In August 2017, international metals and minerals research firm Roskill reported that Tesla would use a 3-phase permanent magnet motor in the Model 3 RWD Long Range as the powertrain motor, as opposed to the asynchronous reluctance (induction) motors used in the Model 3 RWD standard and Model X AWD.... Read more →

Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. announced that it has been selected as the electric drivetrain provider for a $4.4-million program implemented by the United States Department of Energy in efforts to accelerate the adoption of advanced and alternative fuel vehicles. (Earlier post.) Combined with matching funding from other public and private entities... Read more →

GKN Driveline has begun testing an SUV technology research vehicle which showcases the company’s eDrive, All-Wheel Drive (AWD) and systems integration capabilities. Based on a Mercedes-AMG GLA 45, the one-off GKN Technology Demonstrator 2018 vehicle (GTD18), features mechanical and electric Twinster torque vectoring, a plug-in hybrid system, and completely re-engineered... Read more →

Driveline engineering consultancy Drive System Design (DSD) has partnered with software specialists Altair and FluiDyna to develop and enhance FluiDyna’s computer modeling technique, nanoFluidX, that significantly improves the analysis of lubrication flow. nanoFluidX utilizes a Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) methodology and increases the accuracy of analysis while reducing the simulation... Read more →

Wuhan University team proposes structure-variable sliding mode control of IPMSM in EVs

Researchers at Wuhan University of Science and Technology in China have proposed a control method based on a speed loop structure-variable sliding mode controller (SMC) for interior permanent magnet synchronous motors in electric vehicles. The method combines maximum torque per ampere with a vector control strategy. In an open access... Read more →

Toyota Motor Corporation has developed the world’s first neodymium-reduced, heat-resistant magnet. Neodymium (Nd) magnets are used in various types of motors such as the high-output motors found in electrified vehicles. The new magnet uses significantly less neodymium, a rare-earth element, and can be used in high-temperature conditions. The newly developed... Read more →

Renault has revealed its new R110 electric motor and the 2018 model-year ZOE, Europe’s best-selling electric vehicle, which will be the first Renault EV to feature this 80kW powerplant which combines extra power with even greater driving enjoyment. Despite being the same size as the R90, the R110 is 12... Read more →

Four rare earth elements (REEs) recovery projects managed by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) (earlier post) have made significant progress in the development of a domestic supply of REEs from coal and coal by-products by successfully producing REE... Read more →

Vahana, the all-electric, self-piloted, VTOL aircraft from A³ by Airbus, successfully completed its first full-scale flight test, reaching a height of 5 meters (16 feet) before descending safely. The test was completed on 31 January 2018 at the Pendleton UAS Range in Pendleton, Oregon. Its first flight, with a duration... Read more →

Punch Powertrain, a Belgium-based full-system supplier of fuel-efficient powertrains including transmissions and plug-in hybrid and battery-electric systems, is acquiring France-based power electronics expert Apojee. Apojee has customers in the German and French automotive industry (both OEMs and Tier 1s), as well as in motorsports (inverters for Formula E and for... Read more →

A bespoke development of GKN’s coaxial eAxle powers the rear wheels of the LEVC (London EV Company, formerly known as London Taxi Company)’s electrified TX model. GKN Driveline launched its coaxial eAxle in its first application across Volvo’s range of T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrids, picking up an Automotive News... Read more →

Electric motor manufacturer YASA secures $21M growth funding, opens new Oxford production facility

YASA, a manufacturer of axial-flux electric motors and controllers (earlier post), has raised £15 million (US$21 million) in growth funding. Universal Partners joined Parkwalk Advisors and other existing investors in the round, bringing the total raised by the company to £35 million (US$49 million). This £15-million investment follows YASA’s signing... Read more →

NRC researchers develop additive manufacturing process for fabrication of permanent magnets for electric motors

National Research Council of Canada (NRC) researchers Fabrice Bernier and Jean-Michel Lamarre have developed a cold-spray additive-manufacturing process to fabricate permanent magnets for electric motors. Currently, high-performance magnets used in electric motors are typically made using processes such as powder compaction (for sintered magnets) or injection moulding (for bonded magnets).... Read more →

