A new concept for electric vehicle engines
Under the Kyoto Protocol, the EU committed to reduce by 20% its emissions of gases to effect greenhouse of 2020 compared to 1990 levels, and 80 to 90% by 2050. To this end, the transport sector aims to reduce its emissions by 60% by 2050. The bulk of this reduction is likely to come from road transport, which is now responsible for the release of 7 billion tones of CO2 per year one fifth of the total emissions of gases greenhouse in the EU.
The use of electric vehicles seems the best way to reduce emissions from road transport. In fact, overall of their cycle of life it is estimated that their balance sheet in terms of emissions is about half that of gasoline and diesel vehicles. Unfortunately, despite the significant progress made by the industry automobile in terms of electric and hybrid vehicles, the public still does not consider this technology as a viable alternative.
Barriers to Improvements
The engines of today’s electric vehicles depend on rare earths for the manufacture of permanent magnets. Although essential to these engines, these metals are also the main obstacle to wider adoption of electric vehicles. For the most part, these metals are imported from China, which not only increases the cost of electric vehicles but also carries a significant risk of dependence on the automotive industry. A shortage could cripple the manufacture and supply of electric vehicles in Europe.
Unfortunately, if these magnets are removed from the motor the latter loses three-quarters of its power. Our biggest challenge is to find other ways to make up for this important loss. The project overcame this challenge by designing, prototyping and testing a synchronous reluctance motor using a rare earth magnet. This engine is specially designed to avoid the use of rare earths in magnets thanks to the use of ferries.
For this, we have pushed the development of other engine components such as a new hairpin coil for the stator and an innovative concept of lightweight and modular rotor. Besides the engine the project also developed a complete workout including a power electronics and a cooled housing to the air. According to the results of the tests, final drive provides a maximum torque performance of 133 Nm at 3600 revolutions per minute and a maximum power of 52.0 kW at 4,300 revolutions per minute.