Integral Powertrain History
Integral Powertrain Ltd (IP) was founded in 1998 by its four current directors John, Luke, Darren and Roger, who had previously worked for a number of years at Cosworth’s road engine business.
Over the first 10 years the business built a strong reputation and a prestigious client base of OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers across a wide range of automotive and aerospace sectors. The key work streams in this period were I/C engines and controls engineering and advanced CAE processes customised to client requirements.
One of the engineering projects, a supercharging and mild hybrid system intended for high-volume production called SuperGen, required development of a pair of exceptionally compact permanent magnet motors with integrated inverters and was the initial focus for development of advanced electric drive technology within the company.
In 2001 the CAE process business was consolidated into a new Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) services provider Intrinsys, and following its acquisition of a competitor in 2014, this grew into Dassault Systems’ largest business partner operating predominantly in Northern Europe. In 2017 Intrinsys was sold to the Addnode Group and became an integral part of the worldwide Technia Group.
In response to anticipated growth in electric propulsion, a dynamic e-Drive Systems group was formed in 2008 and in 2009 the company was awarded the business to design and manufacture a 130kW motor for a prestigious hybrid supercar. Integral’s first series production run of 550 units was successfully completed in 2015.
In 2013 the company was commissioned to design and manufacture a series of premium machines with global leadership in speed and power density. At the other end of the spectrum, it developed a range of low-voltage interior permanent magnet (IPM) machines with integrated inverters suitable for high-volume manufacture.
Further electric drive business followed rapidly and this product-focused part of the business has now been re-branded as “Integral e-Drive” providing high performance drives precisely configured to clients requirements.
In 2018, Integral Powertrain’s e-Drive division supplied the electric motors and inverters that powered the Volkswagen Motorsport I.D. R race car to outright victory and a new electric vehicle and outright record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado Springs, USA; laying down a time of 7:57.148 and shattering Sebastian Loeb’s previous record of 8:13.878.. This success showed that electric vehicles could compete on equal terms with I/C power and win and it resulted in Integral Powertrain gaining a number of awards including the prestigious RAC Dewar Trophy.:
2019, 2020 and early 2021 saw series production awards for five high-profile Hypercars including the Aston Martin Valkyrie and the Lotus Evija, the latter featuring the company’s own integrated silicon carbide inverter. In order to service these requirements and enable the company to bring its e-drives to a broader selection of clients, a new Flexible Manufacturing Facility (FMF) was commissioned in 2019. With initial capacity of 4,000 units per annum this vertically integrates key processes which secure the company’s performance advantage alongside a comprehensive quality system certified to ISO 9001:2015 and aligned to IATF 16949. Full IATF certification is scheduled for completion at the beginning of 2022.
Alongside these developments in series production the company continued to build on its performance leadership achieving more than 98% combined motor and inverter peak efficiency in the Formula E powertrain supplied to NIO and demonstrating its Scalable Integrated Modular Inverter technology (SIMI) applied to a Triumph motorcycle.
2020 also saw the opening of Shenley Technical Centre, a new, purpose-built facility in Milton Keynes bringing all of the company’s key capabilities together and symbolising its confidence and ambition to play its part in shaping the future of high-performance electric drives.