Back in late autumn 2019 a Silverstone-based company Swindon Powertrain revealed its electric crate motor concept. High Power Density (HPD) EV system, as it is officially called, is an impressive piece of kit, combining electric motor and transmission into one ultra compact and light unit. And now it is going on sale.

Swindon Powertrain HPD – this compact module is world’s first true electric crate motor. (Manufacturer’s pic.)

In fact, before going on sale it actually shrunk in size. Back in November we were surprised that this 80 kW unit measures just 600 x 440 x 280 mm and weighs 70 kg. Now it shrunk to 441 x 384 x 228 mm and weighs just under 50 kg, while making the same amount of power. Engineers at Swindon Powertrain took their original concept and optimized every part of it to make this unit even lighter and more compact. And now it is available for order with prices starting from £6,400+VAT (€7178+ taxes).

Seems expensive? Well, you have to consider what this crate motor is for. Most buyers are going to be companies that are manufacturing niche low-volume electric cars. And the ones that convert classic cars to electric drive. While the HPD powertrain is going to be available for enthusiasts as well, most enquiries are coming from businesses. Small manufacturers simply do not have capabilities to develop their own electric powertrains, which was the motivation to create Swindon Powertrain’s HPD.

While it is small, you have to remember that it is just a basic electric powertrain. You will still need an inverter, some kind of a cooling solution and, of course, batteries. Swindon Powertrain offers some of these features (not batteries though) as optional extras – buyers will be able to buy limited slip differential, output shafts, coolant pump, inverter and some other parts. They can also choose one of the two available gear ratios – all HPDs have a single speed gearbox, but different units provide different output torque.

This unit contains an electric motor and a transmission and yet weighs just under 50 kg. (Swindon Powertrain)

HPD is a highly versatile electric powertrain. It can be made waterproof to be used in recreational vehicles, such as ATV’s. In fact, Swindon Powertrain revealed that the company is in talks with one ATV manufacturer. Because of its many mounting points and modular inverter arrangement (it can be mounted remotely anywhere in the car), HPD could be used anywhere from an electrified classic car to a small commercial vehicle or even a golf cart.

HPD can be used on the front or rear axle, it can be used in pairs or even become a part of a hybrid powertrain. It is ready for installment straight out of the box, which technically makes it the first real electric crate motor. The first units are going to be delivered in August.

HPD module will suit a variety of applications. (Swindon Powertrain)

Swindon Powertrain’s HPD e-powertrain in figures:

  • Motor type: brushless permanent magnet;
  • Power– 80 kW;
  • Max. torque – 136 Nm;
  • Efficiency – 97 %;
  • Max. RPM – 10500;
  • Max. nominal output torque – 1565 or 861 (depends on the gear ratio chosen);
  • Dimensions – 441 x 384 x 228 mm;
  • Weight – 49,9 kg.

Interestingly, Swindon Powertrain revealed that the company is working on another product. It’s going to be more than six months until we know more, but our guess is that it is a more powerful  unit.


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