On 15 December, the new BMW iFE.18 and the BMW i Andretti Motorsport Team will contest their first race in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Ad Diriyah (KSA). At the heart of the car, which was developed for Season 5, lies the drivetrain: the Racing eDrive01. Drivetrain components:... Read more →


Engineers seeking to significantly improve the efficiency and performance of electric motors could benefit from using aluminum matrix composites (AMCs), according to research from the Innovate UK ‘Make it Lighter with Less’ R&D competition. Metal Matrix Composites are metallic materials that have been reinforced with a secondary high-performance material. The... Read more →


The BMW Group and Turkish manufacturer Karsan have signed an agreement for the supply of BMW i3 motors and batteries for the battery-electric 6-meter city bus “Jest electric”, which is produced in Bursa in Turkey for both the domestic market and for international markets. The electric motors and high-voltage batteries... Read more →


MTS delivers power density improvements to motor and inverter technology for Formula E

MTS Systems Corporation, a global supplier of high-performance test systems and sensors, announced further power density improvements to its electric motor and inverter technology for motorsport. Power density is a key component of successful racing. Leveraging experience and technology gained from developing energy recovery systems for Formula 1 racecars, MTS... Read more →


Critical Materials Institute takes major step toward printed anisotropic magnets

The US Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute (CMI) has taken a major step toward printed, aligned anisotropic magnets via additive manufacturing processes. The Energy Innovation Hub manufactured hybrid nylon-bonded neodymium-iron-boron and samarium-iron-nitrogen magnets using the Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The research is... Read more →


Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have used magnets recovered from used computer hard drives in an electric motor. The permanent magnets made from rare earth elements were reused without alteration in an axial gap motor, which can be adapted for use in electric vehicles and industrial machinery. In... Read more →


DOE awards MIT researchers $1.9M to advance electrolytic production of copper; direct production of copper wire

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded MIT associate professor of metallurgy Antoine Allanore a $1.9-million grant to run larger scale tests of a new one-step, molten electrolysis process (earlier post) to produce copper from sulfur-based minerals—the main source of copper. One of Allanore’s primary goals is to make... Read more →


UK awards £35M to three low-carbon propulsion technology projects

The UK’s Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) has awarded £35 million (US$45.5 million) to three UK-based low carbon automotive powertrain projects. The technologies developed will support aspirations for the UK to be a world leader in zero emissions technology as part of the Industrial Strategy and recently-published Road to Zero strategy.... Read more →


KIT, Tongji cooperating on distributed validation of fuel cell vehicle electric drive systems

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Tongji University in Shanghai are researching standardizable methods for joint technology development in dispersed locations. In the research project Project MovE2China, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Chinese government, engineers in Germany and China will simultaneously... Read more →


Series production of electric motors officially started in Audi’s Győr, Hungary plant. The electric motors are produced on floor space of 8,500 square meters using an innovative modular assembly production concept. The company has invested a double-digit million amount to set up the motor production facility. Tubing the various coil... Read more →


West Virginia University (WVU) researchers are opening a new facility to capture rare earth elements (REEs) from acid mine drainage (AMD) from coal mining. Through a collaborative research and development program with the US Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), WVU is opening the Rare Earth Extraction... Read more →


Building on its years of experience and expertise in engine and powertrain applications, leading adhesives provider Henkel is actively investing in new technologies and products for efficient large-scale manufacturing of safe and reliable electric drive systems. Key solutions include innovative liquid gasketing, magnet bonding, thermal management and potting products as... Read more →


As part of its contribution to a recently completed major European research initiative to achieve more efficient and cost-effective hybrid powertrains for both passenger cars and commercial vehicles, Ricardo developed a new 48V e-motor offering up to a 50% increase in power density compared with current production machines. Ricardo designed... Read more →


