Magna to make electric motors affordable and more powerful

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 31 Oct 2019

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

Magna aims to develop an electric motor that is half the cost and eight times the power density while delivering 125 kW of peak power – similar to packing a gallon of milk into a pint-size container. The reduction in cost is the result of eliminating the use of rare-earth permanent magnets, which make up a significant portion of the electric-motor cost.

Swamy Kotagiri, Chief Technology Officer, Magna, said, “Reducing dependency on rare-earth magnets solves two key issues for accelerating access to electrification – supply chain sourcing and cost.”

Magna has confirmed that the project will integrate the exclusive electric motor technologies with transmission and inverter as part of an overall e-drive system. The project scope includes the 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 U.S. DOE for evaluation in 2021.