Image Courtesy of BAE Systems

Image Courtesy of BAE Systems

Electric vehicles are gaining significant traction these days, and for all the right reasons.

Whether it’s reducing harmful emissions, lowering noise, or increasing energy efficiency, the shift toward clean technology is well underway for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

As fleets move forward in the electric vehicle era, sustainability and efficiency are becoming a top priority for operators, driving the importance of electric propulsion as a path toward zero emissions. It also helps cost savings by reducing fuel and maintenance expenses.

For commercial fleets looking to electrify, the benefits may be clear, but there are plenty of unknowns on the road toward electrification. One of those challenges is incorporating the electric drive system responsible for generating and moving power throughout the vehicle.

As the electrification era ramps up, vehicle manufacturers are beginning to understand the importance of power and propulsion system integration.  

They can ease the complex process by simplifying the power and propulsion technology - implementing compact, flexible, and modular hardware to best streamline an otherwise complicated transition.


Electric drive components, including inverters, converters, motors, energy storage, and system controls are essential pieces of any hybrid or electric vehicle. More so, compact power electronics with integrated functionality provide propulsion power to move the vehicle and distribute power for vehicle accessories, such as air conditioning, power steering, and compressors.

Why is this important? Combining functionalities into fewer units allows for significant space, weight, and cost savings on a vehicle.

In a consolidated and modular design, separate drive controls are merged into a unified system, allowing different power management functions to come together in a single, compact unit. This approach replaces distributed components strung together, reducing the size, footprint, and cost of the system solution.

Think about a modular unit in terms of slice technology. Each component, or “slice,” is roughly the size of a 3-ring binder and responsible for a different function, such as charging, high-voltage connection, and traction to drive the motor. The slices are stacked together in a single unit, further allowing an already compact system to be customizable for the vehicle based on specific propulsion and accessory power requirements.

For an EV, space is crucial. The customized approach ensures space is never wasted and the manufacturer does not pay for excess or unneeded capabilities.

To put it simply, a consolidated and modular system is less complex. Fewer components on the vehicle means higher reliability, ease of installation, lower cabling cost, and lower maintenance.


Simplification starts at the technology level, and that includes using electric drive components that are flexible and scalable, as well as modular and compact.

With this goal in mind, BAE Systems has harnessed its core technology into a revolutionary architecture to meet the electrification needs of heavy-duty commercial vehicles for today and tomorrow.

By using a simple, common architecture, the core power electronics are flexible enough for multiple vehicle platforms, including fuel cell, battery electric, or hybrid electric systems. This allows for a wide range of solutions for various duty cycles and power requirements, spanning commercial vehicles to mining platforms.

Electric drive technology, with a modular design, allows a common product to scale easily across numerous platforms and applications, reducing the need for additional development efforts.


Transitioning to electric propulsion calls for more than hardware upgrades. It is essential for the entire process, including integrating, installing, and supporting new technology, to be straightforward for both manufacturers and end users. A fully integrated solution gives customers the confidence that all components within the system will synchronize efficiently when the vehicle reaches the road.

Having covered five billion on-road miles and powering over 16,000 vehicles worldwide across various terrains and duty cycles, BAE Systems is deeply familiar with the electrification of heavy-duty platforms. With more than 25 years of expertise designing, producing, and servicing electric drive technology, BAE Systems has established a robust network to transition fleets toward zero emissions.

Alongside system integration, superior component engineering, and aftermarket support, reliable electric drive technology is critical to help commercial manufacturers reach their electrification goals.