Eaton launches eMobility business; to invest $500M in new technologies

Power management company Eaton is addressing increasing demand for high-voltage electrified vehicle technologies with the creation of its new eMobility business. eMobility is poised to capitalize on a global vehicle electrification market projected to grow to 15 million pure battery-electric vehicles and another 30 million hybrids, from mild to plug-in,... Read more →


DARPA GXV-T demos showcase radical vehicle technologies

DARPA’s Ground X-Vehicle Technologies (GXV-T) program (earlier post) aims to improve mobility, survivability, safety, and effectiveness of future combat vehicles without piling on armor. Several Phase 2 contract awardees recently demonstrated advances on a variety of potentially groundbreaking technologies to meet the program’s goals. We’re looking at how to enhance... Read more →


Dana buys majority stake TM4 for C$165M; Hydro-Québec retains 45%; new JV

Dana Incorporated and Hydro-Québec announced a joint-venture partnership in which TM4 Inc., a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, will become Dana’s source for electric motors, power inverters, and control systems. As part of this agreement, Dana will become a majority shareholder of TM4 in exchange for CA$165 million (approximately US$127 million). Hydro-Québec... Read more →


Fisker Inc.’s Orbit autonomous electric shuttle, will feature Protean Electric’s in-wheel eDrive technology, specifically, the Pd18 system with peak torque of 1,250 N·m and peak power of 80 kW (60 kW continuous). ProteanDrive motors use patented technologies, digital control, and are packaged with a friction brake. Designed to withstand 300,000... Read more →


In-wheel electric drive company Protean Electric announced the completion of a $40-million equity investment as the initial closing of its Series E funding round. The investor group is led by Weifu High-Technology Group Co., Ltd., a leading diversified automotive component manufacturer, and Oak Investment Partners, Protean’s charter investor and long-established,... Read more →


UK-based electric powertrain specialist AVID Technology is working in collaboration with a consortium of six partners, including Jaguar Land Rover, to develop advanced hybrid electric vehicle systems as part of a £20.8-million (US$29-million) R&D project supported by the Advanced Propulsion Centre. AVID’s core expertise is the design of high-performance power... Read more →


Punch Powertrain and XPT have signed a joint venture agreement that will establish a new manufacturing plant in Nanjing and will yearly supply hundreds of thousands of electric powertrains for pure EV applications to customers of both partners. The partners will invest €10 million in a new production facility in... Read more →


XING Mobility, a Taipei-based electric powertrain system supplier, has selected Clean Wave Technologies to provide electric motors and drive control units for a rally-inspired supercar. “Miss R,” the first electric supercar with on-and off-road capabilities, will deliver 1MW of power. The vehicle will utilize four Clean Wave traction motors, one... Read more →


Meritor, Inc. will supply all-electric drivetrain systems for two Peterbilt vehicle platforms through its alliance with TransPower. (Earlier post.) These include 12 Peterbilt all-electric Class 8 Model 579 day cab tractors and three Model 520 refuse trucks. Meritor will supply high-efficiency and lightweight axles, drivelines and brakes that maximize system... Read more →


Nidec Corporation, a Japan-based leading global manufacturer of electric motors, has developed a new fully integrated traction motor system (e-axle) comprising an electric motor, reduction gear box and inverter. Latest version of the e-axle. This new system is the latest and most advanced iteration of the company’s e-axle developed to... Read more →


Japan-based NTN, a leading global supplier of hub bearings and driveshafts, will supply in-wheel motor technology to EV startup Changchun Fawsn Auto Tech (FSAT), established in October 2017 by FAW Group. FSAT will exhibit a prototype vehicle at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show. NTN’s latest in-wheel motor NTN began work... Read more →


A team of Japanese researchers from multiple institutions has calculated that an area of deep-sea mud in the western North Pacific Ocean near Minami-Torishima Island, Japan, contains more than 16 million tons of rare-earth elements and yttrium (REY). In an open-access paper published in Scientific Reports, they estimate that this... Read more →


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 →