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UQM Introduces New 150 kW Drive System

UQM has developed and is taking orders for a new 150 kW (200 hp) peak power proprietary permanent magnet propulsion system. The new propulsion system is suitable for high performance automotive applications and heavy-duty commercial and military vehicles.

The propulsion system has a continuous power rating of 100 kW (143 hp), delivers peak torque of 650 Nm (480 ft-lb) and continuous torque of 400 Nm (295 ft-lb) and has the highest power density of any of its propulsion systems. The system also features optimized four-quadrant performance, on-the-fly torque, speed and voltage control and system energy efficiency of over 90% over substantially all of its performance regime.

This system will allow us to pursue additional market opportunities for those vehicle platforms with higher power requirements that we were previously unable to service.

—Jon Lutz, Director of Engineering

UQM recently was awarded an additional $750,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research contract from the US Air Force to advance the development of a silicon carbide (SiC) electronic motor controller. Coincident with that project, UQM is converting a conventional pickup truck to all-electric operation using a motor controller containing the higher power silicon carbide modules that are being developed. (Earlier post.)

Earlier in the year, UQM formed a strategic alliance with lithium-ion battery maker Altairnano to pursue opportunities for their complementary electric drive and battery technologies in advanced transportation and other high potential markets. (Earlier post.)

UQM and Altairnano are working with Phoenix Motorcars on the development and launch of the all-electric sport utility truck (SUT). The Phoenix all-electric SUT is powered by a 100 kW UQM electric propulsion system which produces more than 400 lb-ft (542 Nm) of torque.



This is an ideal drive system for a medium - large SUV or truck, the real question is which manufacturer is brave enough to pick it up?


Enova Systems(ENA) is already way ahead in this segment. They already have partners such as Navistar in the U.S. who are currently running the only Hybrid School Buses in the world and The Tanfield Group in the U.K. who are collaborating on all electric delivery vehicles, which by the way just ramped up production.

Good to see some competition. If anything, maybe it will drive the prices down. Therefore, excellerating production volumes.

Reality Czech

100 kW is 134 HP, not 143.

Henry Gibson

One of the major problems with electric or electric-hybrid cars is the fact that there is no mass production of the cars or many of the other components and there is no cost competition. The electronic circuitry to drive most electric or hybrid cars is more expensive than the body and interior fittings. The conversion price for an electric scion xb is more than three times the price of the base car at $55,000 and is not much of a piece of art. AC Propulsion has done the electronics as it did for the Tzeros.

The actual peak horsepower of an electric motor is rarely important, but the electronic circuitry to drive it can be easily burnt out with overloads. Electric and diesel electric locomotives have electronic drives for alternating current induction wheel motors that can have a total capacitiy of over 4000 kw. The regeneration available from the electronic automobile drives now on the market will never pay for themselves.

A direct current motor with a wound field and brushes can be made for a very cheap price and controlled with resistors not transistors to get the lowest cost electric car. Direct current motors with brushes have been used in street cars for over one hundred years, and you might be able to ride in one in San Francisco this very day that does not have a single transistor in its whole drive circuit. And I am not talking about the cable cars.

Since electric and electric-hybrid cars are not in large quantity production, there are enough buyers with large enough budgets for a few hundreds or even thousands of $60,000 cars that are pieces of art of invisible power transistors including silicon-carbide transistors and diodes. One must also include the most expensive latest lithium battery to give it the best "Bling" quality. The actual cost of the electricity, including the depreciation cost of the battery compared to the amount of electricity it delivers to the motor, is multipled by a factor of more than three compared to the original cost of the electricity even if the car used up a full battery charge every day.

The battery of the Ebox is:
Battery Li Ion
Voltage 355V nominal
Capacity 35 kWh
Weight 600 lbs

Assuming the Ebox's full battery charge of 35 kilowatt-hours was used every day for ten years, that would be 127750 kilowatt-hours used total. At $55000 for the conversion, each kilowatt-hour would cost 43 cents for the capital cost of storage alone. This does not include the lost opportunity cost of the capital. At 0.200 kilowatt-watt hours per mile(calcars), it costs about 9 cents a mile capital cost to drive and about 2 cents electric. The car will be driven much less so the energy storage cost per mile goes up significantly. If the V2G (vehicle to grid) feature is used, that might be able to reduce the cost of ownership, but that would require very favorable rates from the power company. The cycle life of the battery would probably not withstand the daily discharge over ten years, and only a five year life would double the capital cost of storage.

Many people in the US have realized this and have "cars", golf-carts really, with lead batteries and direct current motors with brushes. They do not expect to take a trip from LA to Vegas in them but use them every day to go to neighbors and local stores. Almost every one of these people have computers with about a billion transitors in them.

The chinese have a car on the market with cheap direct current motors and no regeneration. It uses lead batteries too. It is actually sold, not leased, to people who have enough money to buy it. There was no multibillion dollar design and development effort that was expected to be paid off in the sales of the first few thousand cars like GM's EV1. The Chinese company will not recall and crush them at great additional expense, nor will it fight an expensive lawsuit against authorities who are in favor of electric cars. It will also not spend a lot of money developing batteries and then use faulty batteries of its own and sell the new battery design and company to an oil company.

The price of electric cars must be reduced. A new way of financing the the expensive large batteries might be part of this reduction, and it might be battery leasing by utility companies. A small fuel powered engine-generator must be incorporated into every electric car, if only to defeat the perception that an electric car has too short of a range to be useful. A Tzero was equipped with a power trailer to give it infinite range. A similar design could be built and hidden into a corner of any electric car, and used only rarely if ever like a spare tire.

Almost no car is really bought on economics, and those who buy cars will get what they think they can, for the payments they think they can manage.

At four dollars a gallon and a $5000 used car that gets 25 miles per gallon, the $70000(eBOX)-$5000= $65000 can give you 65000x25= 1625000/4=406250 miles of travel. Almost any old used car is better economics than the most efficient new car for most drivers....Henry Gibson

joe padula

I find it hard to ... OK, if you think a car with limited energy storage should use resistors to control speed you should take a course in modern electronics.
Yes I know about wound motor spped control and field weakening. I studied history.
Those 1900 era Sprague design trolleys had almost unlimited electricity in the overhead wires and there was no other way to do it then.
This is the green car site (pollution and Co20 not the save money one.
AC propulsion and allan cocconi are not manufacturing engineers, prices in mass production come down a factor of 10. The truth is you can buy a 100 HP VFD for a lot less than any of the suppliers offer once it for a car.

Henry Gibson

Henry Ford reduced the costs of producing his cars so that even his employees could buy them. As you say, mass production is needed for low costs. Unless the wide public can buy low emission cars there is no advantage to the lower fuel use. Hydraulic or air hybrids may be lower in cost than electric ones. ..HG..

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