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DOE awards Magna a grant to develop and ‘auto qualify’ advanced motor; 1/2 the cost, 8x power density

Magna has been awarded a grant by the US Department of Energy to develop and ‘auto-qualify’ advanced electric motor technologies for next-generation vehicle propulsion systems. In partnership with the Illinois Institute of Technology and University of Wisconsin-Madison, Magna is applying its powertrain, electronics and full-vehicle expertise to deliver an automotive-grade, non-permanent magnet, high-performance electric motor that aims to achieve increased power density and reduced cost compared to current e-motors.


An integrated electric drive axle from Magna’s portfolio of electrified drivetrain products.

The project objective is to develop an electric motor that is half the cost and eight times the power density, while delivering 125 kW of peak power. The reduction in cost is the result of eliminating the use of rare-earth permanent magnets, which make up a significant portion of electric-motor cost.

Reducing dependency on rare-earth magnets solves two key issues for accelerating access to electrification: supply chain sourcing and cost.

—Swamy Kotagiri, Chief Technology Officer, Magna

The project will integrate the exclusive electric motor technologies with a transmission and inverter as part of an overall e-drive system.

The project scope includes development and use of innovative materials, cooling technologies, winding technologies, simulation models, as well as control and optimization techniques.

Designing for automotive standards and low-cost manufacturing using Magna’s comprehensive design framework is another key element of the project. The electric motor technologies will be presented to US DOE for evaluation in 2021.



Currently, the best electric high temperature conductor is graphene. Substituting all copper windings with graphene automatically eliminates all efforts for adequate cooling. That would make an electric motor really efficient and subsequently lower the overall expenditures.


At half the cost?


Do you get a cooling system FOC?


And don't forget the continuous maintenance of said cooling system.


non-permanent magnet...
That leaves induction or switched reluctance.

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Also Synchronous reluctance motors. No mention if permanent magnet (PM)-assisted synchronous reluctance machine using ferrite magnets would be investigated. Check this example. Other criteria such as gearboxes to increase torque at the wheel and high rpm speeds should be included in the cost optimization.


A version of both.

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