GKN order book for electric driveline technologies totalled $2.8 billion by end of 2017

GKN Driveline announced that its order book for electric driveline (eDrive) technologies hit a record £2 billion (US$2.8 billion) by the end of 2017 following a series of significant program wins with major global automakers. Sales, which were previously forecast to rise from £33 million (US$45.7 million) in 2017 to... Read more →

ARPA-E issues $100M OPEN funding opportunity announcement to support early-stage energy R&D

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $100 million in funding for new projects as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA‑E) latest OPEN funding opportunity. (DE-FOA-0001858) ARPA-E issued previous OPEN solicitations in 2009, 2012, and 2015. Open solicitations enable ARPA-E to support transformational projects outside the... Read more →

Meritor makes strategic investment in TransPower to accelerate medium- and heavy-duty electrical vehicle platforms

Meritor, Inc., a leading global supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets, has made a strategic investment in TransPower, a provider of electrification technologies for large commercial vehicles. (Earlier post, earlier post.) Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. California-based TransPower supplies integrated... Read more →

Groupe PSA and Nidec form JV for automotive traction motors

Groupe PSA and Nidec Corporation, through Nidec Leroy-Somer Holding, will form a joint venture in the field of electric traction motors. The JV will develop state of the art high-performance and competitive electric traction motor range for electrified vehicles—including mild-hybrid (MHEV), battery-electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles—to meet the... Read more →

DOE Lab, partners find high concentrations of rare earth elements in American coal basins

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has found high rare earth element (REE) concentrations in coal samples taken from the Illinois, Northern Appalachian, Central Appalachian, Rocky Mountain Coal Basins, and the Pennsylvania Anthracite region. These highly concentrated samples are greater than 300 parts per million... Read more →

BMW Group investing €200M over four years in new Battery Competence Center; Gen 5 electric drivetrain in 2021; 700 km range

The BMW Group will invest €200 million (US$233 million) over the next four years in its new BMW Group Battery Cell Competence Center in Munich. This interdisciplinary competence center aims to advance battery cell technology and introduce it into production processes; the center will open in early 2019. In the... Read more →

UPS and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced that new technology will be developed to convert UPS package delivery vehicles from diesel to electric. UPS and Unique Electric Solutions LLC (UES LLC) will design, build, test and make the conversions. NYSERDA is providing $500,000 in... Read more →

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has begun mass-producing the auto industry’s first crankshaft-mounted integrated starter-generator (ISG) system for 48V hybrid vehicles, which will be mounted in Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The system will be on display during 45th Tokyo Motor Show 2017. Belt-driven system ISG systems use a belt to transfer power from the... Read more →

Finnish manufacturer Visedo is unveiling a new electric motor design at BusWorld 2017 that is optimized for the bus market and ready for mass manufacture. With the new S-model PowerDRUM, Visedo has achieved a 10% increase in power output as well as better cooling. Visedo says that the upgrades enable... Read more →

To expand its global electrified powertrain offerings and strengthen its local footprint in China, Magna has entered into a joint-venture agreement with Huayu Automotive Systems Co., Ltd. (HASCO), a subsidiary of SAIC Motor. The JV will initially produce an electric-drive powertrain system for a German automaker. For the initial customer... Read more →

TM4 introduces new motor/generator for the commercial heavy-duty hybrid market: SUMO HP HV900

TM4 is expanding its SUMO family of electric powertrains (earlier post) with the introduction of the new SUMO HP line which is dedicated to high-power applications. As part of this new line, TM4 is launching the SUMO HP HV900, a new motor/generator and inverter combination for the commercial heavy-duty market.... Read more →

Hong-Kong-based Sinotruk has made an initial purchase of UQM PowerPhase DT (drivetrain) systems (earlier post) for implementation and evaluation in their commercial vehicles. This is the first step towards the long term strategy of utilizing UQM electric drive products across Sinotruk’s portfolio of commercial vehicles. The UQM PowerPhase DT pairs... Read more →

