner

You need AWD maybe 1% of the time — otherwise it is useless….

EVShopper

Depends on where you live.

Magnus H

Not if it’s snowing every winter…

Brian

I’ve survived many snowy Syracuse winters with FWD cars. Would it help? Sure. Is it needed? No. Simply drive according to conditions.

Andy

It’s a safety feature as much as anything else. Sure, you’re not going to be able to stop faster, but you’re more likely to be able to start and push through deeper snow (especially if you have higher clearance). Something that may make a difference between being stuck up a mountain in -30 for 24 hours and getting home safely. Like most safety features, you don’t need it, until you do.

Magnus H

Yes, and may people survive winters without a car at all. But an AWD is quite useful when it’s snowing.

Brian

So you agree with me. If you read what I wrote, I said that AWD helps in the snow. It is useful. But it is not necessary. Plenty of people have survived driving FWD cars in Syracuse over the past century.

EVShopper

Too bad Kona EV, Niro EV, and Bolt EV don’t offer AWD.

Dav8or

Why? Why do you feel you need AWD?

Hauer

Austria.
Mountain.
Snow.
For my C-Class it sometimes is a challenge to Make the 50 meters uphill from the house to the road.

Dav8or

Would it be easier with FWD? It seems it might.

SJC

Get a CLA.

Djoni

In case it’s an EV, it’s more efficient, have more regen and traction, save brake wear, even out tires wear, provide safety backup if one motor fail, handle better with torque vectoring and grip better in slippery conditions that are common in many places around the world.

Enough said, agreed that you don’t much need it in sunny southern states or country although the longer range and efficiency it provides might cut it.

viriato

Too much torque must be handle.