This Ariel Nomad was turned from gas into a high-voltage buggy

BorgWarner, a company engaged in electrification on various fronts, unveiled an interesting new electric demonstration vehicle, which happens to be a high-voltage buggy.

Meet the Ariel Nomad EV, an Ariel Nomad converted to all-electric drive in six months, using BorgWarner's:

  • traction inverters
  • a torque-vectoring rear drive unit
  • an electric coolant pump
  • vehicle and traction control software
  • a DC/DC converter
  • a high-voltage battery pack

The Ariel Nomad EV is equipped with two High-Voltage Hairpin (HVH) 250 electric motors and eGearDrive gear sets (each one independently controlling a rear wheel) and a 30 kWh battery pack (with 200 kW power output at a nominal system voltage of 350 V).

The company intends to use the Ariel Nomad EV platform as a testbed for next-generation parts and for demonstration purposes.

"The new test platform, created from the all-terrain Ariel Nomad, gives its engineering team and customers a comprehensive view of BorgWarner’s technologies as well as their performance."

BorgWarner Ariel Nomad EV
BorgWarner Ariel Nomad EV

"A benefit of the vehicle’s electrified powertrain is its improved steering response made possible through torque vectoring. This feature allows both forward motion and regenerative braking, delivering a dynamic and controllable driving experience. Another key technology is BorgWarner’s thermal-management system, which circulates coolant via an electric pump through the inverters and battery pack. The liquid-cooled, 350V 30kWh pack delivers peak power of 200kW.

Beyond the significant propulsion technologies that make up the vehicle, BorgWarner’s CAE group was able to build its demo vehicle in just six months. Part of the reason the Ariel Nomad was chosen as the base vehicle for this demonstration project was the ease of access to install and remove components due to the open-air design of the vehicle.

The vehicle also is a proving ground for BorgWarner’s partner companies. Cascadia Motion, a BorgWarner-owned company, developed the rear-wheel-drive system featuring two separate BorgWarner High-voltage Hairpin (HVH) 250 electric motors and eGearDrive gear sets, each one independently controlling a rear wheel. This system, also featuring two of BorgWarner’s inverters, gives complete authority over the vehicle and enables more power and durability.

In addition, BorgWarner’s joint venture with Romeo Power, a leading-technology battery pack and module supplier, allows BorgWarner to power the demonstration vehicle with different configurations of battery power, and test and validate particular battery pack applications for specific vehicle goals or driving experiences. The joint venture’s battery modules and packs are expected to include intelligent battery management systems with proprietary algorithms for enhanced performance and cycle life, as well as proprietary thermal engineering for active and passive cooling."

BorgWarner Ariel Nomad EV
BorgWarner Ariel Nomad EV

We first heard about BorgWarner more than a decade ago when the company was supplying eGearDrive single-speed transmission for a variety of OEMs, including the first-generation Tesla Roadster.

Since then, BorgWarner significantly expanded its competencies through acquisitions:

  • in 2015 company acquired electric motor manufacturer Remy International,

  • in 2017 power electronics company Sevcon, known from both on-board chargers and EV inverters

  • in 2019 BorgWarner acquired Rinehart Motion Systems and AM Racing and merged them into a new wholly-owned company, Cascadia Motion LLC to develop electric and hybrid propulsion solutions for niche and emerging applications.

  • in 2019 started partnership with Romeo Power Technology in the area of “tighter and lighter” battery packs.