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, a global developer of engineered sealing solutions, will showcase a portfolio of e-mobility products at this week’s 2017 North American Battery Show in Novi (US). The company will display components that assist with thermal management, power efficiency, friction reduction, weight reduction and compact installation spaces, among others.... Read more →

GKN Driveline will reveal a new electric axle concept at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) this week. The new eAxle eTwinsterX offers three key advantages over conventional electric drivelines, GKN says: size, efficiency and torque vectoring. The integrated coaxial format means that the electric drive (eDrive) unit is significantly... Read more →

Leveraging its experience with electromobility components, Bosch has developed a new generation electric axle drive, or e-axle. The motor, power electronics, and transmission form one compact unit that directly drives the car’s axle. This makes the powertrain not only far more efficient, but more affordable as well. Bosch has had... Read more →

DOE invests $17.4M in projects to advance recovery of rare earth elements from coal and coal byproducts

The US Department of Energy (DOE) selected four projects to move on to a second phase of research in their efforts to advance recovery of rare earth elements (REE) from coal and coal byproducts. (Earlier post.) DOE will invest $17.4 million to develop and test REE recovery systems originally selected... Read more →

Nissan Motor Corporation and its Infiniti brand revealed a sleek, open-wheeled electric retro roadster prototype at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The car, called Prototype 9, is a re-imagining of a 1940s race car with time-honored production techniques employed to realize its retro design. The Prototype 9 is the... Read more →

NREL/Oak Ridge thermal measurements of packed copper wire enables better electric motor designs

A recently completed study by researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) of the anisotropic—i.e., directionally dependent—thermal conductivity of packed copper wire for electric-drive vehicle (EDV) motor applications is providing a baseline for the assessment of new materials and winding structures. The findings... Read more →

ZF is using its plug-in Vision Zero concept vehicle to showcase a number of new safety and zero local emissions technologies. The vehicle features a 150 kW electric axle drive system for dynamic acceleration. The entire propulsion system, including the integrated power electronics, is housed in an innovative, space-saving modular... Read more →

AK Steel receives $1.8M from DOE to develop next-generation electrical steels for hybrid and electric vehicle motors

AK Steel has accepted an award of up to $1.8 million from the US Department of Energy (DOE) under the Advanced Manufacturing Office’s Next Generation Electric Machines (NGEM) program to develop the next generation of advanced, non-oriented electrical steels (NOES) for motors used in a wide variety of industrial and... Read more →

IAV presented a new version of its modular electric drive concept at the Vienna Motor Symposium. Combining a 50 kW (continuous) / 80 kW (maximum) e-motor and transmission, the modular drive unit can support electrification solutions in vehicle classes A to D. The unit represents a further development of a... Read more →

Dana showcasing electrified technologies at Auto Shanghai

At Auto Shanghai 2017, Dana Incorporated is showcasing select technologies from its Spicer Electrified portfolio of fully integrated motor, control, and e-drive technologies, as well as thermal-management products for electric and hybrid vehicles. On display is Dana’s new Spicer electric motor-driven gearbox, which is specifically engineered to deliver better acceleration... Read more →

GKN Driveline has presented an advanced technology concept for a fully integrated, compact eDrive system at the 2017 Auto Shanghai motor show. All of the components of GKN’s eDrive system are contained within a bespoke housing, resulting in optimized packaging and greatly simplifying the integration process for car manufacturers. The... Read more →

Qoros Automotive will reveal Qoros Model K-EV, its newest high-performance electric concept car, at Shanghai Auto 2017. Qoros plans to put Model K-EV into mass production in 2019. The Qoros Model K-EV will feature an individually powered, high-performance, all-wheel drive system, utilizing the same high performance electric drive-line technology also... Read more →

The Extra 330LE aerobatic plane, powered by a propulsion system from Siemens (earlier post), set two new speed records. At the Dinslaken Schwarze Heide airfield in Germany, the electric aircraft reached a top speed of around 337.50 km/h (209.7 mph) over a distance of three kilometers. The speed achieved by... Read more →

