Bentley Motors has launched a three-year research study on electric vehicle powertrains, utilizing a fully integrated, free from rare-earth magnet e-axle that supports electric vehicle architectures. This reinforces Bentley’s ambition to lead sustainable luxury mobility and introduce the first fully electric Bentley by 2026.
The study, titled OCTOPUS (Optimized Components, Test and simulatiOn, toolkits for Powertrains which integrate Ultra high-speed motor Solutions) follows an initial 18-month investigation that delivered a technological breakthrough in electric drive systems for high-performance vehicles.
Building on the UK’s leading electronics research, the resulting electric drive system exceeded the latest permanent magnet motor performance while simultaneously removing the need for both rare-earth magnets and copper windings, delivering a package both cost effective and recyclable at its end of life.
OCTOPUS will take this leading-edge motor, power electronics and packaging transmission design, adding next generation materials, manufacturing processes, simulation and test cycles to deliver a full e-axle powertrain with unique levels of integration and revolutionary performance characteristics suitable for real world application by 2026.
We have made no secret of our ambition to lead the way in the delivery of sustainable luxury mobility, Beyond100. We have a clear roadmap to offer a hybrid option for every model by 2023, starting with the Bentayga Hybrid, and our next goal moves towards a fully electric Bentley by 2026.
However today, there remains challenges and package constraints on the viability and flexibility of electric vehicle powertrains that are able to fully support EV architectures. With the industry, technologies and cars changing faster than ever before, research projects such as OCTOPUS are crucial to deliver innovative technologies and overcome challenges for the next generation of mobility solutions.—tefan Fischer, Director of Powertrain Engineering at Bentley Motors
OCTOPUS is an OLEV-funded project delivered in partnership with Innovate UK which brings together the following partners with distinct roles and responsibilities:
Bentley Motors – Specification setting, vehicle integration plan and system test
Advanced Electric Machines Ltd – Motor manufacturing and systems assembly
Advanced Electric Machines Research Ltd – Motor and transmission design
The Thinking Pod Innovations Ltd & Nottingham University – Power electronics optimization and alternative wide band gap system design
The Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS) at the University of Bath – Integrated system analysis and proof of concept validation testing
HiETA Technologies Ltd – AM component design and manufacture for thermal management including stator core housing, power electronics and E-axle oil cooling
FD Sims Ltd – Next generation wire technology development
Talga Technologies Ltd – 2D materials development for next generation winding technologies
Diamond Light Source – UK’s national synchrotron light source providing access to X-ray facilities for measurements
Hartree Center (Science and Technology Facilities Council) – Advanced system testing and co-simulation toolkit development
Advanced Electric Machines Group (AEMG) is a UK-based manufacturer of electric machines with established premises and processes to build up to 12,000 units per year of its rare-earth-magnet-free traction motors in Washington, Tyne & Wear. Focused on passenger car, commercial vehicle and aerospace markets, AEMG has supplied its motor technologies to customers in the UK, Europe, North America and Australia. SSRD is a class leading magnet-free motor capable of delivering system level power densities of up to 21 kW/l while remaining rare earth and copper-free.