In the USA, Magna is now working with the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Wisconsin-Madison to develop an electric motor with a significantly higher power density and lower costs. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
The aim of the project is to create an electric motor with a peak output of 125 kW that has eight times more power density than today’s electric motors for half the cost. The Canadian-Austrian automotive supplier gives the analogy that this is like pouring a gallon of milk into a pint-sized container (or just under 4 litres of milk into a half-litre container). Magna wants to reduce costs by eliminating the use of rare earth permanent magnets.
Swamy Kotagiri, Chief Technology Officer at Magna said: “Reducing dependency on rare-earth magnets solves two key issues for accelerating access to electrification – supply chain sourcing and cost.”
According to Magna, the new, more powerful electric motor will be integrated directly with other components in an electric drive system. The project will involve the development and use of “innovative” materials, new cooling and coil winding technologies, simulation models, as well as control and optimisation techniques.
Magna says it is aiming to develop the electric engine according to automotive standards and low-cost manufacturing. As far as the timetable is concerned, the automotive supplier is aiming to submit the new development to the American Department of Energy (DOE) for evaluation by 2021.
While the new electric motor is still a dream of the (near) future, Magna is still making headlines today: A few days ago in Europe, the Group received the largest production order for transmission technologies in its history from the BMW Group. The multi-year contract covers all front-wheel-drive dual-clutch transmissions, including hybrid transmissions.
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