France-based Silicon Mobility, a provider of semiconductor control solutions for electric motors, battery and energy management systems of hybrid and electric vehicles, introduced a software library (OLEA LIB) and an application (OLEA APP) optimized for its OLEA chips to increase the energy efficiency, the battery range and the charging speed... Read more →

ConMet and Protean Electric partner to develop electric in-wheel drive system for the commercial vehicle market

Consolidated Metco, a leading global supplier of components to the commercial vehicle market, and Protean Electric, the manufacturer of ProteanDRIVE in-wheel motors, are partnering to develop an electric in-wheel drive system to provide hybrid-electric solutions for the medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicle markets. The ConMet/Protean in-wheel electric drive system is... Read more →

Bosch establishing new electromobility operating unit in Powertrain Solutions; start at beginning of 2018

Bosch is forming an operating unit specifically for electromobility. The unit will be part of the new Powertrain Solutions division. From the start of 2018, Powertrain Solutions will include the company’s electromobility activities as well as the existing Gasoline Systems and Diesel Systems divisions. Thus, in the future, Bosch will... Read more →

Hitachi Automotive Systems and Honda to establish a joint venture for electric vehicle motors

Hitachi Automotive Systems and Honda Motor have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aiming to establish a joint venture company for the development, manufacture and sales of motors for electric vehicles. Initially, Hitachi will hold 51%, Honda 49% of the new JV, the name of which is still to be... Read more →

The Taiwanese harbor city of Kaohsiung has launched a new hybrid electric ferry. The Cijian Island passenger ferry is retrofitted with a Visedo electric propulsion system, replacing the original diesel engine. It heralds Asia’s first hybrid electric ferry and, if successful, the Kaohsiung City Government plans to retrofit the rest... Read more →

UQM partners with Meritor for full e-axle systems for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles; prototypes later this year

UQM Technologies has signed a development agreement with Meritor. The development program is expected to last for two-and-one-half years. The alliance will develop full electric axle systems to address the increasing commercial vehicle market demand requirements for improved fuel economy and reduced emissions through much higher levels of vehicle electrification.... Read more →

NSK Ltd. has successfully demonstrated the first transmission-equipped wheel hub motor, designed to improve the environmental performance, safety, and comfort of automobiles. Building on the knowledge it has gained from the prototype wheel hub motor it developed, NSK is aiming to commercialize wheel hub components such as the hub unit... Read more →

An electric-drive Extra 330LE aerobatics plane recently set a world record in ascent in the category of “Electric aircraft weighing up to 1,000 kilograms. The pilot reached an altitude of 3,000 meters in only four minutes and 22 seconds, beating the previous record by one minute and 10 seconds. The... Read more →

The Schaeffler Group, a global integrated automotive and industrial supplier, sees e-mobility, Industry 4.0 and digitalization as the key opportunities for the future, said CEO Klaus Rosenfeld at the company’s press conference at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. Schaeffler is placing a strong emphasis on hybrid... Read more →

At CES 2017 in Las Vegas next week, Rinspeed will unveil its Oasis autonomous electric concept vehicle. The two-seat runabout—somewhat reminiscent of a modern interpretation of famous Star Wars icon R2D2—can turn on its wheels with almost a zero radius due to a special steering angle, two in-wheel electric motors... Read more →

Finnish electric powertrain company Visedo raises €20M to support global expansion; SRPM technology

Visedo, a Finnish manufacturer specializing in electric powertrains and components, has secured a financing package of €20 million (US$21 million) to support its international growth plans. The financing consists of an equity investment of €13.5 million, an EFSI loan of €5 million and €1.5 million in funding from other sources.... Read more →

Schaeffler acquires motor manufacturer Compact Dynamics; power electronics agreement with SEMIKRON

Automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler finalized a purchase contract with SEMIKRON International GmbH for the acquisition of 51% of the shares of Compact Dynamics GmbH, a manufacturer of high-performance electric motors. At the same time, Schaeffler and SEMIKRON have agreed a cooperation for the development of power electronics systems and... Read more →